5 OL questions LA Rams must answer before 2021 NFL Draft

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams 2021 NFL Draft
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Center Blythe

What are the chances that the Rams re-sign center Austin Blythe? Well, at about the midpoint in the season, I would have placed those odds at 95 percent certainty. After all, the Rams released center Cohl Cabral from the practice squad and knew the entire time that  Blythe was only on a one-year deal. So that was evidence that he would be a priority signing.

But as the season wore on, Blythe’s play declined somewhat. Yes, he made good plays. But there were plays where a defender arrived just as the football did. And the result was devastating. If there was a singular Achilles heel to the Rams offense in 2020, it was that A-gap blitz.

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So now, the question becomes this. Will the Rams bring back Austin Blythe for another year?  There is an argument to do so. The Rams truly have no heir apparent on the roster. While 2019 starter Brian Allen could resume the starting role, he was pushed around pretty easily that year. Of course, the Rams have the option to route another offensive lineman to the center spot like Austin Corbett or Tremayne Anchrum, and simply refitting another lineman to the guard position.

But with the trade of Jared Goff, if the Rams intend to make a change at the center position, this would be a perfect time to do so. The Rams did reportedly target Michigan center, Cesar Ruiz, in the 2020 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, the New Orleans Saints selected him in round one. Will this be the year for the Rams to invest in a center? Signing Blythe will cost the Rams approximately $6 million /year this year. He is a solid center, but not the type of player who will shine against elite defenders.