Los Angeles Rams 90-Man Roster Preview: Guard Brandon Hitner

by Blaine Grisak
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The Los Angeles Rams will have a crowded offensive line room during training camp. With the starting five mostly set and Bobby Evans and David Edwards locks for the roster that leaves one, maybe two, spots for the taking. One of the players that will be competing for one of those spots is an undrafted rookie free agent, Brandon Hitner, from Villanova. He’s next in our roster preview series.

College Career

After being red-shirted his freshman year and limited action as a redshirt-freshman, Hitner saw action in seven games as a junior. A leader on the offensive line, he showed improvement every year with the Wildcats and started all 11 games at tackle his senior year.

While his career at Villanova started slow, he ultimately became a vital member of the offensive line as a full-time starter over his final two seasons. At Villanova’s Pro Day his vertical jump and broad jump measurements would have ranked top-five marks for offensive linemen at the NFL Combine. Then his three-cone drill time would’ve been top-10.

He is a versatile lineman that can play the tackle and guard positions, which also makes him more appealing in the NFL. While he’s undersized, his pro day numbers were undoubtedly worth taking a chance on. He’ll at the very least compete for a roster spot.

Roster Battle

Hitner will be competing with a plethora of undrafted players for 1-2 roster spots.  Hitner’s versatility certainly makes him valuable, but Kaskey is probably the better tackle while Chandler Brewer and Jeremiah Kolone are the better guards. Hitner is going to have to catch eyes if he wants a spot not only on the roster but the practice squad.

Three Plays on Tape

The WIldcats of the FCS are playing Temple of the American Conference at Lincoln Financial Field. With Hitner going from the FCS to the NFL, there will be questions. While a sack doesnt happen here, Hitner getting beat does. This happens several times throughout the game. Hitner seemed to be a step slow which should raise eyebrows.
On this play, Hitner does an excellent job of giving his quarterback ample time to step into the pocket for a touchdown. The offensive tackle mirrors his defender and is in clear control.
This final play might be my favorite. The Wildcats are unbalanced on the offensive line with the tight end serving as the tackle and Hitner moved inside. It seems like everybody on the Richmond defense gets through, except for Hitner’s man. He’s a solid five yards in front of everybody else before the quarterback taking off. Not only does this play highlight Hitner’s blocking ability, but also his ability to move inside if needed.

Biggest Question

How will Hitner translate his pro day numbers to the field?

Hitner dominated his pro day, which is what caught a lot of NFL teams’ eyes. For him to make a roster or practice squad, that is going to have to translate to the field.

2019 Outlook and Role

For a player that is on the bottom of the totem pole and therefore the roster, there isn’t a lot of outlook here. Hitner will compete in training camp and attempt to catch some eyes to get a spot on his most likely scenario – the practice squad.

Chances of Making Final Roster

There are uphill battles, and then there’s what Hitner is facing. Hitner is coming from the FCS, and he may not even be the best FCS offensive lineman on the Los Angeles Rams roster. You never say never, but even if he does have a good camp, Hitner seems like much more of a practice squad candidate.

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