Is LA Rams OC Jordan Meredith a camp body or more?

Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s twue! It’s twue! It’s weally twue! The LA Rams actually nabbed themselves an offensive center this year.

Now, maybe they didn’t draft a center,  but they signed one. An undrafted free agent by the name of Jordan Meredith, and he’s from one of those “directional colleges” with a compass heading in its name – Western Kentucky. He has a draft profile at, where he boasts a 5.56 draft grade.

And if ever a UDFA arrived on the scene with a clear lane ahead to earn themselves a roster spot, then Meredith has a better shot than most others. There’s a sorry-looking vacancy sign dangling outside the LA Rams’ motel and a couple of the light bulbs are burned out as it twists and creaks in the wind.

The Rams’ starting center Austin Blythe is gone to greener pastures, as he signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs this off-season.  That left the Rams with a bit of void at center, particularly as they begin a new season with a new quarterback in Matthew Stafford at the offensive helm of the ship.  All that stands between Meredith and a roster spot is Brian Allen and Coleman Shelton. Of course, the Rams starting right guard Austin Corbett is scheduled to be a free agent in 2022. But before he arrived at the Rams, he had offensive center experience with the Cleveland Browns.

Center of competition

Brian Allen, a fifth-year pro who has started all of nine games for the Rams, has been sidelined for most of the last two seasons because of a knee injury. He was rehabbing for all of the 2020 season. Your greatest ability is your availability, as the saying goes.

Shelton was poached mid-season 2019 off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad as a backup depth piece. And the Rams had already established Blythe as their center.

As you look forward to this season, the landscape, the lay of the land for all of the Rams’  UDFA’s is a bit different. In 2020, without OTAs or a training camp, there was never really the opportunity for a head-to-head competition to allow any UFDA much of an opportunity to crack the starting lineup.

But 2021 will be different.  All Meredith has to do is prove himself worthy.  Just show up at training camp and ball out. Impress the new offensive line coach Kevin Carberry with his play. Dazzle them so much the Rams will decide they have no choice but to keep you. Force their hand. Make himself stick. Worst case scenario – they red-shirt you, so other teams can’t poach you.

Intrigued by the intrigue

Something about Meredith’s play at Western Kentucky intrigued the Rams. That much is clear. But what?

At 6-foot-three and 302 pounds, he’s got the beef. The scouts say he finishes and doesn’t quit on plays. He’s a competitor with leadership traits that coaches admire. More importantly perhaps,, they say he flashes a nasty demeanor and a killer instinct that makes the scouts drool over him.

A number one consideration is always his availability, and Meredith started every game for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers for three consecutive seasons, 764 snaps. He’s played a lot of guard in college as well, so he offers the Rams some positional versatility as well.

According to PFF College’s Premium Stats, Meredith posted an 79.3 overall blocking grade, 89.3 pass-blocking grade, and an 79.2 run-blocking grade.  Among all Conference-USA offensive linemen, he ranked fourth in overall blocking grade, third in pass-blocking grade, and fourth in run blocking grade. Allowed only one sack and one quarterback hit all season. Just a solid, steady performer.

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And he’s got a perfect opportunity with the Rams to be much more than just a camp snapper, but a UFDA who just might stick.