Rams Roster: Fast 40+ LA Rams roster roundup IOL Mike McAllister (#21)

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Ryan Wndell
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Ryan Wndell / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

The LA Rams have not hesitated to dive into small college football programs to land a promising rookie, and Youngstown State's interior offensive lineman Mike McAllister is simply the latest example. The LA Rams need to add depth to the offensive lineman group, not just for starters, but for developmental players as well.

A quick summary

The LA Rams clearly focused on the offensive line through the draft and after the draft by drafting two offensive linemen and then following that up by signing three collegiate free agents after the draft. One such player is interior offensive lineman Mike McAllister who is a 6-foot-3 308-pound who hails from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, and played for nearby Youngstown State University. He is an interior offensive lineman but specializes as an offensive center, certainly a role that the LA Rams are eager to add depth to in training camp.

What I don't like about this signing

Mike McAllister is a volunteer firefighter. While there is no correlation from any other former firefighters who were drafted to compete as rookie offensive linemen in the NFL, it's a combination that has always caused me to be overly cautious and skeptical. While the idea of both vocations truly does have incredible similarities in so many ways, I have come to conclude that the two are completely incompatible.

Visions of former 2011 Philadelphia Eagles firefighter rookie offensive lineman Danny Watkins is impossible for me to block out. At the time, Watkins was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. A 6-foot-3 312-pound interior offensive lineman who hailed from Canada, Watkins' heart was simply never in playing for the NFL.

While there is no direct link to Mike McAllister, there are similarities that leave me wary at best. NFL vehicula caveat. That is - NFL teams beware.

What I like about this signing

While I've gone to modest lengths to qualify my concerns with a disclaimer, I really do like the addition of Mike McAlister. I have actually travelled to and through the town of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, and know first-hand that residents eat, drink, and breathe football there from a very young age. The town is very close to Pittsburgh, PA, which means that McAllister was familiar with the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Steelers with his first steps beyond the playpen.

I don't know that there is enough to be said about where in the country a player hails from versus their aptitude for the NFL, but I have to believe that the LA Rams did their homework when signing Mike McAllister.

What I love about this signing

The LA Rams appear to have a new model for the offensive line, which may or may not be directly attributable to new OL Coach Ryan Wendell. But the Rams' front office has taken up the baton and worked hard to restock the Rams roster across the entire offensive line. McAllister not only has a lot of competition with returning veterans, but he must also compete against a deep rookie class of 2023 as well.

The key to his chances of securing a roster spot is getting noticed by the Rams coaching staff. Well, looks like he is well on his way to checking that box:

It's impossible to know the ability of an NFL offensive line until the pads go on, but the early reports are at least encouraging. Perhaps the toughest hurdle, getting noticed by LA Rams HC Sean McVay, is already happening for McAllister.

Rams roster: Fast 40+ LA Rams roster roundup QB Dresser Winn (#20). dark. Trending. Dresser Winn (#20)

What are his chances of making the roster?

There is a remote chance of the LA Rams giving Mike McAllister a shot at the 53-man roster, but for that to happen I believe that the team will need to trade or waive Brian Allen, which I'm not expecting to happen. I believe that McAllister can still earn a spot on the team's 16-man practice squad. From there, anything can happen.