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  • 2020 Offensive Line

    If the season started today, the O-line is some arrangement of Joe Noteboom, David Edwards, Rob Havenstein, Bobby Evans, Austin Corbett and Brian Allen. Maybe I'm wrong, but regardless of how those 6 shake into 5 OL spots, I don't see one that says to me, "Hey, they're a lock". I believe any/all could be upgraded in the offseason. So how to upgrade?

    We've got $19M in cap space. Cutting Weddle loose creates another $4M. If Goff will restructure, that's upwards of another $16M for 2020. Looking at our UFA of note (Whitworth, Zuerlein, Littleton, Fowler, Brockers), I'd love to bring most of them back, but I'm sure won't be able to. I'd say Littleton should be job 1, which probably means Fowler is gone. Just not enough money for both. But I much prefer the idea of Obo and/or Ebukam stepping in for Fowler, than finding a suitable replacement for Littleton. So with all that, maybe, MAYBE, we have enough money to sign a high-end FA for the O-line. Here's some options:

    OT
    Anthony Castonzo - He's 32, but probably the best LT option on the market.
    DJ Humphries - Injury history, but coming off his best season (and full season) at 26.
    Jack Conklin - Excellent RT, if that's where we want to upgrade.
    Bryan Bulaga - If he's healthy, he's the best RT option available

    OG
    Brandon Scherff - He's missed some games the past two seasons, but he's outstanding(!) if he's healthy.
    Joe Thuney - He's probably getting a fat contract, but he may be worth it, especially as a pass blocker.
    Graham Glasgow - Probably the best G/C swingman on the market. Could upgrade any of 3 different positions.

    C
    Connor McGovern - Not a rich market for Centers, but he's the best of the bunch. Worth a look.


    But what about the draft? We've got a 2nd, 3rd, 4th rounder that could help, right?

    By the 2nd round there will probably be 4-6 OTs off the board, but there are still several OT prospects that could project to us (Trey Adams, Prince Tega Wanogho, Josh Jones). There's several great OG prospects (Solomon Kindley, Shane Lemieux, Deonte Brown) who may or may not be 1st rounders, but I'm betting at least 1 of them is available at our 2nd round pick. At C, there's another 3 guys (Jake Hansen, Creed Humphrey, Tyler Biadasz) that fall into the same boat. At least 1 of them is certainly there in the 2nd, potentially another one in the 3rd.

    If everything works out in a good manner, this offseason could supply 2 or 3 new starters.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • #2
    Excellent article / analysis Bison. True prospects as well.

    Our Rams OL has hope after all, relatively.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very spot-on analysis HUb. I've read articles that indicate the Rams may try to trade Havenstein as his contract is a burden and his style of play isn't what the Rams need to adopt. That is a more athletic type of play rather than the huge power blocking type of O-Lineman. Plus Bobby Evans has shown some real good RT play when he was starting for the injured Havenstein. As you say, the draft has some viable options but at LT I'm not sure a rookie is a realistic option. The key question will be, is Costanzo worth the presumable upgrade in pay over a Whitworth at a reasonable amount given his decline in performance. A better LG next to Whitworth may be an answer we've overlooked.

      I believe Center will be a focal point as Allen is a back-up at best, Blythe is likely playing elsewhere so the draft becomes a supply chain. Hansen and Biadasz are good options but I can't see the Rams going there at #52. BTW, I think Humphrey has opted to stay in school. Another option could be Caesar Ruiz from Michigan.

      Jones had a great Senior Bowl week that may move him earlier than we're selecting. Would love to get Kindley but he too may be gone. There some small school guys that we may look into such as Ben Barch from St. John's.

