Snead’s Snacks: Who Could the Rams Draft on the Interior Offensive Line?

by Blaine Grisak
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The Los Angeles Rams enter a crucial year when it comes to the NFL draft. With limited cap space (and limited draft capital for that matter), it’s going to be more important than ever to build depth through the draft and than means hitting on the majority of their picks.

Every year I do a series called “Snead’s Snacks”.  In other words, we’re going to find and look at common themes and traits of previous Les Snead draft picks and see which players in the upcoming NFL Draft fit the mold for the Rams. The focus for today’s edition of “Snead’s Snacks” will be on one of the Rams’ biggest positions of need, the cornerback position. Last season we correctly predicted Ernest Jones and Robert Rochell as fits for the Rams.

After losing Austin Corbett in free agency, the Rams need a right guard and potentially some center depth. With the injury history of Brian Allen, someone who has the ability to fill in and potentially start would be key as well.  Coleman Shelton and Allen each showed potential last year. However, behind them, the Rams’ depth remains bleak.

*Editor’s Note: Numbers taken from RAS and Mockdraftable

Notable Past Rams Drafted Players

Bobby Evans, G, Oklahoma – 3rd Round

Measurables
Height: 6’4 (43rd percentile)
Weight: 312-lbs (53rd percentile)
Arm Length: 34.75 (83rd percentile)
Shuttle: 4.72 sec
Broad Jump: 117 inches
3-cone: 8
40-yard dash: 5.2 sec
Vertical: 27.5 inches

Size Grade: Good
Speed Grade: Good
Agility Grade: Okay
Explosion Grade: Good
RAS: 7.34 – Good

Traits: 

  • 40-game starter
  • Easy Mover
  • Experience at multiple positions
  • Functional athleticism

David Edwards, G, Wisconsin – 5th Round

Measurables
Height: 6’6 (86th percentile)
Weight: 308 (38th percentile)
Arm Length: 33.375 inches (41st percentile)
Shuttle: 4.77 (42nd percentile)
Broad Jump: 99 inches (31st percentile)
3-cone: 7.69 sec (66th percentile)
40-yard dash: 5.28 sec (89th percentile)
Vertical: 25.5 inches (23rd percentile)

Size Grade: Good
Speed Grade: Good
Agility Grade: Good
Explosion Grade: Poor
RAS: 6.09 – Good

Traits: 

  • Easy quickness
  • Experienced
  • Functional athleticism
  • Project with competitive toughness

Brian Allen, C, Michigan St. – 4th Round

Measurables
Height: 6’1 (4th percentile)
Weight: 298-lbs (24th percentile)
Arm Length: 32.375 (38th percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.71 (35th percentile)
Broad Jump: 99 inches (33rd percentile)
40-yard dash: 5.34 sec (29th percentile)
3-cone: 7.81 sec (44th percentile)
Vertical: 26.5 inches (33rd percentile)

Size Grade: Poor
Speed Grade: Poor
Agility Grade: Okay
Explosive Grade: Okay
RAS: 4.08 – Poor

Traits:

  • Versatile
  • Doesn’t have elite athleticism
  • Competitor

Overview of Pick

Allen was a physical player but lacked athleticism with playing experience at both guard and center. While seen as more of a late-round pick or priority free-agent, the Rams took him in the fourth round in hopes of him developing into the Center of the Future. He filled that gap last season.

Jamil Demby, G, Maine – 6th Round

Measurables
Height: 6’4 (61st percentile)
Weight: 319-lbs (69th percentile)
Arm Length: 33.75 inches (68th percentile)
20-yard shuffle: 4.95 sec (19th percentile)
Broad Jump: 98 inches (34th percentile)
40-yard dash: 5.58 sec (6th percentile)
3-cone: 7.86 sec (48th percentile)
Vertical: 23.5 inches (8th percentile)

Size Grade: Good
Speed Grade: Poor
Agility Grade: Very Poor
Explosive Grade: Poor
RAS: 2.25 – Poor

Traits:

  • Quick feet
  • Versatile

Overview of Pick

Re-build the offensive line take two…After the Rams revamped the offensive line in 2015, they went for it again to get some depth in 2018. Demby is a well-built, strong tackle, but projected best as a guard at the NFL level. He was a solid run-blocker with good vision to get to the second level. With that said, he had some inconsistencies within his game, starting with his hands and level of competition.

