LA Rams increase roster by signing a dozen familiar faces

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster Adrian Ealy
Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

The two you knew

The front offices of NFL teams strive towards having a stable inflow of NFL talent in order as well as their goal to try to keep a steady outflow of talent. Sometimes the inbound talent is greater, and you have an upgrade at a position. Sometimes the outbound talent is greater, and you have a decline in the team’s performance. That cannot always be avoided. But what can be avoided is a simultaneous loss of multiple players from the same position, a situation that places a great deal of pressure to restock the roster quickly.

For the LA Rams roster, that situation could be taking place at multiple positions on the offensive line. Right now, the team’s two offensive centers: Brian Allen and Coleman Shelton; have contracts that will expire at the end of this NFL season.  As if that was not bad enough, the LA Rams face the imminent retirement of venerable offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, and the expired contract of his backup, Joseph Noteboom. The Rams even face the loss of starting right guard Austin Corbett.

Who ya got?

Even if the LA Rams do reach into their bag of tricks to extend a player or two, they’ll still experience a shortage in training camp. So the team had made it a point to retain two promising young players who were brought in to augment the team’s roster during the outbreak of COVID-19. Now, the team will take a longer look at them, work with them, and determine whether either or both, are worth adding to the mix for the 2022 NFL season.

Of course, unlike the situation of 2021, the LA Rams offensive line coach Kevin Carberry is very familiar with his players and knows very specifically what he is looking for from players who are added to the roster going forward. Look for the unit to get a rather rapid transformation, as Carberry will seek to infuse his style of players in the offensive line this season.

LA Rams sign FA OC Drake Jackson to 2022 futures contract. light. Related Story

Offensive linemen (2)

The Rams signed offensive center Drake Jackson to a reserve/futures contract in January 2022. So what are we to make of that? Well, the truth of the matter is that the team had to sign a center. With both Allen and Shelton due to leave, the Rams would be down to just Jeremiah Kolone on the roster as someone who had snapped the football in 2021.  Drake Jackson, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 292-pounds, is a smaller but very athletic offensive lineman.

He would be an ideal backup to Coleman Shelton, a player who had remarkable success subbing in to start for the Rams in 2022. Unlike bigger-bodied centers, smaller centers tend to be quicker out of their stances, more powerful with their initial pop, and more capable of penetrating to get blocks on secondary and tertiary defenders on running plays.

LA Rams stockpile another OL to reserve/future contract. light. Related Story

The team signed offensive tackle Adrian Ealy to a reserve/futures contract in February 2022. Ealy is every bit the man-mountain required to hold the outside of an offensive line. He stands 6-foot-6 and weighs in at 321 pounds. What A.J. Jackson is for the left tackle position, Ealy is for the right tackle position.

Ealy can and has played both offensive tackle positions. Such versatility makes him an ideal addition to the Rams roster for the foreseeable future. Since he was with the team previously, I look for Ealy (much like Jackson) to stick with the Rams in some capacity in 2022. Whether that is the active roster or as a developmental player on the practice squad, the Rams have plans for Adrian Ealy.