8 offensive linemen for Rams to watch at NFL combine
The Los Angeles Rams will have a close eye on a lot of positions this week, even if they’re watching the NFL combine from afar. Sean McVay and Les Snead will be, at least. The offensive line is one spot that needs help, whether it’s at guard, center or tackle.
The incoming class of linemen offer a lot of upside, especially those expected to go in the first two rounds. With the 36th overall pick, the Rams could target a number of players, some of whom are listed below.
Here are eight linemen for them to watch at the combine this week.
G O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida
(AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Torrence is an excellent guard and is the type of player who could be a decade-long starter on the interior. With how often the Rams like to use outside zone runs and have their guards move laterally, Torrence would be a perfect fit in Los Angeles. He’s a smart player, too, committing zero penalties last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
C John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Schmitz was awesome at the Senior Bowl, establishing himself as likely the top center in the draft class. He’s not a huge, powerful center but at 6-foot-3, he’s plenty big enough to hold up against stronger nose tackles. It may not make up for the Creed Humphrey miss in 2021, but Schmitz would be an upgrade at center for the Rams.
OT Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
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Bergeron is a player Daniel Jeremiah mentioned as a potential fit for the Rams at tackle. The Rams don’t need a tackle as badly as they need guard and center, but if they choose to move on from Joe Noteboom or want to prepare for the eventual departure of Rob Havenstein, Bergeron makes a lot of sense. He’s played both tackle spots and is a candidate to potentially move inside to guard, so position flexibility isn’t a concern at all.
OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee
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Wright is a very inexperienced offensive line prospect, starting for just one full season at the college level. He’s a powerful tackle who projects best as a right tackle at the next level, which makes him a candidate to potentially replace Havenstein down the line.
G/T Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
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Mauch was a tackle in college but he took reps at guard at the Senior Bowl, looking more than comfortable at that spot. He doesn’t necessarily have the length to hold up at tackle full-time in the NFL after his arms measured 33 inches at the Senior Bowl, but his athleticism and mobility in drills at the combine will give everyone a better idea of his guard potential.
OT Dawand Jones, Ohio State
Jones got off to a great start in Senior Bowl practices but an injury forced him to sit out the rest of the week. He should be healthy for the combine and he’s someone who could blow it out of the water at 6-foot-8 and 375 pounds. Players his size with his mobility skills don’t come around often, which could get him drafted before the Rams even have a shot at him in Round 2.
C Luke Wypler, Ohio State
Wypler held up extremely well in pass protection, only allowing one sack in the last two seasons for the Buckeyes. His run blocking grade, according to PFF, was 89.2 in that same span, so he’s a well-rounded center. He just needs to put together a good performance at the combine to establish himself as one of the better centers in the class.
G/C Steve Avila, TCU
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Avila carries more weight than the other centers on this list, weighing in at 330 pounds at 6-foot-3. He played both guard and center at TCU, which is the sort of position flex the Rams love on the O-line. They need help at both positions and Avila can provide depth at each, if not becoming a Day 1 starter in the NFL.