Is OT A.J. Arcuri a potential LA Rams 2023 starter?

Aj Arcuri
Aj Arcuri / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

With the LA Rams current roster leaning so heavily into rookies to make up half of the training camp roster, perhaps it's time to turn the lens of analysis upon some of the team's returning players. One such intriguing player who has some serious upside in offensive tackle A.J. Arcuri.

The LA Rams selected Arcuri with the 261st overall pick in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. A.J. Arcuri hailed from Michigan State, He is a mammoth, standing 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 305 pounds. While he was originally projected to fall out of the draft by some NFL Draft profiles, he offers all of the raw tools needed to earn a role in the NFL.

Because he competed in the Big-10, he arrived at the LA Rams with a book of business that included facing some of the NCAA's fiercest pass rushers. That steady production and storied collegiate career intrigued the Rams about this young man who was added to the team.

Arcuri got valuable playing time in 2022

Thanks to an injury-riddles 2022 NFL season, A.J. Arcuri did get a start for the LA Rams in 2022, in Week 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs. While he played just 54 offensive snaps in that game, he also saw limited action in Week 16 and Week 18, playing for a total of 70 offensive snaps and surrendering no quarterback sacks nor committing any penalties.

Will the LA Rams be tempted to reset their offensive line to the 2022 starters and go from there? That is what the Rams have done in the past, and there is not enough of a bite to a young player like Arcuri to believe that the Rams enter training camp earmarking a starting position for him.

The LA Rams have committed to younger players by default for 2023. With a small army of 45 rookies yet to arrive to the Rams roster, it only makes sense that the team will need to modify some of their past practices, or simply risk a training camp that has next to nothing in terms of competition for starting roles. I don't believe that the Rams coaching staff wants to paint themselves into that type of corner.

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It's not unheard of for a rookie who sees NFL game day action to return the following season with clear understanding of expectations, and a significant leap forward in terms of player development. Will that be enough to get Arcuri a starting role in 2023? Perhaps not, but I do believe he will appear as a primary backup on the LA Rams depth chart this season. And who knows? If a starter is injured, he could show up in a big way.