The Los Angeles Rams offensive line has been a major talking point this season. After a disastrous 2022 that was filled with injuries, there was a major focus to figure out the offensive line. The Rams drafted Steve Avila with the 36th overall pick and opted to start Alaric Jackson at left tackle, moving Joe Noteboom to right guard.
It’s been a rocky experience for the Rams offensive line to say the least through four games. While there have been some good moments, others have been rough. The game against the Cincinnati Bengals was a primary example. Last week, the Rams had their first different starting five as Jackson dealt with a hamstring injury. This moved Kevin Dotson into the lineup and Noteboom to left tackle.
Pro Football Focus ranked every team’s offensive line heading into Week 5. The Rams came in at number 24. Here’s what Zoltán Buday had to say about the Rams offensive line.
“The Rams had to reshuffle their offensive line due to injuries, which resulted in Joseph Noteboom moving to left tackle and guard Kevin Dotson making his Rams debut against the Colts...Dotson showcased his strengths in his first game with the Rams, with his 86.0 run-blocking grade ranking third among all guards in Week 4...Havenstein was excellent in pass protection against the Colts. He did not allow a single pressure in a game for the first time this season.”
Through four weeks, rookie Steve Avila has been the team’s best pass-blocking offensive lineman. Avila has a 61.4 pass-blocking grade. However, Rob Havenstein has allowed the last amount of pressures with six and has yet to give up a sack.
In the run game, Kevin Dotson dominated in Week 4 with an 89.3 run-blocking grade. Coleman Shelton has also been effective as a run-blocker.
Kevin Dotson's presence was immediately felt in the Rams run game. Finished the week as the 3rd-highest graded guard in run-blocking via PFF. pic.twitter.com/0erUQiFQT3— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) October 4, 2023
It’s going to be interesting what the Rams do with Dotson. Alaric Jackson only has a pass-block grade of 45.5 on the season and has allowed 10 pressures. Still, he hasn’t allowed a sack and Noteboom had some rough moments at left tackle. Noteboom also hasn’t looked great at guard.
Noteboom was up-and-down filling in at LT for the Rams. Feel PFF was harsh on him, but there were certainly some moments.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) October 4, 2023
Loses his balance here and falls. Pressure comes from the left side. pic.twitter.com/03xzN6dteK
Is the best option for the Rams to utilize Dotson at right guard and keep use Noteboom as depth or move him to left tackle? Or did the Rams simply trade for Dotson to be a depth piece in the case that the Rams had to shuffle the offensive line like they did last week? It will be something to monitor going forward and it’s not necessarily a bad spot for the Rams to be in.
The 24th ranked offensive line feels about right in PFF’s rankings. There are some building blocks for the Rams, especially with Avila, but still a lot of room for improvement.