Rams’ Austin Corbett ranked as a top 20 guard and center for 2021

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After the Los Angeles Rams all but ignored the center position this offseason, it’s assumed that Austin Corbett will be moving from guard to center. During the first week of OTAs, he lined up at center with the first-team offense, with Bobby Evans taking his spot at right guard.

There’s still a chance Brian Allen wows the coaching staff and earns the starting center job, or that Coleman Shelton comes out of nowhere to win the spot. That would keep Corbett at guard, a position he played at a high level last season.

Whether at center or guard, Corbett will be a starter. And in Pro Football Focus’ opinion, he’ll be one of the better players at either position. Corbett was ranked as the 19th-best center in the NFL by PFF’s Ben Linsey, as well as the 20th-best guard by Sam Monson.

Here’s what Linsey wrote about Corbett’s projection as a starting center for the Rams.

Corbett is another player expected to slide over from guard to center in 2021, where he’ll likely replace Austin Blythe. He has started there with the first team at OTAs. Center is where Corbett began his career in Cleveland, but he has split time over the past two seasons in Los Angeles as a starter at both left guard (2019) and right guard (2020). He’s coming off a career year this past season for the Rams, boosted by a 76.4 run-blocking grade.

In Monson’s ranking of the top 32 guards, he argues that Corbett was “overdrafted and thrown to the wolves early in his career.” The Browns played him at center and gave up after a year and a half before trading him to the Rams in 2019.

He’s played well in Los Angeles, developing into “a solid starter at guard,” Monson says. He only allowed one sack last season and if he can carry that type of performance over to center, the Rams won’t miss Austin Blythe very much.

The biggest concern is that Corbett struggled at center with the Browns, raising questions about whether he can succeed there with the Rams. Sean McVay and the Rams are likely to make the bet that he can, but it’s far from a certainty.