Making LA Rams offensive line a strength in 2023 in 3-2-1 steps

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

Step I: Prepare to draft depth to compete for starting roles

The Rams have not drafted for their offensive line depth properly, and that is why this team runs for two years with great performances and then falls apart in year three. It’s been the pattern for the LA Rams past six seasons and will continue for years until the Rams change their practices. So what can these Rams do to alter this vicious cycle?

The Rams’ 2023 NFL season will likely boast a solid offensive line whether or not the Rams draft offensive linemen. That’s due to the fact that the Rams have played so many players in meaningful roles, and that has boosted the quality and experience of practically everyone. So a draft for offensive linemen can be viewed not to simply deliver starters out of the gate, but rather to raise the overall talent level of this group.

Draft for depth and durability

That is the driving force behind the Rams Big Board: A Top 50 prospect accumulation of players who fit the Rams’ needs and scheme in the 2023 NFL Draft. And it was that big board that was used to target the best offensive linemen in the 2023 NFL Draft in our first mock of the season. The result? Three quality offensive linemen in ten draft picks, including an offensive tackle who possesses enough athleticism, power, size, and technique to compete for the left tackle role in his rookie season.

So how does introducing three offensive linemen to the Rams roster via the Rams draft help this team break the cycle of two good seasons and one bad season? Well, drafted rookies give the team four inexpensive seasons of play. That immediately gives the Rams one extra season. And it further adds the likelihood of starting on the line in their rookie season, or at least their second season. As it stands now, the Rams have been signing players for two or three years, sitting them on the bench in backup or rotational roles until their chance to start comes, oftentimes for one last season.

So if the Rams draft a left tackle, an interior offensive lineman, and a durable offensive tackle in 2023, they will allow the Rams to right-size this roster to feature the true 10 best players. When the season arrives, the Rams not only have a solid starting five offensive linemen, but they have the chance to compete for a full season without the weekly chaos of signing and trying to integrate unfamiliar faces into the offense on a weekly basis.

You get what you pay for. If the Rams want durability, they may need to pay more upfront. But the cost savings of not having to swap out multiple parts throughout the season makes it a cost-neutral option after all.

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