Baldy' Breakdown: LA Rams IOL Steve Avila is 'Rookie Gold'

Steve Avila, Los Angeles Rams
Steve Avila, Los Angeles Rams / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Yes, the LA Rams needed to hit with the 36th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. But so far, it appears that rookie IOL Steve Avila is better than the brochure.

It was clear that the LA Rams needed to hit on their first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Not only was the 36th overall pick the highest selection from any NFL Draft since Head Coach Sean McVay was hired by the LA Rams in 2017, but the Rams' new reset-the-roster strategy depended on it. This team had depleted their ranks at the offensive line, and the ability of the Rams coaching staff to turn raw players into refined NFL offensive linemen was simply overloaded in 2022.

Is it just me, or do the LA Rams fans all share that admiration and respect of great offensive linemen? This is an NFL franchise with a long storied history that has included some of the best offensive linemen in NFL history. And that tradition has continued to this say

Big Whit: From Lombardi to Amazon

Andrew Whitworth, former LA Rams left tackle, is the most recent chapter of great offensive linemen. He retired after the 2021 NFL season and began a TV commentator and sports analyst career covering Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime. How did he make that jump to television?

Is it the fact that former Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth has a natural ability to speak football in layman's terms that landed him the job? Is it simply his charisma? Or was part of the hire to ensure that both the West Coast markets (LA Rams) and East Coast markets (Cincinnati Bengals) would be well-represented by a very popular player for both teams?

Steve Avila is a rookie in the NFL, but he has that same charismatic personality off a football field that masks a snarling, mean, I'll-flatten-you mindset that makes him so very dangerous on a football field. So dangerous, in fact, that he caught the attention of one of the best NFL Insiders and analysts today, Brian Baldinger