3 key positions LA Rams must address this offseason
By Bret Stuter
Position of need: Center
Why is this a need? The LA Rams starting center for 2019-2020, Austin Blythe, is about to test the free agency market. While this is his second year of doing so, the Rams may be looking for a changing of the guard this year. Who might that be? That truly depends on what Austin Blythe believes his fair market value to be. The Rams are making a change at quarterback, so economics is driving this decision.
Who can fill the role from within? The LA Rams have potential here, but nobody has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can handle a starting center role. As it stands, the Rams have competition set up between 2019 starter Brian Allen and versatile offensive lineman Coleman Shelton. Allen is back after a prolonged rehabilitation that carried partway into the 2020 season. While that rehabilitation was prolonged and adds a question about how well Allen will play on a repaired knee, he struggled in 2019 before the injury.
Shelton should be ready to compete for a more significant role this year. He’s entering his fourth NFL season with very limited usage. In college football, he raised eyebrows as one of the most dominating offensive linemen in the Pac-12. Since entering the NFL in 2018, Shelton has bounced on practice squads and special teams, but not broken through just yet. I like Shelton’s upside, and I am rooting for Allen to return to full health. If the Rams do not have funds, then let the pair compete. Even Jamil Demby should be given the chance to earn the spot.
Rams likely plan to address the position: The LA Rams haven’t spent enough on their offensive line and need to remedy that this year. If they free up enough salary cap space, then this one becomes relatively easy. If the Rams pass on re-signing Blythe, then get a solid veteran on the roster like former Atlanta Falcons veteran Alex Mack on as affordable of a one-year deal as possible. Then, draft his padawan on day three of the draft and dedicate that player to learn the role for the 2022 position.