Looks like LA Rams offensive center fix creates questions at two positions

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams had plenty of options from the existing roster to fill the vacancy at the offensive center created by the departure of veteran Austin Blythe. Many of those options involved simply auditioning a new player at the center position.  But it appears as though the LA Rams will take a different path.

So far, reports are emerging that the LA Rams are trying out interior offensive lineman Austin Corbett at the center, moving him over from his starting right guard position. In his place, the Rams will start Bobby Evans at right guard. Austin Corbett projects among the top 20 at either offensive center, or at offensive guard, per Pro Football Focus. But among 32 NFL teams with one center per team, and two guards, that ranking is not lights out.

The trick though after deciding to move Austin Corbett to the center position is who to slide into the right guard position?  For now, it seems like the Rams will opt to give Bobby Evans a shot at starting there. But as we’ve pointed out with both David Edwards and Bobby Evans, they are offensive tackles who are sliding inside to play at the offensive guard position.

Domino effect?

That creates a domino effect if and when the same Rams coaching staff must determine who backs up starting offensive tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Haventstein. Those roles may prove to be critically important, as the LA Rams needed to promote Joseph Noteboom to the starting role at left tackle to handle eight games while Whitworth rehabbed an injured knee.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Of course, some may argue that Corbett is the best option at the offensive center position, and for the time being it seems that the primary option for the right guard is Bobby Evans. He very likely could be. But that’s not what is at stake here.  So what is at stake?|

The Rams offensive line, like every other offensive line in the NFL, is built upon the trust of five players, not just one. Andrew Whitworth, Joseph Noteboom, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, and Rob Havenstein began the 2020 NFL season. When Noteboom was injured fairly early, David Edwards reprised his role as the starting left guard. When Whitworth was injured, Noteboom took over at left tackle. But at each change, only one player was introduced to the other four.

So many questions

With this new lineup, questions now occur at both the offensive center and the right guard position.  Is it worth it? Perhaps. The Rams have a much better situation in 2021. Not only do the coaches have much more time to work with the players, but three preseason games will allow the Rams depth chart to sort itself out.

Of course, other players like Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Tremayne Anchrum, and even Chandler Brewer may be involved in the mix at some point. What role might they compete in, and how? More questions. For now, the Rams are sorting out synching up the projected starting five.  It could prove to be very successful. It could also just as easily result in regression like the 2019 experience.

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The Rams depth chart has plenty of players to audition for significant roles on the offensive line. For now, it appears that the LA Rams want big bodies on the offensive line, and the Whitworth-Edwards-Corbett-Evans-Havenstein is certainly one of the largest configurations available to the team right now. How will it all turn out? Well, that’s one more question to add to the list, isn’t it?