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Free agent Dalton Risner seen as ‘best fit’ for Los Angeles Rams

Will the Rams keep adding to their OL depth?

DENVER BRONCOS, ARIZONA CARDINALS, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Two of the most interesting competitions at L.A. Rams training camp this fall should be at the guard positions. While rookie Steve Avila should have the inside track to start in Week 1, perhaps even pushing Brian Allen at center, the Rams can’t be so sure if Logan Bruss, Tremayne Anchrum, or Coleman Shelton will be starting alongside him. If Sean McVay lacks trust in any of them, it could be an opportunity to sign a free agent to add to the mix and ESPN has one guard in mind already.

Dalton Risner.

The Rams drafted guard Steve Avila in the second round in April, but I still see a spot for Risner to bolster the interior of their front. Risner’s run block win rate in Denver last season (74.4%) ranked 10th among all guards. While he can be pressed in pass protection, he has the play strength to drop and anchor against power rushers.

This addition would be about adding depth and competition for a Los Angeles team that needs to upgrade along the interior line this season. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Rams quarterbacks were sacked on 9.7% of their pass plays last season, the second-highest mark in the league, behind Chicago’s 11.5%.

Risner, a second round pick out of Kansas State in 2019, has yet to find a home as a free agent after four season and 62 starts with the Denver Broncos. That is not a very strong endorsement by the league, to let Risner wait on the market all the way into June despite being a full-time starter for that long.

But the Rams have nowhere to go but up on their offensive line and went through so many options amid injuries and inconsistent play at every position other than right tackle in 2022.

Risner is clearly not viewed as a great option by the NFL, otherwise he wouldn’t be available, but perhaps he could rebuild his reputation on a one-year deal at a low price. The Rams may have been linked to Risner as early as the first wave of free agency in March, now he’s still available in June.

ESPN also named the Carolina Panthers as the best landing spot for former Rams edge rusher Leonard Floyd, also still available.