NFL Beast

The Best Damn NFL News Site Ever!

Will Rams ‘tackle’ the left side of the offensive line in the draft?

10 min read

#NFLBeast #NFL #NFLTwitter #NFLUpdate #NFLNews #NFLBlogs

#LosAngeles #Rams #LosAngelesRams #NFC

By: Venie Randy Soares

Kingsley Suamataia is a raw, but talented prospect | Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Reviewing 8 NFL Draft offensive tackle prospects for the L.A. Rams, round by round

All told, the Los Angeles Rams have had three starting left tackles since General Manager Les Snead and Head Coach Sean McVay were paired up in 2017. L.A. still has access to two of them, Alaric Jackson and Joseph Noteboom, but the pair’s future, like the offensive line as a whole are murky. Can the 2024 NFL Draft help clear things up or muddy the waters even further?

One of the first moves in the Snead/McVay regime was to sign 36 year-old free agent Andrew Whitworth to solidify the blind side. He did it well for five seasons and retired with a Super Bowl ring. Noteboom was the heir apparent, drafted at #89 in 2018, but injuries and inconsistent play have marked his tenure. The Rams thought enough of his potential to give him a fat second contract. Jackson went undrafted in the 2021 draft after a solid college career. Although Jackson has fought ailments as well, he won last years starting battle and played 15 games.

Now Rams fans have buyers remorse on Noteboom and it appears L.A. is trying to negotiate a way around his bloated salary and keep him in the fold. If not, there are persistent rumors he will be a salary cap cut casualty. Jackson is a restricted free agent, and the Rams must now decide his worth going forward and put a tender designation on him. The tender has not been reported yet, but if too low, opposing teams may decide to try and wrest him away. He was certainly adequate as a starter and would be a cost effective addition to any team.

That brings us around to the draft. There’s a lot of talent and potential in this draft class, but many of the top names play naturally on the right and/or are versatile players that would need to transition to the blind side. For this exercise, I want to zero in on left tackle prospects.

Here are some favorites and the approximate round they could go in.

Visit TST’s Draft Page for other round-by-round draft capsule reviews and more draft news.

Round 1

Olu Fashanu- Penn State 6’6” 317 lb. on Penn State Nittany Lions official site

Top 10 prospect. Fashanu had a Round 1 grade last year, but decided to stay another college season and was named a consensus All-American. Only started 18 college games and suffered an “undisclosed” injury in 2022 that forced him out of the final 5 games. Was named to the Feldman’s Freaks list for athleticism and strength.

At his best doing what today’s NFL left tackles get paid extremely well to do, pass block. Fluid and patient in his sets, mirrors well to ride outside, stonewall power, or collapse down on inside counters. Sets an adequate base, has a strong, well-timed punch and mixes it up using a long arm. He clamps on and controls well, but has a tendency to latch outside defenders arms. Has the footwork/agility in run blocking to make all the reach/seal/climb blocks and strength to move defenders on angle/down blocks.

The odds of Fashanu falling to the Rams at #19 are very long. The excitement would begin if teams go quarterback crazy and he falls into the teens. Would Les Snead and the Rams identify him as a trade-up candidate? Best player available and a position of need, what better outcome for Day 1.

Round 2

Kingsley Suamataia- BYU 6” 4 3/8” 329 lb., 34 1/4” arms, 10 3/8” hands, and 82 1/2” span @ Senior Bowl

The youngest of the prospects, just turned 21 in January. Originally signed to Oregon after being highly recruited. Spent two seasons at BYU, first at right tackle before swapping sides and started 22 of 23 games, missing one with a minor injury. He’s on the Feldman’s Freaks list for strength and athleticism.

Built and moves athletically for such a big man. Stellar burst with his mass creates knock-down power on drive and down blocks. Smoothly gets to next level on combo’s, climbs, pulls and screens. Strikes what he aiming for in space. Good footwork, agility, and change of direction to mirror pass rushers. Set a wide base, use’s both two-hand and independent punches. All good stuff, right? Well, Suamataia needs consistency in all these same areas.

