This 7-play cutup of Steve Avila’s NFL debut shows how good he already is

Rather than getting creative and cute with their first pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Los Angeles Rams made the sensible move by selecting TCU guard Steve Avila with the 36th pick. They didn’t go for the flashy receiver or the shifty running back, wisely choosing to improve a position group that was a major issue last year.

One game into the 2023 season, it looks like that was the right decision by Les Snead and Sean McVay.

Avila is the real deal and it’s hard not to be excited about his future in Los Angeles.

Against the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon, Avila made his NFL debut and played really well. He was the only Rams lineman not to allow a single pressure, earning a pass-blocking grade of 79.8 and a run-blocking grade of 58.1 from Pro Football Focus.

Numbers lie sometimes, but the film never does. Flip on the tape of Avila’s performance and it’s easy to see how good he already is. Brandon Thorn, an expert in offensive line analysis, shared a seven-play cutup of Avila’s debut and it shows the upside he brings to the Rams’ offensive line.

One thing that’s very evident: his power and base strength. Rarely do you see him getting pushed back by defenders, which helps create a good pocket for Matthew Stafford.

Sean McVay has raved about Avila all offseason and he continued to praise the rookie after his NFL debut. While McVay admitted the rookie has had some learning experiences in practice, he was pleased with the way he played against Seattle.

McVay pointed to Avila’s toughness and physicality on the interior, which is essential when playing guard in the NFL.

“He’s continued to get better,” McVay said of Avila. “There’s been some things that he’s learned in the process, but I thought once he’s settled in he played really well. He’s continuing to learn every single day, but I think he’s got great coaches. He’s got great veteran mentors in that room, but it’s the ability, it’s the work that he’s put in, how smart and conscientious he is, how tough and physical he can play at the point of attack both the run and protection so we felt like he had earned that spot. And we’re not one of those places – I don’t care when you were drafted, we’re going to find the best players and that’s who’s going to play and that’s who’s going to be factors for us. And it’s not kind of how we’ve always operated, in we feel like Steve is a guy that gives us the best chance to be able to play at a level that we want to, and he has earned that starting left guard spot.”

The Rams seem to have found a good one with Avila, who impressed in his debut and should continue to get better as he gains experience.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire