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Demby a critical piece for depth on Rams offensive line

Last year, the Rams drafted a few offensive linemen - two of whom are now projected to start when Los Angeles opens up the season against Carolina.

You're probably plenty familiar with left guard Joseph Noteboom and center Brian Allen by now, based on the coverage they've received throughout the course of the offseason on their progress in becoming starters.

But Los Angeles selected another player along the offensive line in that draft class: Jamil Demby.

A sixth-round pick out of Maine in 2018, Demby initially trained at both guard and tackle during Los Angeles' offseason program last year. But then just before the Week 1 contest against the Raiders, L.A. cut Demby to make room for defensive tackle Aaron Donald on the active roster.

Perhaps a bit unexpectedly, the Lions claimed Demby off waivers and off he headed to Detroit. 

But in December, the Rams brought him back, signing Demby off the Lions' practice squad. Demby was inactive for the contests through the remainder of the regular season and the playoff run, but still gained valuable experience in the Rams' system. 

During that time, Noteboom and Allen were Los Angeles' primary backups along the OL. Now, Demby is likely slotted for that role. And run game coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer sees Demby's journey between the two teams last year as helpful for the 22 year old's development. 

"[W]e both appreciate each other more from that separation and coming back and that has allowed us to grow at a faster rate," Kromer said during the offseason program.

How so? 

"Jamil has played four or five spots -- actually, he's getting reps at all five spots at this point, so we feel strongly about what we've seen from him in this offseason," Kromer said. "Obviously it's games that are more important than practices with no pads, but we feel really good about him." 

As a rookie, Demby cross-trained at guard and tackle, so center is a newer position for him. But providing that kind of versatility would make him a true "sixth man" along the offensive line for L.A. 

The Rams have been quite fortunate over the last two years that no starter on the offensive line has missed a start due to injury. So having a player like Demby who can play each of the five spots can be a real asset to the club's depth for the upcoming season.

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