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Short and long-term outlook on the Rams offensive line

NFL: DEC 06 Rams at Cardinals Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The LA Rams have made one significant change at offensive line this year so far, replacing offensive line coach Aaron Kromer with Kevin Carberry out of Stanford. That move should have some unpredictable outcome on the success of the line, but it is easier to break down the tangibles that come with the players who are under contract or who could be after this upcoming draft.

Short-Term Outlook

The plan for 2021 is to have Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein starting at tackle, David Edwards most likely starting at left guard, and Austin Corbett probably starting again at right tackle. The position that remains open is center, though there is a chance that Corbett’s history at center could push him back inside eventually.

Other candidates to start at center would include Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, and Tremayne Anchrum, though he would be much more of a project given that he hasn’t played the position before.

It is too early for even Sean McVay to say who will be starting at center next season because we don’t know yet what prospects will still be available when the Rams are on the board and it is possible that they will draft a player who is ready to step in by Week 1. That would make the short-term outlook for the starters and the bench much more clear.

Depth includes the three players already listed — Allen, Shelton, Anchrum — as well as Jamil Demby, Bobby Evans, Joseph Noteboom, and Chandler Brewer. Los Angeles will likely pick up several more bodies in the draft/undrafted free agency next month. Then scouring the market for veterans who could play center, guard, or provide depth will begin again.

Long-Term Outlook

The obvious player who few expect to last more than another year is Whitworth. He will turn 40 in December and had a significant knee injury in 2020.

Corbett, Noteboom, Demby, Shelton, and Allen are unrestricted free agents in 2022, while Brewer is a restricted free agent.

Havenstein, Evans, and Edwards will see their contracts expire in 2023. Anchrum is signed through 2023 thanks to being the Rams’ most recent offensive line draft pick. Of course, anyone who they draft this year will be signed through 2024.

What’s the priority?

So what’s more important to the Rams: an immediate answer at center or a long-term answer for either of the tackle positions in order to protect Matthew Stafford for many more years beyond Whitworth’s retirement?

What would you prioritize in free agency after the draft?

Poll

How confident are you in the short-term outlook for the Rams o-line?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    4 (the most)
    (122 votes)
  • 51%
    3
    (427 votes)
  • 28%
    2
    (232 votes)
  • 5%
    1
    (43 votes)
824 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How confident are you in the long-term outlook for the Rams o-line?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    4 (the most)
    (65 votes)
  • 33%
    3
    (226 votes)
  • 42%
    2
    (287 votes)
  • 13%
    1
    (91 votes)
669 votes total Vote Now