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Reviewing the Jeff Fisher Era: Are The LA Rams Better Off At Offensive Line?

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32nd Ranked Offense back to back kind of gives the answer away doesn’t it?

NFL: International Series: New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams
Greg Robinson about to get worked
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sean went ahead and reviewed a wide receiver unit that induced intense pain. Now I get the greater pleasure in breaking down the offensive line.

Offensive, indeed.

NFL Draft and Free Agency

During Jeff Fisher’s long tenure as coach of the Rams (St. Louis and Los Angeles), the league has become full of offensive linemen, drafted or signed from many different places and playing well. There are great players like the bookends for the Titans, Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. Elite players like Zack Martin, David Bakhtiari, and Terron Armstead emerged from draft rounds 1-4, while solid linemen like Ryan Schraeder were found via undrafted free agency.

That being said, the Rams could have have drafted or had any of the above players if they drafted correctly and this list doesn’t even scratch the surface. Instead, the Rams wanted to draft players like Isaiah Pead, Stedman Bailey, Barrett Jones, Tre Mason, etc.

Jeff Fisher waited until the weak offensive line draft of 2015 to draft four offensive linemen in rounds 2-6. In addition, with his first pick of an offensive lineman in the first round, Fisher took Greg Robinson.

In Jeff Fisher drafts, the Rams selected:

  • Rokevious Watkins**
  • Barrett Jones **
  • Mitchell Van Dyk*
  • Greg Robinson
  • Demetrius Rhaney
  • Rob Havenstein
  • Jamon Brown
  • Cody Wichmann
  • Andrew Donnal

Of note, Watkins and Jones are no longer in the league (**) and Van Dyk is no longer on the team (*).

In addition to neglecting the position until the draft, Fisher didn’t do much on the free agency front as well, with his notable free agent lineman being Garrett Reynolds, who was cut this season.

Started from the Bottom and... We’re worse?

Rams OL

2011 2016
2011 2016
Jason Brown Tim Barnes
Harvey Dahl David Arkin
Adam Goldberg Andrew Donnal
Mark LeVoir Rob Havenstein
Bryan Mattison Demetrius Rhaney
Tony Wragge Cody Wichmann
Rodger Saffold Rodger Saffold
Jason Smith Greg Robinson
Jacob Bell Jamon Brown

Forgive me for being a pessimist but somehow I think the 2016 group is a bit worse. While Jacob Bell, Jason Brown, and Jason Smith were huge disappointments after getting big dollars, they helped their running back average more than 3.2 ypc (4.4 ypc for Steven Jackson in 2011).

Sean McVay will have to find ways to get production out of this group. Or, he may use some limited draft capital to find new players. Regardless McVay and new OL Coach Aaron Kromer will have their work cut out for them to get this group going.