I'll be honest, at first, I wasn't sold about Havenstein in the 2nd round. While he seemed like a good enough tackle prospect, popular opinion was that he was a slight reach - likely available in the third round. In fact, the Rams almost traded down again, but that's all in the past and Havenstein is a likely favorite to win the right tackle job.
So can he do it? Let's find out.
A word I've heard thrown around quite a bit is 'oafish' when it comes to describing Havenstein's pass blocking ability. 'Functional' athleticism. 'Oafish' footwork. I'll let you be the judge:
Havenstein does a great job on this play out of the gate. He's the fastest lineman off the snap and he's almost immediately ready to stop the lineman. His footwork coming out of his stance is impressively fast and light for someone his size. If it wasn't for the left tackle (!) losing his man, Havenstein would have been able to hold that block for much longer.
In fact, take a look at this still image from that play. Who would you rather have?
Here's Havenstein against Randy Gregory. He's fast out of his stance and he's able to handle Gregory's speed and handwork:
Havenstein is able to hold Gregory on his own, but one of his flaws is pretty evident here. Since Havenstein is so tall, it's not as easy for him to stay low and not be stood up. Gregory is able to do that on his initial push (Havenstein also could have kept him farther away with his reach). This is something he'll need to correct moving forward, but it's a decent effort against one of the best pass rushers in CFB. He may be a right tackle in a power run scheme, but people don't give him credit as a pass protector.
Havenstein is an imposing force in the run game due to his size. Here he is against Nebraska doing a good job of opening up a hole:
Again, the same issue is present here. Havenstein needs to do a better job of not getting pushed upright. However, he pushes the end wide, opening up a huge hole here. You can fault the technique but not the execution.
Here is Havenstein doing an excellent job of sealing the opposite edge:
That's one of the things I like most about Havenstein. He executes. While it may not be the smoothest, most powerful blocking you've seen, he just gets it done. He had weight issues his junior year (he lots nearly 60 pounds and you can tell in his senior tape) so I think he still has room to add strength and get leaner with an NFL weight program and that should clear up some of his issues. But man, he just loves to throw down.
I don't think there is any reason to assume Rob Havenstein won't be the starting right tackle on day one for the Rams. He's a much better pass protector than people give him credit for and he should only stand to improve as time goes on. He needs to work on getting better leverage on defenders and he needs to add upper body strength so that he isn't pushed back so easily on the initial contact.
The bottom line is that Havenstein may need to work on some things, but if you tell him to block someone, he's going to do it one way or the other