What can LA Rams rookie offensive lineman Steve Avila tell us about his rookie season, his experience, and what he has planned for his 2024 offseason to prepare for another playoff run with the team in 2024? That is what we intended to find out when the FanSided team invited him to sit and talk shop during the Super Bowl media events this past week.
Just to recap, rookie Steve Avila is a big guy, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing a burly 332 pounds. He was the only offensive lineman who did not miss a single snap in 2023. But, there are questions about his role in 2024. Will he stay at left guard? With the Rams in need of extending three starters from last season: LT Alaric Jackson (RFA), C Coleman Shelton (Void contract - player option), and RG Kevin Dotson (UFA), Is Avila on the move for the 2024 NFL season?
That is only one reason to listen in. The interview is embedded in the video below at 31:50, and is a solid interview that should give you some great information, and perhaps some peace of mind over the team's offensive line status for the upcoming season.
So what did Steve Avila share about plans for him in 2024?
Fansided (32:38): "Do you plan to stay at left guard? Obviously, you moved around a lot, especially at college as well. Is that where you are most comfortable?"
"Honestly, it is really dictated off of what I did last. When I was coming off the year having played center, I would have said that center is what I am (most comfortable at). I always like to do what is asked of me. I never have any gripes so, I will do what is asked of me."- Steve Avila
If you were hoping for a clue as to what the Rams are up to for 2024 in terms of reconfiguring the players, he certainly kept the cards close to the vest. Still, he was deliberate with his answer. He was prepared not to reveal anything about the Rams' plans for 2024, which leads me to believe that changes could be in the mix. And he did cite the fact that he is comfortable at center, and would answer center if that were his 2023 position.
Some discussions in Rams forums this off-season have speculated that the Rams could be drafting offensive linemen in 2024, and could make room on the left side of the offensive line by extending Alaric Jackson, and potentially moving him to a vacated Kevin Dotson position at right guard. Other discussions have speculated that the Rams could move Steve Avila to center to fill the vacated center position.
In essence, the Rams could enter the 2024 NFL Draft by shopping for BPA of the offensive line and could create the vacancies at left tackle, left guard, center, or right guard to more aptly mirror the specifications of OL Coach Ryan Wendall.
There are plenty of topics to cover with this interview, and I will be attending to those later in the day/week. But I do want to share this particular topic, as I have been convinced that the Rams won't be drafting offensive linemen early in 2024. But I must admit that after this interview, I am less convinced that will prove to be the case.