Why Steve Avila's versatility matters to the LA Rams OL

TCU Steve Avila
TCU Steve Avila / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages

We all know the painful tales about the LA Rams huge number of injuries suffered throughout the 2022 NFL season, and the toll that a patchwork offensive line took on the offensive performance last year. But we also know that the LA Rams cannot carry the 12 or more offensive linemen on their 53-man roster to handle that many injuries if they re-occur during the 2023 NFL season.

So if can't beat the pressure with more players, then the next best thing is to add more versatile offensive linemen? Whether or not you agree, that is exactly what the team added to the Rams roster by selecting interior offensive lineman Steve Avila.

Avila is more than one of the top guards in this draft. He is also one of the top centers, a professional football hit man who loves to hit players in the trenches. That is where the LA Rams need so much help, and Steve Avila brings dependable reinforcement.

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Plug-n-play capacity at three positions

Many may make the assumption that the Rams selected Steve Avila to fill the vacated role of former Rams offensive guard David Edwards. I'm not so sure. In my mind, the addition of Avila allows the Rams to set up the offensive line as:

  • LT Alaric Jackson/A J. Arcuri
  • LG Joe Noteboom/Logan Bruss
  • C Steve Avila/Coleman Shelton
  • RG Coleman Shelton/Logan Bruss
  • RT Rob Havenstein/Tremayne Ancrum

Of course, you can mix and match Steve Avila, Coleman Shelton, or Brian Allen at the center position. From there, you can move either Avila or Shelton to either offensive guard position. That swap of players and positions works for nearly every offensive lineman save veteran center Brian Allen.

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After one more season of significant injuries to both Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen, I am not certain that it's wise for either to be installed as starters this season. Not only do questions linger over their durability, but the wear and tear of repeated injuries has to take a toll.

Thankfully, Steve Avila's versatility give the Rams plenty of Plan A options in terms of quality offensive line configurations. Now, let's hope that translates into a Top-5 NFL offensive line for the 2023 NFL season.