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This Rams rookie is ‘gold’ according to expert, and it’s not Puka Nacua

Rams guard Steve Avila is ‘rookie gold’ according to NFL offensive line expert

NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Rams rookie Puka Nacua is the talk of the NFL through two weeks thanks to his record-breaking performances against the Seahawks and 49ers, but L.A.’s top pick in the 2023 draft could be just as valuable to the offense so far. He’s also doing it at a position that Rams fans have been SCREAMING at Les Snead to address with an early pick in virtually every draft and finally L.A. did it with Steve Avila this year.

So far, so good with Snead’s decision to address the interior of the offensive line with a relatively early pick.

In a breakdown of Avila’s second game on Sunday against the Niners, analyst Brian Baldinger was highly impressed with the rookie out of TCU, noting that he did “great on Javon Hargrave”, San Francisco’s biggest free agent acquisition of the year.

“(Avila)’s done everything you could possibly want,” says Baldinger on Twitter.

“You can’t pass a stunt any better than that and you get the ball to Puka on third-and-4.”

With Avila at left guard, Sean McVay can be more confident in the future of his offensive line, even though in total the team did much worse against the 49ers than they did a week earlier against Seattle. The Rams still struggle to run the ball efficiently and so far rank 27th in yards per carry even though Kyren Williams leads the NFL with three rushing touchdowns and four total touchdowns.

Avila could be L.A.’s best offensive lineman right now, but if the Rams choose to use their first pick on a tackle in 2024, Snead could be on a hot streak.