Los Angeles Rams OL Cody Wichmann is a sixth-round success story. Coming from a small town in California and working his way up to a All-Mountain West Second Team player at Fresno St., the third-year pro has been “Steady Eddie,” being ready to start in a pinch. Evident by his 18 combined starts in two years, Wichmann ideally is the first interior OL off the bench but has been stretched to start due to injuries shuffling around.
Graded as a “below average” guard by PFF in 2016, Wichmann is not going to wow you or suddenly ascend as a perennial starter, but he serves as an important depth piece for this Rams team who has yet to show significant promise across the offensive front in many years.
The Rams top five OL seems set with LT Andrew Whitworth, LG Rodger Saffold, C John Sullivan, RG Rob Havenstein and RT Jamon Brown (whether they remain lined up like this or not is another question). In addition to these five, the Rams are very high on undrafted free agent rookie Jake Eldrenkamp (roster preview), put in a waiver claim on Austin Blythe (roster preview), and have leaned on the more versatile G-T man in Andrew Donnal (roster preview) who started at guard ahead of him in the last few games of 2016.
Wichmann is likely facing a somewhat uphill battle, but he’s overcome the odds before so let’s see how things shake out in camp.
Wichmann won’t have any expectations of being the starter in 2017. Barring injury or something unseen, Wichmann isn’t expected to play but be a solid backup lineman when necessary.
While his main competitor, Brown, dealt with injury and the confines of former Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s doghouse, it seems that the new staff views Brown clearly ahead of Wichmann as he is slated to be a starter.
Chances of Making Final Roster (5/10)
Wichmann is the ultimate consistent player. He’s not going to wow you or overpower anyone but he’ll be in good position and not get beat on silly mistakes. While injuries played a huge role for Wichmann starting 18 games over his first two seasons, it’s probably best if he can carve a niche as a true backup in EMERGENCY rather than necessity.
He’s a tough technician and always plays the right way so I hope he can stick but the Rams are not likely to carry 10 offensive linemen like they did in 2015 and 2016.