ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 12: Rokevious Watkins #73 of the St.Louis Rams takes a break during rookie mini camp at the ContinuityX Training Center on May 12, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Rams settled their starting offensive line as of Friday morning, despite injuries throughout the preseason that kept that starting five from playing together. Those five big bodies in front of Sam Bradford will take on another look when practice resumes on Tuesday following the release of Quinn Ojinnaka.
So who takes over Ojinnaka's spot as the starting left guard? And how do the two newly acquired linemen, OG Shelley Smith and OT Ty Nsekhe, fit into the picture?
The starting guard job appears to be between Robert Turner and Rokevious Watkins. Turner filled in with the starters at center while Scott Wells was out of action through the first two preseason games. It was preseason, so judge the results accordingly, but Turner did a good job working in place of Wells. He handled a stout Chiefs defensive front in the second week of the preseason and has some chemistry with the other linemen.
Watkins is a very talented rookie, and had a solid preseason himself with the second and third team offensive line. Jeff Fisher praised Watkins throughout the preseason and training camp. It would not surprise me to see Watkins named the starter. Fisher clearly has no issues with entrusting those roles to his rookies.
For now, I'll guess that Turner gets the nod.
Shelley Smith was a sixth-round pick by the Texans in 2010. He spent all last season on IR with an ankle injury. He is listed at 299 pounds, and Houston must have liked his athleticism for their zone blocking scheme.
Nsekhe was an August addition for the Indianapolis Colts. He stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 328 pounds, and spent the last three years playing in the Arena League. Both look to be depth players.