      Agree with your point about Fowler leaving rather than Littleton, but check out Jordan Brooks at ILB from Texas Tech who is more pass and run defense skilled. I think both those players will be a money decision based on affordability. Having Staley as the DC and keeping Barry as the LB coach will make this a highly intensive area for the Rams. This is a good LB draft so a solid edge rusher pick could enter the picture. Rest assured Les Snead will engineer more picks for us than we currently have. I keep reading that we have no 5th round pick, but I think we have Baltimore's as part of the Marcus Peters trade. WalterFootball indicates as much.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mde8352gorams View Post
        ...
        ...
        I keep reading that we have no 5th round pick, but I think we have Baltimore's as part of the Marcus Peters trade. WalterFootball indicates as much.
        Yes, we gained a 5th in the Peters trade, but we gave up a 5th to the Jags for Fowler the year before, and this year, just gave a 5th to Miami to take over Aqib Talib's contract. So I'm fairly certain the reports that say Rams do not "currently" have a 5th this year are correct.

        I add quotation marks on the "currently" because Rams are likely to get a compensatory pick in the 4th or 5th round range. So we may end up with a 5th after all... but hopefully it'll be a 4th

        Comment


        • #5
          We ... M - U - S - T ...
          come up with that special blend, the right blend of rookies and veterans.

          Nothing new of course. All pro sports teams do this, every year (Captain Obvious).

          That's why I like the various player possibilities mentioned by HUbison above for 2020.

          Comment


          • #6
            2020 oline. Tackles- Orlando Pace and Jackie Slater. Guards tom mack and dennis harrah. Center Doug Smith

            Ramming speed to all

            general counsel

            Comment


            • #7
              My sentimentiments are the same as last year - shore up the O-line. If we can't run the ball we're screwed. If we can't keep teams honest by way of a successful running game, it will be another long and brutal year. Good post Hub ...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by general counsel View Post
                2020 oline. Tackles- Orlando Pace and Jackie Slater. Guards tom mack and dennis harrah. Center Doug Smith

                Ramming speed to all

                general counsel
                THESE are the type of offensive linemen I prefer: Big, punishing blockers whose size allows them to both open massive holes for running backs AND keep guys off the QB. Smith wasn't huge, but Slater and Pace were huge Hall-of-Fame tackles, Mack a HOF tackle/guard and Dennis Harrah part of an outstanding line that helped Eric Dickerson achieve the success he had. History shows us these are the types of offensive lines that help teams win titles: The massive Dallas Cowboys lines, the Hogs in Washington, the great Raider teams, and I could go on. Certainly there is more than one way to skin a cat, but I am typically not in favor of the more "athletic" type of smaller linemen- guys who are quick but can be manhandled and eventually worn down by big defensive lines. If the counter to this point is to say that big guys on the line are vulnerable to speed rushers on the outside, that's a risk I'm prepared to take. That's where tight ends and running backs must come into play to assist in blocking.

                As far as trading Havenstein, I've said it before: the Rams must be VERY CAREFUL. Trading a proven commodity on the O-line is risky business, and one had better have a real good plan if they choose to do so. How many times during the course of a season do we hear "The (insert team here) is woefully thin on the line?" How many times have we defended poor quarterback play by railing against sub-par offensive line play?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KoaKoi View Post

                  Yes, we gained a 5th in the Peters trade, but we gave up a 5th to the Jags for Fowler the year before, and this year, just gave a 5th to Miami to take over Aqib Talib's contract. So I'm fairly certain the reports that say Rams do not "currently" have a 5th this year are correct.
                  Thanks for clearing up that confusion. You are absolutely correct we did give away a pick with Talib to get his salary off our cap.

                  Big and athletic are not mutually exclusive. I think the article I read was taking into account that we need to be creative in our blocking for a running game that no longer has the explosive burst of Todd Gurley. Smaller O-Linemen do get pushed around, witness Brian Allen our center. But size and athleticism are essential for the quickness of today's defenders. It isn't necessarily an either or situation. I too revel in the players we had on our O-line, but would they be as effective in today's game. Would these players be able to contain Aaron Donald simply because of size.

