Rams Roster: Fast 40+ LA Rams roster roundup OT Warren McClendon (#6)

Georgia Warren McClendon
Georgia Warren McClendon / James Gilbert/GettyImages

After the 2022 NFL season, the first thing everyone saw in the rearview mirror was the incessant avalanche of injuries along the offensive line that truly obliterated the Rams. That set the stage for both the 2023 NFL Draft and the return of injured veterans.

Best of all, there have been next to no 'anointing,' of starters along the offensive line, with the exception of veteran right tackle Rob Havenstein. That leaves the offensive line wide open for competition. While Georgia rookie offensive tackle Warren McClendon is unlikely to make the Rams starting line, he remains an important piece to the Rams' offensive line depth this season.

A quick summary

It was clear that the LA Rams depth chart for the 2022 NFL season was in a state of disarray. The Rams purposefully designed the depth chart to have the starting right guard cover as the backup center. When the starting center went down, the Rams were forced to shift two starters to compensate. Unfortunately, the challenges of plugging holes were only just beginning.

What I don't like about this signing

The toughest part of any NFL rookie's first training camp is falling behind. Unfortunately, that misfortune befell rookie OT Warren McClendon, as he was assigned to the PUP list as training camp opened. Fortunately, he eventually passed his physical and was able to rejoin his teammates.

If the LA Rams are looking for a 2023 impact player, then a late fifth-round addition to the Rams roster is not the first place to look. McClendon has a solid SEC pedigree, stands 6-foot-4, and weighs 306 pounds, But he plays with a bit of unrefined technique that could make him more suited as a developmental project than competing for a starting role this season.

What I like about this signing

The LA Rams clearly focused on drafting talented offensive linemen this offseason, and Warren McClendon is one of the true sleepers in the 2023 NFL Draft class. He is a true battle-tested college veteran, much like undrafted Iowa offensive tackle Alaric Jackson. And just like Jackson, his video footage outshines his measurables.

There was a great deal of interest in McClendon because he was so accomplished at a high level in SEC competition. Like QB Stetson Bennett, he started for two NCAA national championship teams. That translates into McClendon consistently facing some of the best college pass rushers around, and he was a stone wall throughout his college career.

51. Offensive tackle. player. University of Georgia. Warren McClendon. Warren McClendon. 174. OT Waren McClendon (#6). NFL Draft profile. NFL Draft Buzz

He may not be the flashier marquee offensive left tackle, but he has the time to develop into a multi-role contributor for the LA Rams depth chart.

What I loves about this signing

While his technique may be considered raw, McClendon does many things well that you do not necessarily look for or attribute to a rookie offensive lineman. For starters, he plays relatively error free football, guilty of only two holding penalties in his last 28 games. That's a phenomenal streak, and only serves to highlight the guy's attention to detail, and his discipline in the trenches.

But he is also quite adept at double teaming defensive players. That is huge for an offensive tackle who can be left out in space if nobody covers him on that play.

But the best of all is the fact that he allowed no quarterback sacks, zilch, nada. That streak extended over his past two season, which encompassed 822 pass blocking opportunities:

McClendon is a high-IQ offensive lineman who knows his role, who he needs to block, what the offense is trying to do, and where he needs to be on any given play. While the track and field measurables may not excite anyone, the football field video footage of his performance certainly should.

What are his chances of making the roster?

Right now, after the release of the initial LA Rams depth chart, he is the third-string offensive right tackle. Unless he improves that ranking, he risks being cut and signed to the Rams practice squad. That may not be the worst thing to happen, as long as the Rams can keep him from being poached by another team along the way.

dark. Trending. OLB Nick Hampton (#5). Rams Roster: Fast 40+ LA Rams roster roundup OLB Nick Hampton (#5)

I like McClendon's upside a great deal. He will be one of the earlier practice squad players called up for game day work as long as he remains with the Rams.