If one thing is abundantly clear about the Los Angeles Rams moving forward, it’s that they need to find their franchise left tackle and someone that they can rely on long-term. Joe Noteboom hasn’t provided any sort of stability at the position and Alaric Jackson has shown that he’s more of a sixth-man on an offensive line.
With a weak free agent class at the left tackle position, the best place for the Rams to address this need will be during the 2024 NFL Draft. ESPN’s Jordan Reid released his most recent mock draft and with the 18th overall pick, he had the Rams selecting Houston offensive tackle, Patrick Paul.
Here’s what Reid had to say,
“Paul would bring some stability to an inconsistent Rams offensive line, a unit that ranks 27th in pass block win rate (46.9%) this season. He is an easy mover in pass protection who can match and mirror rushers at 6-foot-7, 315 pounds. And Paul has surrendered just two pressures and one sack this season on 250 pass-blocking attempts. He just needs to get stronger. If you’re looking for a player comparison for Paul, he reminds me a lot of D.J. Humphries when he was a Florida prospect back in 2015.”
#Houston OT Patrick Paul (6-7, 308)— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) October 13, 2023
Lots of flashes lastnight vs. West Virginia. Physicality in the run game, but his athleticism/awareness in pass protection is his best trait. pic.twitter.com/2n7iEYpq7g
With the Rams surprisingly sitting at 3-4, they are likely playing themselves out of range for Joe Alt from Notre Dame or Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu. Reid had both players going inside the top-6 and Alabama’s JC Latham going at ninth overall to the Green Bay Packers. Amarius Mims from Georgia landed at 14 to the New York Jets.
So far this season, Paul is the top-rated pass-blocking offensive tackle according to Pro Football Focus and has only given up one pressure in seven games. The Big-12 isn’t known for its defense, but Paul has gone up against some good talent when the Cougars played Texas.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Rams do in the 2024 NFL Draft. It will be the first time that Sean McVay has picked in the first round. Left tackle will certainly be at the top of the needs list along with quarterback. Not many would be too disappointed if the Rams ended up with Paul next April.