Is the LA Rams offensive line a strength or weakness for 2021?
By Bret Stuter
As you can imagine, if you’ve formed your offseason opinion about the LA Rams from what you saw in the playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, then you have the offensive line as a top priority for this offseason. Well, you would be correct.
There wasn’t much to love about the Rams play in that one. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth was limited on a not-quite-ready injured leg, and it showed. Next to him, backup left guard Bobby Evans seemed to be completely lost at left guard. Next to him, center Austin Blythe struggled as well. Was that due to Evans at guard? Who is to say? But he had plays that I’m sure he wanted back. Even Austin Corbett and Rob Havenstein had better games. So how do you fix that?
Well, for starters, the Rams need to stop sliding offensive tackles to the guard position unless they truly play well there. The Rams project to lose Austin Blythe to free agency and the Packers game gives the Rams little reason to re-sign him. In fact, based on the Packers game, the LA Rams should consider a center in either free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft, a left tackle in either free agency or the 2021 NFL Draft, and even drafting an offensive guard.
Why so much investment? Well, Andrew Whitworth proved to be human after all. The LA Rams proved that after Joseph Noteboom and David Edwards, the left guard position is vulnerable, and the offensive line will need a center as Blythe tests free agency. How will the Rams pull all of that off? Well, the team will need to act quickly and decisively. To free up cap space, you will no doubt be weighing such controversial decisions as releasing or trading Andrew Whitworth or Rob Havenstein.
The difficulty lies in the fact that good offensive linemen are very expensive from free agency, and rookies seldom deliver in their first NFL season. The Rams will likely not satisfy your expectations this offseason