The Rams need to figure out who will replace the age-less Andrew Whitworth when his inevitable retirement arrives so it wasn’t all that surprising to see them land one of the more notable undrafted offensive tackles following the draft.
Jackson was once viewed as a potential day two pick prior to this senior season at Iowa. Poor testing didn’t help his case and an underwhelming week at the Senior Bowl also did him no favors. Nonetheless, Iowa has a long track record of pumping out solid trench players and Jackson could surprise with a decent floor.
In a recent article by Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski, he noted one UDFA for each NFL team that has the best chance of making their team’s initial 53-man roster and Jackson was that player for the Rams.
“Andrew Whitworth is a marvel,” says Sobleski. “The 39-year-old left tackle is about to enter his 16th season as professional football’s oldest position player (excluding quarterbacks and specialists). Eventually, the Los Angeles Rams will need to find a replacement. Maybe they already have.”
“The franchise selected Joseph Noteboom in the third round of the 2018 draft. The addition of undrafted left tackle Alaric Jackson creates some intrigue. Jackson started 42 games and primarily kept Tristan Wirfs on the right side during his collegiate career. When testing, Jackson didn’t look like a good athlete. Yet he provided a consistent presence at left tackle and excelled in the Hawkeyes’ zone-heavy scheme—which is important considering the Rams’ blocking preference.”
“Noteboom and Jackson can compete, with the winner eventually taking over for Whitworth while the other moves to guard.”
While neither Noteboom nor Jackson probably fill fans with content when it comes to such an important position, being able to land a starter out of either player means better cap flexibility in the short-term, something that the Rams really need as they progress through this win-now window following the acquisition of Matthew Stafford.
Now for today’s links.
Breaking down the Rams’ week one opponent (TheRams.com)
Top-six games on the Rams’ schedule (TheRams.com)
Matthew Stafford is excited to open 2021 season with familiar opponent (The Rams Wire)
ESPN experts predict the Rams to make the Super Bowl (Ramblin’ Fan)
Seven reasons why the Browns are a Super Bowl contender (ESPN)
The Chiefs acquired CB Mike Hughes from the Vikings for a sixth-round pick (ESPN)
Tom Brady could break the career passing yards record in New England (Pro Football Talk)
Power-ranking every NFL defense (Bleacher Report)
Rookie minicamps for 29 teams start today (NFL.com)
Nine teams with the most-favorable schedule in 2021 (NFL.com)