It took the Rams a while to figure out their starting five offensive linemen this offseason, with Mike LaFleur saying the Thursday before Week 1 that they were still sorting through it. Ultimately, they settled on Alaric Jackson, Steve Avila, Coleman Shelton, Joe Noteboom and Rob Havenstein, feeling that was the best group of five for the start of the season.
After their season opener against the Seahawks, it seems the Rams made the right call with that collection of players. All five of them played well, none allowing more than two pressures in the win and only giving up five total – none by the rookie Avila.
Sean McVay feels good about the depth the Rams have along the offensive line, all the way down to Zach Thomas and Kevin Dotson, but he loved the way the starters played on Sunday.
“I was really pleased with that group and I think they’d be the first to tell you that they’re excited about attacking some opportunities to improve in certain phases, but overall I thought some of the things we wanted to see that were key and critical for that game were on display,” McVay said Monday. “It’s like anything else, you have to be able to continue to put the work in, continue to improve and I know that’s exactly the approach that (OL coach) Ryan Wendell and that that group will end up having.”
No Rams lineman finished with a PFF grade below 60.7 and all five of them played every offensive snap in the game, a pleasant development after Los Angeles couldn’t keep the same group together for seemingly more than 5 minutes last season.
Even Noteboom, who had the lowest overall grade of the Rams’ linemen, still finished with a pass-blocking grade of 73.1, so he was solid in pass protection even if he wasn’t perfect in the running game.
The Rams would love to keep this group of five players together all season long and that’s the plan if everyone stays healthy, but even if someone gets hurt, there’s plenty of depth with Brian Allen, Kevin Dotson, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., Warren McClendon Jr. and Thomas as the backups.