                  NJ, I agree the Rams must be careful about trading Havenstein, but the gist was that he is among the outsized contracts we have awarded lately that are hindering our cap space.
                  Last edited by mde8352gorams; -01-28-2020, 12:20 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post

                    THESE [Pace, Slater, Smith et al] are the type of offensive linemen I prefer... Mack a HOF tackle/guard...

                    As far as trading Havenstein, I've said it before: the Rams must be VERY CAREFUL. Trading a proven commodity on the O-line is risky business, and one had better have a real good plan if they choose to do so. How many times during the course of a season do we hear "The (insert team here) is woefully thin on the line?" How many times have we defended poor quarterback play by railing against sub-par offensive line play?

                    Tom Mack, consistent as the NFL is a league. 13 year career, all Rams. A steadfast LGuard (not tackle).

                    Totally agree about Havenstein.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post


                      As far as trading Havenstein, I've said it before: the Rams must be VERY CAREFUL. Trading a proven commodity on the O-line is risky business, and one had better have a real good plan if they choose to do so. How many times during the course of a season do we hear "The (insert team here) is woefully thin on the line?" How many times have we defended poor quarterback play by railing against sub-par offensive line play?
                      My thoughts exactly. The Rams FO has handed out many overreaching contracts placing the organization in this cap mess. IMO they got a little too cute. Cooks, Gurley, Goff, Havenstein. All playing below where they were. So, as NJ initmates…..be careful.

                      As for running the ball. What are the Rams to do? The team knows more about Gurley then we do. The only bit I have to go on is his utilization in 2019. He routinely looked like a shell of himself

                      Let's see what the Rams have up their sleeves. The NFC West is not cooperating......and there is a big hill for the Rams to climb with all of their cap issues
                      Last edited by HUbison; -01-29-2020, 08:30 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Backups for the 2020 offensive line. Tackles- Irv Pankey, Charlie Cowan Guards- Riley "the rattlesnake" Matheson, Joe Scibelli and Adam Timmerman. Center- Rich Saul

                        Ramming speed to all

                        general counsel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by general counsel View Post
                          Backups for the 2020 offensive line. Tackles- Irv Pankey, Charlie Cowan Guards- Riley "the rattlesnake" Matheson, Joe Scibelli and Adam Timmerman. Center- Rich Saul

                          Ramming speed to all

                          general counsel
                          No argument with those listed, but you've overlooked Kent Hill who I believe comes from your part of the country. Your posts about these old-timers hasn't removed the stain of our F'ups with Alex Barron and Greg Robinson. Nice memories GC.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by General Counsel View Post
                            Backups for the 2020 offensive line.
                            Tackles- Irv Pankey, Charlie Cowan
                            Guards- Riley "Rattlesnake" Matheson, Joe Scibelli and Adam Timmerman.
                            Center- Rich Saul

                            Ramming speed to all

                            General Counsel

                            Click image for larger version  Name:	Riley 'Rattlesnake' Matheson.jpg Views:	0 Size:	51.9 KB ID:	831547


                            Riley Matheson. Now that's going waaaaay back GC! I just read he played guard for both the Cleveland and the L.A. Rams, up to 1947; also worked the LB position. Was nicknamed 'Rattlesnake' because according to legend, he was bitten a few times by the rattlers ... and they died.

                            Honorable mention at C: Ken Iman. L.A. Rams from 1965-74, right before Saul.


                            Click image for larger version  Name:	Ken Iman, Rams Ca.jpg Views:	0 Size:	24.6 KB ID:	831548

                            Click image for larger version  Name:	Ken Iman, Rams Cb.jpg Views:	0 Size:	107.7 KB ID:	831549


                            Circa 1968. Ken Iman (50) is sipping plain water -- Gatorade not yet in the NFL -- flanked by Guard Joe Scibelli (71), Tom Mack (65) and receiver Bernie Casey (25). No. 22 is RB Dick Bass (Rams 1960-69).

