With the NFL trade deadline looming on November 2, should the Los Angeles Rams look to make a move? This Sunday will offer Ram fans a chance to see three offensive linemen who could easily fit into their scheme — and at three different value levels.
The offensive line has played very well so far this season, but next year’s free agent list includes four members of that unit. Two of those are starters.
While Austin Corbett and Brian Allen are in line for salary hikes, likely large, if they re-sign. Joseph Noteboom, if he really is the heir-apparent at left tackle, also needs to be re-upped. Of course, Andrew Whitworth would be in his 41th year on earth by the end of next season if he returns.
This Sunday, the Rams face the New York Giants and their season is ready to implode and the seating couldn't get much hotter for those running the show. GM, Head Coach, and staff could go at any moment. Adding draft picks will be invaluable to a major overhaul and an LA win this weekend would go further to cement that possibility.
The Giants have three different offensive linemen who interest me in potential deals, all at different costs to Les Snead. Which should they consider?
The Luxury Item
Tackle Andrew Thomas was a #4 overall choice whom experts called the most pro ready lineman in the 2020 draft, but he had a rough rookie season. Struggling with his balance caused him to lose push in the run game and his pass protection one-on one’s to be beaten by speed and power. Only a year ago some pundits were already screaming “bust”. He struggled in this years preseason as well.
He really settled in for the regular season and was outstanding in the first four Giant games. Thomas has not allowed a sack, only five pressures and was Pro Football Focus’ eighth ranked Tackle. He missed last week with a foot injury and will probably play vs. the Rams.
He’s got good length, athleticism and big, strong hands. He combines a strong power game with plus movement. His quick feet allow him to get horizontal and to the second level on zone runs. On pass set he’s got the smooth kick-slide and mirror skills to get out on the speed guys.
Happy birthday to Andrew Thomas, the best wide receiver on the Giants. pic.twitter.com/GMh3djYHZ6— Connor Kelley #keepgano5 (@_connorkelley_) January 22, 2021
Like all luxury items, he would take a bite out of the Rams wallet. But if Big Whit decides to hang ‘em up, there will be huge hole on the left side. Using what draft capital the Rams currently have to grab a young stud, on a relatively cheap rookie contract, would be tender well spent.
The It’ll-Fit-Later Impulse Item
Tackle Matt Peart came out of UConn at #99. He was considered by experts as a raw project needing strength and technique work.
As a rookie he rotated in for 150 snaps and had a PFF score of 69.7, scoring better against the run. His score for 84 snaps this season mirrors that number. He started last week vs. Dallas and I thought his film was solid, particularly for his first start. PFF scored him at 89.7.
He’s tall, long and has athletic +traits. His frame could easily handle 20 LBS. of muscle. THE NEW YORK POST reported that he looked thin (for the OL) at 318 LBS.
Peart had a lot of fans here at TST during the discussions on who the Rams should draft in 2020. He’s a guy who can play on both sides of the line and some experts thought he projected better at Guard, even at his height. Some combination of early to mid-round picks might swing a deal.
The Bargain Bin Item
Center Billy Price never could find a home with the Cincinnati Bengals after being drafted #21 overall. Battling nagging injuries hasn’t helped.
He came out of Ohio State as a big, aggressive lineman with the versatility and smarts to play both guard and center. Explosive with a mean streak, his good angles and stickiness would fit him into Ram zone scheme. For a gap blitzes, he got a good anchor and adjusts well to stunts. His NFL play, while average, just hasn't matched his potential.
Bengals select C Billy Price with the No. 21 pick pic.twitter.com/DGSswMAi52— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2018
Giants traded for Price after the preseason, so he doesn’t have deep ties. He should be an affordable option, if only as backup guy in the middle.
The Rams resurrected Austin Corbett’s career, why not another high draft pick underachiever?