Rebuilding the St. Louis Rams Offensive Line This Offseason
There is plenty to be excited about concerning the St. Louis Rams looking ahead to 2013. The offensive line however, is not one of those things. 2012 was extremely hard on the Rams up front with only two players from the team’s week 4 win over the Seattle Seahawks present for their week 17 game against Seattle and only one of those was playing the same position. What that says is that this Rams team needs plenty of help up front this offseason and there will be several options to addressing those issues.
With the Washington Redskins elimination on Sunday from the playoffs, that finalized both of the first round picks for the Rams. They will now officially select 16th and 22nd overall in the draft giving them a terrific opportunity to address some of their most pressing needs. While the draft is the only way to fix what’s broken on an NFL team, it sure is a great way to do so in terms of longevity. Let’s see what the Rams might consider now that their picks are official.
Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews, and Taylor Lewan are considered the cream of the crop in terms of offensive tackles. It is quite possible that by the time the Rams pick at 16 rolls around, all three of those guys could be gone. That is where plan B comes in and Chance Warmack, guard from Alabama, is the option that makes the most sense. He too would fill an immediate need and has the plug and play quality that a young team has to like.
The Rams of recent years hadn’t made many free agent splashes, but last year inking cornerback Cortland Finnegan, center Scott Wells, and defensive lineman Kendall Langford changed all of that. Thanks to Head Coach Jeff Fisher making St. Louis a desirable destination, the Rams could again be players in the free agent market.
There are a number of options at tackle in free agency with guys like Jake Long, Ryan Clady, and Branden Albert topping the list. One sneaky name that is likely to be available is Sam Baker, Atlanta Falcons left tackle who has battled a number of injuries during his career. When healthy, Baker is a solid blindside protector that would greatly improve lift for quarterback Sam Bradford. Also a lower-end possibility is Sebastian Vollmer from the New England Patriots who has had his own injury issues, but still is an effective player when healthy. The Rams could use either one of these guys as a huge upgrade over their current configuration.
If the line can get healthy for 2013 and add a few new faces into the mix, there is no reason to think this offense can’t pull a turnaround just like the defense did in 2012. The Rams are definitely positioned well to take another big step in their franchise rebuilding effort, this time on the offensive line.
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