With OTAs underway, the Los Angeles Rams have a lot of work to do to bring their young players and rookies up to speed.
The Rams will be depending on their youth movement to carry them through the 2023 season, a daunting position considering the competition they’ll have to face. While each player on the roster has expressed confidence they can surprise people, fans will need to see it play out on the field before coming to the same conclusion.
The defense is expected to take a step back with all the turnover they experienced, but there’s optimism that the offense can bounce back now that players like Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are healthy. The offensive line should also be much improved as Los Angeles took arguably the best interior lineman in the 2023 NFL Draft in Steve Avila.
Avila was well-regarded during the draft process and is already making a positive impression on the Rams. His early work with the team is already paying dividends as he was able to secure guaranteed money in the fourth year of his rookie contract, via Field Yates of ESPN:
The Rams have agreed to terms with 36th overall pick @Stevelavila on his rookie contract. Avila was the first pick made by the Rams this year.
The deal is fully guaranteed in the first 3 years, with 10% guaranteed in year 4, which had not previously ever been done at Pick 36.…
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 13, 2023
It says a lot that a second-round pick in Avila is getting guaranteed money in the fourth year of his deal as that is typically reserved for first-round picks. However, the money could easily be justified if Avila plays up to his draft pedigree and earns a spot as a starter.
The TCU product is a well-rounded run and pass blocker who is capable of playing anywhere on the interior. While the Rams have options at both guard and center, there’s reason to believe that Avila will eventually win out and claim one of those coveted spots.
Steve Avila calls transition to NFL easier than college
During his short tenure with the Rams, Avila has drawn rave reviews from coaches and players for his work ethic and mindset. Los Angeles has a tendency to draft players with leadership qualities, and so far Avila seems to fit the bill.
Avila’s maturity on and off the field seems to be helping him navigate the NFL rather seamlessly and he confirmed as much when he called the transition to the pros easier than his move from high school to college.