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2019 Los Angeles Rams roster preview: C Vitas Hrynkiewicz ready to pronounce himself

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Could the former Penguin crack the 53-man as a rookie undrafted free agent?

Youngstown State Penguins C Vitas Hrynkiewicz prepares a snap during practice, Aug. 3, 2018.
Youngstown State Penguins C Vitas Hrynkiewicz prepares a snap during practice, Aug. 3, 2018.
Dustin Livesay, The Vindicator

It just rolls off the tongue.

Vitas Hrynkiewicz.

You pronounce it the way it looks.

A rookie undrafted free agent (UDFA) out of Youngstown State, Hrynkiewicz has a puncher’s chance at making the roster this year if only because the Los Angeles Rams are both (a) thin along their interior line and (b) incredibly unproven. The eight interior linemen on the 90-man roster have 19 career starts: 18 from RG Austin Blythe and one from OL Aaron Neary.

So unlike nearly every other position group, there’s a window here for a UDFA to show out in training camp and throughout the preseason and make a legitimate case to stick around for the regular season.

Roster Battle

While LG Joseph Noteboom and C Brian Allen will head into camp as the new starters on the line replacing LG Rodger Saffold III and C John Sullivan, the depth behind them is in for a fight.

At center, Hrynkiewicz will have to contend with Jeremiah Kolone and potentially Neary as well for a backup spot. While Neary has been around since 2017 and Kolone since last year, neither made the initial 53-man roster last season. The Rams kept eight offensive linemen last year, so there’s at least some legitimacy for Hrynkiewicz’s candidacy if he can get the best of the battle on the inside.

Expectations

Very low. As a rookie UDFA out of the Football Championship Subdivision, Hrynkiewicz isn’t going into camp with a ton to live up to.

Chances of making the final roster (2/10)

The “problem” here is that the practice squad is built for guys like Hrynkiewicz. With two drafted rookies in the offensive line room and other more seasoned guys like Neary, Kolone and Jamil Demby, Hrynkiewicz is really going to have to ball out to leapfrog his way onto the roster.

I don’t think that’s likely, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he picks up one of the ten spots on the practice squad to start his NFL career.