The Los Angeles Rams are hoping that second round pick Steve Avila is a plug-and-play starter on the interior of the offensive line from day one and that’s most likely what they’re getting with TCU’s standout left guard. The 36th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Avila is from Arlington, Texas and grew up close to the home of the Dallas Cowboys, but a successful NFL career from the jump will surely make him a lifelong Rams fan.
Still, Avila cited the Cowboys as his “best” possible destination before the draft just because he had never gone far from home before, although he admits that he wasn’t much of a football fan growing up.
“I didn’t really watch football [growing up] as funny as it sounds, but being in Dallas, everybody’s a Cowboys fan. My parents are so it was hard to not be around the Cowboys growing up. There is a respect I do have for them and honestly any organization. But it would be honestly, the best to stay home. I’ve been home my whole career, so we’ll see if we can keep that streak going,” Avila explained.
The Cowboys posted a draft video this week that many thought implied that Dallas was choosing between Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith (who they did select) and Avila; however, it was later reported that actually the offensive lineman who the Cowboys were considering was Matthew Bergeron of Syracuse. Bergeron ended up going 38th overall to the Falcons, two picks after L.A. chose Avila.
The Rams and Cowboys will play in Arlington this season, a great opportunity for Avila to invite his whole family to come watch him in a Rams uniform.
Of course, nobody would hold it against Avila for favoring his hometown team before the draft, especially knowing that Dallas needed interior offensive line help. But he will get a much better opportunity to start right away because he was picked by L.A. and should immediately compete to replace David Edwards at left guard, if not to replace Brian Allen at center in the future. Avila played at every OL position in college except left tackle and didn’t allow a single sack in 2022.
Avila may not have watched a lot of Cowboys games as a kid, but he has been playing football since before high school and it was there at South Grand Prairie High that he was on the football team with former top-three pick Jeffrey Okudah.
And now he’s a member of the Rams, their highest-drafted prospect since Jared Goff in 2016. He’ll get the chance to watch plenty of NFL games this season.