The Los Angeles Rams will be starting a new center this season after veteran John Sullivan was released. In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Rams took undersized Brian Allen from Michigan State.
Although Allen offers minimal versatility and upside, he potentially could be the starting center when the season opens. Interestingly enough, we haven’t heard much about him or even OG Joseph Noteboom’s development but usually, not knowing an offensive lineman’s name is a good thing.
Allen seems to be penciled in as the starting center for now. Although nothing is set in stone, there is potential for some reshuffling around especially if things don’t go well. A scenario some have speculated was that OL Austin Blythe could move to the middle after starting at right guard last season. Blythe really shined in his opportunity last season, and his original position is at center.
That being said, the expectations are pretty high for Allen as the presumed starter without much NFL experience to show for it.
Allen is pretty safe in terms of making the initial 53-man roster. At the very least, he is slated to the be the backup center who could play as an undersized guard if absolutely necessary.
Similarly to last season, there is potential that Blythe could stand in the way in some regard. If Rams Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator/Co-Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer thinks there is a better five-man combo with Allen on the bench, it’s possible Allen could lose some value for the team.
But Allen shouldn’t be in a true battle with interior linemen like Jamil Demby (roster preview), Aaron Neary (roster preview) or Jeremiah Kolone (roster preview).
Chances of making roster (9/10)
So far to date, it’s been assumed Allen would be the starting center for the 2019 Rams. Perhaps training camp and the preseason don’t come to that conclusion, but at the very least we haven’t heard anything negative enough to buck Allen out of the starting job.
Best case scenario, Allen starts and outperforms his limited physical potential. Worst case scenario, Allen is the backup center for the Rams who may never be a full-time starter. This year however, he seems very safe.