Many of the offensive woes on display in this forgettable Los Angeles Rams season are thanks to the offensive line. Ever since Andrew Whitworth decided to hang up his cleats and ride into the sunset after winning a ring, the O-line has been a disaster. Call it the Whitworth hex if you must. Or rather what it should’ve been called, that being front office ineptitude.
LA didn’t find proper reinforcements on the line during the offseason and they’re paying for it severely. The Rams have given up 38 sacks and counting so far this year. Due to injuries across the unit, Los Angeles has started a different lineup in every game besides the season opener.
That obviously isn’t sustainable and offensive success has been hard to come by because of the instability. Luckily for the Rams, reinforcements are on the way! Here’s a look at some upcoming free agent offensive linemen LA should realistically target in the new league year.
Davis has been a mainstay on the Titan’s O-line since being drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft. Among his top duties in Tennessee is clearing running lanes for King Henry whom he blocked for en route to his 2,000 yard campaign.
Nate Davis made such a big block down field here. Shouldn’t go unnoticed. pic.twitter.com/tW0GKfXidQ— Sam Phalen (@Sam_Phalen) November 18, 2022
Nate Davis needs an extension pic.twitter.com/VD5H2iQD78— James Foster (@NoFlagsFilm) November 4, 2022
Not only did Davis help Derrick Henry become just the eighth player in league history to run for 2K in a season, he also helped the All-Pro running back torch the Patriots and Ravens defenses in the Titans’ surprise AFC Championship run during the 2019 postseason.
The Charlotte product is a sturdy presence being that he has played in 50 of 51 possible games in his career. Nate Davis would be a solid yet unspectacular option for the Rams who can handle blocking no matter who handles the running back touches next season.
This is where things might get pricy for the Rams. Not that Jenkins isn’t worth it. He totally is but LA would have to fork over a lot of money and fend off competition with far deeper pockets. It would be worth every penny though.
Similar to Davis, EJ came out of the 2019 draft and was a star right away after being named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team. The following season, Jenkins made the Pro Bowl. There are injury risks with Elgton as he missed the Packers’ last eight games including the playoffs after tearing his ACL in 2021.
Still, it was clear that Green Bay desperately missed Jenkins after Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times in a Divisional Round loss to the 49ers. Despite those concerns, the fourth-year lineman is as versatile as they get as he has experience playing multiple positions on the line. Back in his Pro Bowl campaign, due to injuries Elgton played 12 games at left guard, three at center and one at right tackle.
While the versatility is a nice skill to have, how long has it been since an LA offensive lineman did this?
Forgot to post this in the first half. Elgton Jenkins got called for a hold, but damn pic.twitter.com/cDuNHEuUIq— @ (@FTBeard7) November 28, 2022
That was no hold. Pour some syrup on Javon Hargrove there and that kids is what you call a pancake.
Yet another member of the 2019 draft class, McGary has started 29 games at right tackle since entering the NFL. Kaleb started all 16 games in his rookie season and despite his fifth year option being declined by Atlanta, he has been one of the most consistent players on the Falcons in 2022.
Top-graded Falcons so far this season:— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Falcons) November 23, 2022
1. Chris Lindstrom - 90.8
2. Kaleb McGary - 79.4
3. Drake London - 76.8 pic.twitter.com/URWkCpNC4G
Again, another solid lineman for LA to set their sights on. McGary has been one of the reasons the Falcons have one of the top running games in the sport no matter who carries the ball.
Taylor is likely the most durable out of this bunch as he hasn’t missed a game in his four-year career. He’s a solid run and pass blocker that has helped Trevor Lawrence move on from his Urban warfare disaster of a rookie season. Jawaan has developed into a strong player for the Jaguars and one who can make himself a decent amount of green once he hits the open market.
Jawaan Taylor’s development continues to be maybe the most underrated Jag story of the season https://t.co/IiYgBPdNFG— \/ari (@157Gale) November 28, 2022
It’s possible that Jacksonville might decide to re-sign him but if they don’t, LA should pounce on the 25 year old before it’s too late.
Seumalo has plenty of postseason experience as he started for the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles team that won Super Bowl LII. He knows what all it takes to get a ring. That championship pedigree is the good news.
The bad news is that he has only made it through one entire season playing every game. Isaac’s last two years have been brutal as he’s played a total of 12 games due to knee and Lisfranc injuries. While he’s played in all of Philly’s 11 games during their 10-1 start, he does have a troubling injury history. That should concern LA as they’ve already been derailed by the injury in their unsuccessful repeat bid. His production since returning from the Lisfranc injury has been stellar and might cause the Rams to look the other way.
The #Eagles starting OL -- sacks allowed this season— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) November 22, 2022
Jordan Mailata -- 4
Landon Dickerson -- 0
Jason Kelce -- 0
Isaac Seumalo -- 1
Lane Johnson -- 0 #FlyEaglesFly
Last Sunday night, the Eagles rushed for a total of 363 yards, grating the Packers defense to swiss cheese. Jalen Hurts has played like an MVP while Miles Sanders is having the best start to a season in his career. Both have combined for nearly 1,500 yards on the ground and they each have Seumalo to thank. Hope they buy him a nice flatscreen and bottle of wine for Christmas. The big man deserves it.
Let's end with the big one. Kelce movement confuses the hell out of 58 who thinks it's a run play as the Eagles love to get Kelce moving like this. Isaac Seumalo absolutely dominates the DTs and creates a huge opening for Hurts. Fantastic gameplanning and execution in a big spot. pic.twitter.com/eyOlkTLhBv— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) November 22, 2022
Man…we’ve talked a lot about the defensive free agents the #Eagles need to sign this offseason but Miles Sanders and Isaac Seumalo have been incredible this year too— Louie DiBiase (@DiBiaseLOE) November 28, 2022
Howie is going to be busy https://t.co/cPKKkdcaNe