As you might rightly think because of his on-field time, he’s still a raw player and you’d be right. There is a developmental aspect to drafting him, but you can see the improvement in his game film from first season to second. While the day-in-day-out work of a pro schedule should help smooth out many of his consistency issues, he has work to do on technique. His strength, athleticism, and motor are undeniable and he might not last until #52.

Round 3

Kiran Amegadjie- Yale 6’5” 326 lb. on Yale Bulldogs official site

A prospect you are drafting on traits and potential. Only played 24 college games over three years (COVID-19 cancelled all of his freshman year), but started them all. Suffered a torn quadricep in his senior season after four games. Played guard as sophomore before moving outside.

Surprisingly good technique from small conference football. He could win simply on size and strength, but works hard with foot and hand work to get set in correct position. Explodes with great get-off and punch, appears to have stellar length (reportedly 36”) and strong hands to clamp and control. Fluid on the move, whether climbs, pulls or getting out on screens. Plays with a finisher’s edge. The major question on Amegadjie is how long will he take to transition to the pro game. He was certainly dominant at his (FCS) level, translating to NFL speed, strength, moves/counters etc. will tell the tale. He’s not a flawless candidate, but certainly has a strong base of physicality, tools, traits, and athleticism.

Here’s where the Rams scouting staff earns their money. If you have Amegadjie tiered in the Top 75, should you risk waiting until pick #83? Use a more valuable lower pick, in this case #52? Or trade up/back somewhere in between?

Round 4

Javon Foster- Mizzou- 6’ 5 1/2” 319 lb., 35” arms, 9 3/8” hands, and 82 3/8” span @ Senior Bowl

SEC-hardened prospect with requisite size, athleticism and motor for the NFL. Started his final 39 straight college games at left tackle and Pro Football Focus rated him as the 7th best tackle in last year’s draft.

Uses his length, upper body and grip strength to control and move defenders in run game. Not a gifted athlete, but shows the requisite footwork to gain position, has the get off and linear speed to climb on combo’s and directly to the second level, and lateral agility to stay on phase in outside zone. Sometimes gets into a bad habit of rearing up as a first move, losing some balance and leverage. Needs both foot and hands technique work in pass protection, but on film, he makes it work with grit and effort.

May very well go before Round 4. I have him as a mid/late 3rd pick, but with the dearth of true left tackles, he could leap over a handful of candidates at other positions. His workouts at the Senior Bowl were considered up and down. That’s not surprising, since the workout drills are pass pro-centric and Foster is a better run blocker at this point of his development. His physicality at the point of attack was often singled out for praise.

Round 5

Walter Rouse- Oklahoma 6’ 5 1/2” 319 lb., 35 3/8” arms, 10” hands, and 83 1/8” span at Shrine Bowl

Played 2500+ snaps and started 39 of 40 games at left tackle for Stanford before hopping a prairie schooner to Oklahoma. He’s big, strong, athletic and experienced. Is he smart? In his non-football time, he attended a Perelman School of Medical and Surgical program at UPenn and a Physician Scientist Training program: Biomedical Research training at SMU. You know, just your average college kids summer activities.

Another player whose technical aspects should be better with all that experience. Frustrating, because he has a lot of tools in the box. Size, speed, length, smarts, and strength. For all his work and polish needed, he generally has successful film against good competition. The infamous, “crude but effective” label.

With Rouse, what you see is what you get. Experienced player who’s adequate in all areas, but not particularly dominant in any one. A relatively high-floor, but not so much of a ceiling. Although his eventual calling might be as a swing tackle, or maybe a move inside, I like his Oklahoma film and efforts in two different offensive systems. Would like to see how he takes to pro coaching and strength/conditioning.

Round 6

Garrett Greenfield- South Dakota State 6’ 5 7/8” 310 lb., 33 1/2” arms, 9 3/4” hands, and 83 1/2” span @ Shrine Bowl

Four-year starter with 55 under his belt in a run-centric offensive attack. Part of two straight FCS national championship teams and winner of 10+ different All-American awards. Spent his first three years at right tackle before jumping sides. Had a solid showing at Shrine Bowl workouts, with many shout outs.

