The Los Angeles Rams selected TCU Horned Frogs OT Joseph Noteboom with the 89th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. In our immediate poll, he scored a overwhelming B which largely represents that most people had no idea who Noteboom was. Case and point:
Notebook was a four-time Academic All-Big 12 selection. "He's a very impressive person. We’re excited about Joe," McVay said. https://t.co/eBwX4ZPHP9— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) April 28, 2018
Siri jokes aside, the Rams selected a potential replacement for starting LT Andrew Whitworth. I’ll break it down below.
Noteboom was TCU’s starting left tackle. It shouldn’t surprise you that he projects to that same position in the NFL. The first thing you’ll notice about watching him is that he projects very much into the ‘finesse’ mold. His footwork isn’t extremely polished, but he’s pretty quick out of his stance and is capable of blocking against speed:
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There’s one glaring problem with the play above. Remember the ‘finesse’ tag? Noteboom is able to square up with his assignment without an issue, but then he just...lingers. The two biggest knocks about Noteboom are his inconsistency and lack of aggressiveness.
When you’re playing on an island at left tackle, it’s not a deal breaker. To throw out draft superlatives, he’s a technician. The Rams will need to work with him on being more aggressive with his hands so that he doesn’t get stuck in a situation where his only option is to lunge.
The best word I’d use to describe Noteboom’s presence in the run game is willing. He has no issues getting to the second level and has no issue when pulling. Take a look at the good job he does of sealing the running lane:
(GIF stripped out on Apple News
Overall, it’s a decent job. He’s able to rotate on the lineman and continues to drive block him until the back is already through the hole. The only issue is that Noteboom doesn’t seem to have the strength to drive NFL sized defenders. If called into duty early, I would question how long he’d be able to sustain blocks and how far he’d be able to drive back lineman.
I think Noteboom is in an ideal spot with the Rams. He’s someone who displays the tools to be a NFL left tackle. Sitting behind Andrew Whitworth - the master technician - I can only assume that the Rams will try and have some of that knowledge transfer to the rookie.
For Noteboom to successfully transition to a starter, he’ll need to work on gaining strength and size for the NFL. That’ll hopefully translate to less lapses in technique as he won’t be bullied around when faced with a power rush.
Increasing his strength, combined with learning to be a more aggressive blocker could lead to an easy transition for Noteboom in a year or two (depending on how father time feels about Whitworth).
Overall, I think it’s a good pick by a team whose strategy is clearly to win now to build depth for the difficult decisions beyond.