Building an offensive line on a budget
Well, put it this way. The LA Rams did not draft a clear-cut star rookie offensive center named Creed Humphrey when the roster clearly indicated a need to do so. In fact, the LA Rams have only drafted one offensive lineman in the past two seasons. Can they keep up this fasting at one of the most important units in the game?
In a word? Yes. The Rams appear to be more content with adding raw talent after the draft and from the NFL waiver wire and coaching them up into the type of player they want to have on the team. Sexy? No. Flashy? Not in the least. But so far, they are finding ways to do an incredible job in one of the least costly ways in the NFL.
If you recall, the LA Rams started both Joseph Noteboom at left guard and Brian Allen at center in 2019. They were both injured mid-season, forcing the team to scramble to fill multiple starting positions on the offensive line mid-season. While that 2019 season did not work out well, the two players continued to work through their rehab and beyond, ultimately ending up as projected starters for the 2022 NFL season.
2019 castaways now 2022 starters
Noteboom was the 89th overall selection by the LA Rams in the 2018 NFL Draft, chosen from Texas Christian University (TCU). Allen was selected that same year, at the 111th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, out of Michigan State.
After their 2019 experience, many fans’ opinions were completely negative about both players. Thankfully, the LA Rams held a differing view and continued to work with both. Now, they will claim starting roles for the team, and many expect them to play very well. So what changed?
Young players are the foundation of the LA Rams’ success. The team may headline the NFL with blockbuster trades and signing stars. But keep an eye on the entire roster, because you can bet that is exactly what the entire personnel department is doing.
If the right offensive lineman falls to the LA Rams in the 2022 NFL Draft, anything is possible. But I would not be the least bit surprised if the team chooses no more than a single offensive lineman in the 2022 NFL Draft. And it truly doesn’t matter what I believe the team should do, does it? After all, they are the defending NFL Champions. Clearly, they have a handle on what it takes to win in the NFL.