                            We've had some truly great OL over the decades. Those mentioned already and others like HOF Bob 'Boomer' Brown (even if only two years with the Rams, '68-69); Don Chuy (63-68), Joe Carollo, etc.



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No mention of John "the turnstile" St. Clair?

                              Comment

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                              • sosa39rams
                                Off-Season Free Agency Options
                                by sosa39rams
                                Well, as we all know our OL is terrible. We need to address it this off-season, hands down. Two guys I really like and I'd love to sign either (I know myself and a lot of other fans on this forum wanted the Rams to draft BOTH of these guys at the time) are:

                                Larry Warford, RG, Lions: He's a power pig. Sometimes he can struggle in pass pro, especially against really strong and agile DT's, but Warford excels in the run game. He is powerful and gets in the way of anyone in front of him. He's good at climbing to the 2nd level and looks to finish with power and has a nasty grit to him. Warford is only 25 years old, and has played at an elite level in the past. He's also started 16, 13, 13, and currently this season 11 games in his short career. I think the Lions may let him walk as they've invested plenty in their OL and someone eventually has to walk. Warford would be an awesome option in our run game to help spring Gurley.

                                OR

                                Chance Warmack, RG, Titans: I recall when his draft year rolled around, just about all of us were on board with Warmack. He is a powerful, smart, quick, and athletic guard. He was so elite in college he was picked 10th overall in the draft, which rarely happens for a guard. His play in the NFL has not been as elite, but I think he is an immediate solid starter and a massive upgrade, and has potential to be a top guard in the league. He's also only 25 years old and has been in the league 4 years, starting 16, 16, 14, and 2 games. This year he had a problem in his hand and needed surgery which eventually put him on IR. The Titans replacement has been good and for that reason I think they'll let Warmack walk. He's played LG in college too giving him versatility.

                                I think Warford would probably command more money, as he's healthy. I think Warmack may be able to be had at a cheaper price due to injury, maybe even a 1 year prove it deal, which would be an awesome target. I'd love to nab either of these guys. Either of them would be a huge piece to our OL helping spring Gurley to elite status.
                                -12-06-2016, 06:13 PM
                              • richtree
                                Rams should NOT take a OLB in Round 1 or 2
                                by richtree
                                The Rams have a ton of money tied up in Olgetree , JL, Quinn and Long....The Rams can use late round picks to find athletes to rotate at the other OLB spot..

                                The Rams are in dire need a secondary help, Oline, and WRs.....

                                I think on a positional basis: CB, Safety, WR, and Oline are our 4 top priorities.

                                You could argue that 2 picks for some of these are needed, and OLB is a luxury that could be filled in later rounds are a vet/ufa......

                                Ideally we trade down again, but we need impact players ...especially on offense.

                                Don't listen to Rob Rang and other saying the Rams are going this route....

                                Cant see how you can agree with more defense before the secondary is filled out
                                -12-10-2013, 06:59 PM
                              • mde8352gorams
                                Bold Prediction: the Rams Will Trade Up in the Draft
                                by mde8352gorams
                                Given the Rams aggressiveness this off-season I'm becoming convinced the Rams will make a move on Friday of the draft. Much will depend on whom the Rams covet and whether they will begin to slide. My thinking is they will try to get somewhere between the mid and later portion of the 2nd round. That's based on the draft value of their picks most likely.

                                My reasoning for this is that the Rams have 8 picks, in total, 7 on day 3. The Rams don't need that many roster fillers or camp bodies which they can do via UDFA's. Rather, they will want playmakers and depth on the O-Line, DB's and LB's primarily. If they come away with 4-5 solid prospects with at least 2 who will see considerable snaps, combined with the trades & FA signings they will have had a very good off-season.

                                The interesting question becomes whom the Rams covet most. Despite this not being a very good edge rusher draft I think they'l watch for Lorenzo Carter, GA or Sam Hubbard, OSU. Arden Key, while talented is too risky, certainly not worth a trade-up.

