How can LA Rams optimize their 2022 offensive line?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have certainly taken a direct interest in extending players for their 2022 offensive line. For now, it appears that the team has a plan to bring back enough offensive linemen to reform a productive starting group.  Hopefully, that plan includes addressing the depth and synching up backups for each position. But if the real answer is ‘not’, there are still ways for the team to reassemble a potent offensive line with the pieces on the roster, plus a few depth players to back up the team’s starters.

Let’s start with the known. The LA Rams roster welcomes back Super Bowl starters David Edwards at left guard, Brian Allen at center, and Rob Havenstein at right tackle. They are three starters who have earned the right to start in 2022.

Now for the gaping vacancy at veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford’s blind side? Offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom has been an apprentice to take over at that position for the past two years. While there are no guarantees, the Rams did endure a prolonged absence during the 2020 NFL season by Whitworth and Noteboom handled the load well. Now for the vacancy created by Austin Corbett signing off with a new team in NFL Free Agency?

Bruss buttresses the offensive line better

Before we plop rookie Logan Bruss into the starting right guard role, let’s focus on the backup roles for the offensive line. We know from the 2021 season that Coleman Shelton is an ideal backup center who can routinely step in for Brian Allen and the offensive line does not lose a step. In fact, you could make an argument that the LA Rams ran much better when Shelton snapped the football last season.

On the right side of center, we know that offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum has been the understudy for both the guard and tackle positions. That flexibility is almost impossible to generate in a rookie because they are so busy trying to learn one position in the NFL that two or more positions are too much to load them down with.

On the left side of center, the LA Rams found a surprisingly effective emergency effective offensive left tackle A.J. Jackson when the Rams lost both Andrew Whitworth and Brian Allen in the Minnesota Vikings game. Jackson was not just a pleasant surprise as a rookie, but he started at left tackle as an undrafted left tackle. With that in mind, Jackson can back up both of the offensive line positions on the left side.

So that leaves us with the right guard position, and that leaves us with rookie Logan Bruss. He is not only well suited for the starting right guard position but slotting him in to start ensures that all five offensive line positions have quality backups.

Of course, the Rams have a number of worthwhile offensive linemen who are competing for playing time and a roster spot. But if the LA Rams go with these five starters and the three backups, they will have plenty of flexibility to develop promising young offensive linemen throughout the 2022 NFL season.

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