Seasoned competitor with good technique. Shows the power to drive block as well as move fluidly to the second level, squaring up and striking what he’s aiming at. Good balanced pass protector. Started using more long arm and independent punches in his final college year, in earlier film he had a tendency to be high and wide with his punch and latching outside on the shoulder pads. Anchor is good, just not pro ready. The answer could as easy as increasing his core.lower body strength.

Right on the cusp of being long enough for an NFL tackle. Greenfield’s eventual value may be realized as a swing player. Pundit Brett Kollmann calls him a sleeper who should go in Round 3 or 4. Another prospect with the tools and base to build on.

Round 7

Travis Glover- Georgia State 6’ 6” 338 lb., 34 1/2” arms, 9 5/8” hands, and 84 5/8” span @ Hula Bowl

57 starts for a 62-38 percent run-based offense that averaged 210+ yards per game in his career. Was FWAA Freshman All-American at right tackle in 2019 and moved to the other bookend the following season. Fared so well in the Hula Bowl game/workouts that the Senior Bowl gave him a call up.

Raw prospect who’s aggressive, has power, and is a good finisher. As you might guess, being from a small school, both his footwork and hand usage need mechanics/technique polish. Gets to the second level smoothly and when he gets hid hands on a defender, they go where he takes them. Looks like he gets tired late in games, a pro strength and conditioning program is needed. Considering how many games he’s played, he’s a little inconsistent with his play, but you can see a glimpse of really good player when he has it all together.

Impressed coaches at both the Hula and Senior Bowls with his ability to take coaching and turn it into progress on the field. At the Sun Belt level of college play, he was able to win by bigger and stronger. He has the physical side, now comes the mechanical work.


Ethan Driskell- Marshall 6’ 8 1/4” 312 lb., 35 1/8”arms, 10 3/8” hands, and 83 1/8” span @ Senior Bowl

Raw talent that possesses a moldable skillset and rare size/length/athletic traits. Walked on at Marshall, worked his way up the depth chart on special teams and eventually started 25 straight games over his final two seasons.

As you would expect from a prospect of this size, Driskell can play too high and narrow, particularly in pass protection. It creates balance issues and forces him to reach, limiting his ability to mirror counters and bull rushers. During 1on1 Senior Bowl workouts, he was susceptible to power and inside counters. Needs to work on taking advantage of those long arms and huge hands. Although not strong enough to be a mauler, has a physical play-style and is a good finisher as a run blocker. Climbs well, down blocks and moves well in zone concepts. Has the footwork to reach block and seal/screen off defenders.

Driskell actually appears agile and coordinated, not gawky and Frankenstein-ish. Reportedly a pretty good high school basketball player. Pair that with his natural physical traits and you have an interesting swing tackle development project. Worth spending a practice squad year to build up his play strength and polish pass pro technique.

What should the Rams do?

If the Rams get Alaric Jackson tendered and signed, the pressure of a need at left tackle goes away. If a Olu Fashanu would happen to fall to #19, the L.A. braintrust could/should pull the trigger. If not, a more likely scenario, there will some nice developmental prospects will remain.

I have down 12 tackle prospects that look ready to go in the first two rounds. If the Rams braintrust has also identified any of these players in the #52 tier, Kingsley Suamaitaia could still be around, so might Patrick Paul, and Kiran Amegadjie. Or within grasp of a small trade up/back.

I personally like the plan of taking Amegadjie to push/compete with Jackson right away and spend a year polishing his game. Unless L.A. does something way out of past form (extending a multi-year contract instead of tendering), bringing Jackson back is simply a one year fix. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2025.

Although the cost is high and there are inherent risks (injury, past competition, no pre-draft workouts), grabbing a high upside left tackle project like Amegadjie is a draft capital risk worth taking.