                                The other playmaker spot I believe they're targeting is RB. I'd put Ronald Jones, USC and Rashaad Penny, SDST as targets. Some will say, why do we need a RB. My answer is we need to preserve Todd Gurley whom we'll be signing to a long-term deal after next season. We cannot consistently hand-off to TG 25x or move per game and expect him to be around for another 6 years or more. So I'm not calling for a change of pace rb, but a solid #2 who can share the workload, including pass catching which Jones is fairly good at performing. Also an elusive runner who isn't tackled at first contact. Jones, if we pick him will need to add weight. I feel we need this type of pick rather than a check the box type of rb in round 6. Plus, the better teams have 2 rb's to rotate.

                                The edge rusher is also key, but we already have several players who can fill that role and know the system. Not the case at rb. I haven't seen us re-sign Malcolm Brown. Maybe I missed that.

                                Feel free to disagree, but this is where Les Snead is a master and I just feel that was the strategy by collecting late round picks.

                                Go Rams!
                                -04-22-2018, 12:07 PM
                              • sosa39rams
                                Leftover FA Players To Target
                                by sosa39rams
                                There's still many good players out there, he's the group I think we should have interest/call/SIGN:

                                Kayvon Webster, CB, DEN: This one's easy. Webster played for years under Wade and was one of the best ST'ers in the NFL during his time there. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't crack the starting lineup as DEN has the deepest CB trio in the league. I mentioned him weeks ago, and now we're rumoured to have interest. He can come here for a decently cheap contract and start opposite of Tru, which is great.

                                Nick Mangold, C, NYJ: Adding Mangold would be awesome. Sure, he's older (33), but he is still one of the best C's in the league and if we can add him on a short deal (1-3 years) we can get a great blocker that can spring our OL from average to good. He'll help lead, he'll be a great player, and he'll teach the young guys along with Whitworth about how to approach the game.

                                Dekoda Watson, OLB, DEN: Another DEN guy, Watson can be a starter at SLB if need be, or can backup Quinn at WLB. He provides pass rushing juice and can be signed for the vet minimum, which is great.

                                Kevin Minter, ILB, ARI: Minter is someone we should call and ask what he's looking for. I guess ILB is not an immediate need right now, but adding Minter would be nice because he's played his entire NFL career in a 3-4 and we'd be stealing a decent player from a division rival.

                                Dont'a Hightower, ILB, NE: I've also mentioned adding Hightower earlier this off-season, and we absolutely need to call him and get a visit at least. He's somehow still out there, and is a top 5 ILB in the NFL. As complete as they come, Hightower would be an expensive addition but he would completely transform this front 7 and would be the anchor this defense needs. At worst see what he's looking for.

                                Who are the guys you guys like?
                                -03-11-2017, 05:06 PM
                              • ramhard
                                Things are breaking nicely so far
                                by ramhard
                                I like how the offseason is shaping up so far. The importance of signing 2 starting LBs is that this years LB crop in the draft is weak (outside of Derrick Johnson) and now they don't have to reach with the 1st pick. If someone like Channing drops way own in the 2nd they can consider, but only as the best pick.

                                OL is strong this year, stronger at the OG, weaker at the OT but with some depth, so going OT in the first is okay. Several teams are signing vet OT in FA so that might mean that Brown/Barnes are more likely to be around at 19.

                                The DB crop is also strong this year. I wouldn't be surprised if they go back to back DB picks with the 2nd and 1st 3rd.

                                My wildcard is TE. I have a feeling that one of the two top TE's will be available at 19 (Miller and Smith) and the Rams will think seriously about pulling the trigger. If there is a run on OT and Barron/Brown/Barnes (hey all B's) are gone by #19 then I bet they go TE, followed-up with OT/OG in the 2nd and then go DB.
                                -03-04-2005, 11:50 AM
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