The LA Rams entered the off-season knowing that they needed help for the center position. The experiment of starting Brian Allen as the center did not go according to play in 2019. And from there, the Rams continued to struggle right up the middle of the offense. Even after veteran, Austin Blythe stepped up to play as the center, defenses continued to feast on the Rams by sending pressure through the A-gaps.
The only way to fix that in 2020 is to either place a competent and knowledgeable center at the position or to coach up existing players into better tactics to prevent success with A-gap blitzes. While the first response would seem to be “coach ’em up”, I believe that the Rams are ripe for a changing the starter.
Cabral to the Rams was no accident
The LA Rams drafted just one offensive lineman, Tremayne Anchrum, a versatile offensive lineman who can play virtually all five offensive line positions. And then, the Rams signed up a center after the draft, Arizona State’s Cohl Cabral. Cabral is a 6-foot-5 300-pound offensive lineman who has a history at playing the blind side left offensive tackle as well as the center position for the Sun Devils.
While his draft profile describes a smart player who is not a track star, the LA Rams need a smart center. Draft profiles aim at the here and now and do not do justice to the upside of a player after NFL caliber coaching, strength conditioning, and experience. Of course, if Cabral’s training camp is literally picking him up off his ass after every play, he’s not going to compete for a starting role. But I suspect that he has plenty of size and strength to compete. He may not win a Pro-Bowl berth as a rookie, but simply sealing up the A-Gaps would be a great place to start.