We’re officially two weeks away from Los Angeles’ first training camp practice on July 26. Today, we’re taking a look at the Rams’ offensive line in this edition of Countdown to Camp.
Newcomers: OT Joseph Noteboom, C/G Brian Allen, OG Jamil Demby, OG Jeremiah Kolone
The Rams will return each of their five starters from 2017 in left tackle Andrew Whitworth, left guard Rodger Saffold, center John Sullivan, right guard Jamon Brown, and right tackle Rob Havenstiein.
Whitworth is heading into his 13th professional season and his second with Los Angeles. The left tackle was a Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro in 2017 after being a key contributor to the stabilization of the Rams’ offensive line.
Saffold — the longest-tenured Ram — is beginning his ninth season with the franchise. Saffold got through all of 2017 healthy, and excelled blocking for Todd Gurley in space as the running back won AP Offensive Player of the Year.
Check out photos from Day 3 of the Rams trip to Mexico City with Michael Brockers, Luis Perez and Eric Dickerson.
Sullivan re-signed with the Rams on a two-year deal in March. He started Los Angeles’ first 15 games last season as well, with quarterback Jared Goff crediting him for providing integral veteran calls at the line of scrimmage.
Havenstein will begin his fourth professional season, all with the Rams. He’s been a consistent presence at right tackle since the franchise drafted him in the second round back in 2015.
Also going into his fourth year, Brown will be suspended for the first two games of the 2018 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Brown’s suspension will present an opportunity for another offensive lineman — at least for the first two games. Austin Blythe may have a leg up for that position, given that he filled in as the reserve interior lineman for Los Angeles in 2017. On two occasions, Blythe filled in for Sullivan when the center had to exit the game with a temporary injury.
Of the returning players, Jake Eldrenkamp and Aaron Neary also may have a chance to start the first two games at right guard. Both are listed as centers, but offensive line coach/run game coordinator Aaron Kromer often cross-trains interior linemen to play both center and guard positions.
However, rookie draft picks Brian Allen out of Michigan State and Jamil Demby out of Maine, plus UDFA Jeremiah Kolone out of San Jose State, could also make some noise at right guard depending on how they perform in training camp.
Los Angeles’ first pick of the 2018 draft, Joseph Noteboom, figures to provide depth at offensive tackle barring any unforeseen injuries.
Darrell Williams, Cornelius Lucas, and Michael Dunn also appear slated to provide depth at tackle. All three are returning players.
Previously on Countdown to Camp