As a fifth-round pick out of Wisconsin, David Edwards joins an offensive line rom that can certainly stand to add depth. With 2018 draft picks Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen moving into potential starting roles this season, Edwards — along with third-round pick Bobby Evans — has a chance to become a key reserve for Los Angeles' five up front.
While he played through a shoulder injury in 2018, Edwards says he's healthy and ready to compete. And under run game coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, Edwards will be able to receive some high-quality teaching as he acclimates to the league.
OUTLOOK AT THE POSITION
As mentioned in Evans’ role analysis, the Rams likely don't really have starting positions up for grabs as the rookies arrive and the club gets closer to OTAs. As of now, left tackle Andrew Whitworth, right guard Austin Blythe, right tackle Rob Havenstein are entrenched as the club's returning starters. Noteboom and Allen are slated to take over at left guard and center, respectively.
For Los Angeles' reserves, 2018 sixth-round pick Jamil Demby returns and should have a leg up as the Rams' proverbial "sixth man" on the offensive line.
POTENTIAL ROLE AS A ROOKIE
Like fellow rookie Evans, Edwards will be cross-trained at the four offensive line spots aside from center — as Kromer often says that's the best way for rookies to learn the NFL.
Edwards could earn a spot on the Rams 46-man gameday roster if he proves his versatility along the OL during OTAs and training camp. But there will be competition for that, as the Rams keep only seven offensive linemen active for each contest.
The biggest question for Edwards will be about the health of his shoulder, as that limited his production in 2018. But the rookie out of Wisconsin told L.A. media just after his selection that he's feeling healthy.
"[I]n terms of right now, we actually had the chance to figure out what was wrong, it was something very minor and we were able to fix it actually pretty quickly and it was non-surgical or anything like that," Edwards said. "I'm feeling confident, I'm healthy and ready to head into OTAs and rookie minicamp."
WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE
For any player chosen around Edwards' spot at No. 169, prospects for the future are almost always about development.
Edwards is in a good position to do that in Los Angeles, given how effective Kromer has been at training young offensive linemen over the course of his career.
So while Edwards is likely a depth piece for now, he has a chance to grow into a full-time starter down the road. That could be sooner or later, depending on openings along the Rams' offensive line. But having played at Wisconsin, he may have a leg up given his familiarity with a pro-style offense.