A big reason that the Los Angeles Rams took a step back in 2019 and missed the playoffs a year after going to the Super Bowl was because of the inconsistency of their offensive line.
Not only did the Rams lose a pair of starters from the previous season, but they also dealt with a number of injuries, forcing young players to have to step up before they were ready.
If the Rams want to get back in postseason contention in 2020 then it’s no secret their offensive line will need to be better. Rams general manager Les Snead did what he could to sure up that unit in free agency, re-signing both Andrew Whitworth and Austin Blythe, two key components of last year’s group.
Many expected the Rams to take another offensive lineman early in the 2020 NFL Draft though, which Snead did not decide to do, only taking Tremayne Anchrum out of Clemson in the seventh round.
Snead explained his reasoning for that, believing the young players they already have are good enough to form a successful offensive line, via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN:
“We did go into [the draft] probably a little different than maybe the outside of our building where, ‘OK, hey, it’s a major, major glaring weakness,'” Snead said. “We felt confident that if we continue grooming and developing these players, they’d have a chance to become a really solid offensive line.”
Believe it or not, the Rams’ offensive line actually showed improvement in the final few weeks of the 2019 season. Young players like Austin Corbett, David Edwards and Bobby Evans were all able to step in and have some success, showing they could be potential starts in the future.
Snead feels that the experience they gained will prove to be valuable in the long run:
“We’ve been adding those players and I’ve said it many a times,” Snead said. “Fortunately or unfortunately, a lot of them got to play last year.”
While it’s currently unclear who the five starters will be on the offensive line, there are plenty of quality options competing. A lot of it will come down to what position Blythe plays as he started last season at guard but moved to center when Brian Allen went down and actually had a ton of success.
Regardless of where he plays though, a big focus in 2020 will be on how the Rams’ offensive line performs and if Snead was validated in not drafting some reinforcements up front early.