For the Tuesday, July 9 installment of Countdown to Camp, we’re taking a look at the Rams’ five up front.
Newcomers: Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Brandon Hitner, Vitas Hrynkiewicz, Chandler Brewer, Matt Kaskey
Since Sean McVay took over as head coach in 2017, Los Angeles’ offensive line has been one of the most consistent units in the league. A lot of that has to do with health, since the Rams have been able to roll out their expected starting five for each game of the last two years.
But there will be some significant change along the unit in 2019. Gone are starting center John Sullivan and starting left guard Rodger Saffold. And that means it’s time for Brian Allen and Joseph Noteboom to step in in their stead, respectively.
As quarterback Jared Goff said early on during the offseason program, while L.A. will certainly miss the veteran presence of both Sullivan and Saffold, the club did draft both Allen and Noteboom to play. And by all accounts, both had strong offseason. Goff even mentioned that he and Allen have played Fortnite together to help establish their chemistry.
Elsewhere along the line, left tackle Andrew Whitworth returns for a remarkable 14th NFL season at the age of 37. This is Whitworth’s last season under contract with the Rams, having signed a three-year deal in March 2017.
On the right side of the line, both Rob Havenstein at tackle and Austin Blythe at guard are slated to be back in those same positions. Havenstein is entering his fifth year as the Rams’ starting right tackle, and signed a four-year extension last August. Blythe took over at guard for Jamon Brown when the now-Falcons lineman was suspended for the first two games in 2018, and Blythe played so well Los Angeles kept him in that spot.
As for depth, 2018 sixth-round pick Jamil Demby was signed back to the active roster in December following a stint on Detroit’s roster and practice squad. He’s likely the sixth man for the offense line heading into the season, as he worked at each of the five spots during the offseason program.
Los Angeles also selected Bobby Evans in the third round and David Edwards in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, which makes both more likely than not to earn a spot on the roster.
Filling out the rest of the group are Jeremiah Kolone (who spent time on Los Angeles’ practice squad last year), Aaron Neary (who was recently suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season), Brandon Hitner, Vitas Hrynkiewicz, Chandler Brewer, and Matt Kaskey.
PREVIOUSLY ON COUNTDOWN TO CAMP
Tomorrow, Countdown to Camp will continue with a look at the Rams’ inside linebackers.