Notable Past Rams Undrafted/Signed Players

Drake Jackson, Kentucky – 2021 UDFA

Measurables:
Height: 6’1 (5th percentile)
Weight: 293-lbs (11th percentile)
Arm Length: 31.125 (39th percentile)
20-yard shuttle: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
40-yard dash: N/A
3-cone: N/A
Vertical: 31.5 (83rd percentile)

Size Grade: Very Poor
Speed Grade: N/A
Agility Grade: N/A
Explosive Grade: N/A
RAS: N/A

Traits:

  • 3-year starter
  • Quick Feet
  • Does well in zone-blocking schemes

Austin Corbett, Nevada – 2019 Trade

Measurables:
Height: 6’4 (60th percentile)
Weight: 306-lbs (25th percentile)
Arm Length: 33.125 inches (42nd percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.5 sec (92nd percentile)
Broad Jump: 106 inches (77th percentile)
40-yard dash: 5.15 sec (81st percentile)
3-cone: 7.87 sec (43rd percentile)
Vertical: 28 inches (55th percentile)

Size Grade: Okay
Speed Grade: Great
Agility Grade: Good
Explosive Grade: Good
RAS: 8.39 – Great

Traits:

  • 4-year starter
  • Tackle that transitioned to guard
  • Below average strength
  • Quick Feet

Coleman Shelton, Washington – 2019 Signing

Measurables:
Height: 6’3 (37th percentile)
Weight: 292-lbs (4th percentile)
Arm Length: 31.5 inches (4th percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.59 sec (77th percentile)
Broad Jump: 110 inches (90th percentile)
40-yard dash: 5.24 sec (59th percentile)
3-cone: 7.62 sec (72nd percentile)
Vertical: 26.5 inches (36th percentile)

Size Grade: Okay
Speed Grade: Good
Agility Grade: Good
Explosive Grade: Good
RAS: 7.68 – Good

Traits:

  • 3-year starter
  • Versatile
  • Good technique
  • Quick Feet

Austin Blythe, Iowa – 2017 Signing

Measurables:
Height: 6’2 (13th percentile)
Weight: 291-lbs (7th percentile)
Arm Length: 30.25 inches (2nd percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.53 (79th percentile)
Broad Jump: 99 inches (33rd percentile)
40-yard dash: 5.36 sec (25th percentile)
3-cone: 7.52 sec (79th percentile)
Vertical: 27.5 inches (46th percentile)

Size Grade: Poor
Speed Grade: Okay
Agility Grade: Okay
Explosive Grade: Good
RAS: 5.76 – Okay

Traits:

  • Four-year starter
  • Not physically athletic
  • Good technician
  • Quick Feet
  • Versatile

Common Traits Rams Look For

Here are the common traits that can help us build a rough mold of what Snead might look for in rookie interior offensive linemen. As a reminder, the Rams have drafted other offensive linemen, however, we’re just looking at the offensive linemen drafted under McVay.

  • The Rams under McVay have valued versatility.  Allen, Demby, Shelton, and Blythe all had experience at other positions.
  • They don’t necessarily value athleticism. Most players on this list weren’t considered dominant athletes. Snead seemed to value athleticism early on with Jeff Fisher, but that hasn’t been the case with McVay. Edwards only had a 6.09 RAS and Brian Allen’s RAS was considered poor.
  • Teams don’t necessarily look at a school when it comes to a prospect, but when it comes to the Rams offensive line, you tend to see players from Power-5 conferences, especially the Big-10.
  • The Rams tend to wait on the offensive line. Every player on this list was drafted on day three outside of Bobby Evans.
  • Other traits that are common, the Rams have drafted players with good technique and quick feet. They also tend to go for players with experience.
  • The Rams really don’t value size. Of the starting offensive linemen on this list, only David Edwards had great height. Most are 6’4 or under and on the lighter end. All players except for Jamil Demby and Bobby Evans are between 290-310.
  • The Rams don’t necessarily value size or strength as several of the players on this list were considered to be small, specifically when it comes to arm length, and lack strength. However, speed and agility are some qualities to watch. Blythe Shelton and Edwards tested in the 65th+ percentile in the 3-cone. Austin Corbett scored well in the 20-yard shuttle. Jackson, Demby, and Evans were said to have quick feet.
  • McVay runs a zone-blocking scheme, specifically wide zone concepts, so those will be players we will watch as well.

2022 Players Who Fit the Rams

1. iOL Luke Fortner – Kentucky

At 6’4, 307-lbs and a RAS of 6.6, Luke Fortner fits both the size and athletic profile for the Rams. Additionally, he played at Kentucky where current offensive coordinator Liam Coen coached for the past two seasons. He has 36 starts with 23 at right guard and 13 at center. Last season, the Rams were pinned to Drew Dalman and Walker Little from Stanford. That will be the case with Fortner this season. However, Fortner is a great fit. The Rams would need to take him in the third round, but an exception from the norm might be possible here.

Draft Grade: 3rd Round

2. iOL Joshua Ezeudu – North Carolina

The Rams just lost Austin Corbett and could draft an offensive lineman with a similar athletic profile. Ezeudu has good initial quickness with tackle and guard experience. He has good lateral movement with decent footwork and shows the ability to excel in zone schemes. Ezeudu had a very good career at UNC and could be a solid developmental prospect for the Rams that could become an eventual starter.

Draft Grade: 4th-5th Round

3.  iOL Dohnovan West – Arizona State

West fits the size profile that the Rams look for at 6’3, 296-lbs. Additionally he’s a three-year starter with versatility to play both guard and center. He’s started games at center and both guard sports. That versatility is something that the Rams will value. West is pretty undersized, but that’s what the Rams have drafted in the past for the interior. With a RAS of 6.94, he also fits the athletic profile. West is a developmental guy that I could see the Rams falling in love with. West has a similar profile as Coleman Shelton as an added bonus.

Draft Grade: 5th Round

4.  iOL Cade Mays – Tennessee

Cade Mays is extremely versatile with experience at all five offensive line positions. He’s a solid athlete with 35 starts across four positions, but best suited for right guard in the NFL. The Rams could use a right guard and some depth after losing Corbett. His three-cone was in the 78th percentile and he has quick feet on tape. Mays is a player that I could see the Rams really liking during the draft process.

Draft Grade: 5th Round

5.  iOL Logan Bruss – Wisconsin

The Rams have had success with Wisconsin offensive linemen in the past. Why not add a third? However, Bruss is actually a good fit even though he might be a little taller than they like at 6’5. Bruss was a three year starter as Wisconsin who has guard-tackle versatility. Bruss only has good size for the guard position, but his scores in the three-cone and short shuttle were both near the 80th percentile, showing off his quick feet.

Draft Grade: 6th Round

6.  iOL Brock Hoffman – Virginia Tech

I’m going to take a flier here on Brock Hoffman. He has four years of experience – two years at Coastal Carolina before transferring to Virginia Tech. At the NFL level, he projects more as a center. His RAS was only a 4.21, but we’ve seen the Rams don’t care a lot about athleticism. Hoffman is someone who plays bigger than his size and has a ton of experience across multiple positions. He also has good footwork and mobility which the Rams covet. Hoffman would be a late round pick, but could be that developmental prospect that the Rams take a chance on.

Draft Grade: 7th Round

Honorable Mentions

1.  iOL Alex Lindstrom – Boston College

  • Third Round Player
  • Third Round player
  • Experienced player with 41 career starts at multiple positions.

2. OL Zach Tom – Wake Forest

  • Light on his feet with good lateral quickness
  • 37 career starts at tackle and center
  • Below average athlete that plays bigger than his size.

3. Zachary Thomas – San Diego State

  • Light on his feet with good lateral quickness
  • 37 career starts at tackle and center
  • Below average athlete that plays bigger than his size.
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