The Los Angeles Rams offensive line improved tremendously in 2017. That said, there are still areas of concern, including depth and the center position. One option to consider may be Iowa guard/center Sean Welsh.
Welsh has a solid frame, which will make the transition from guard to center much easier. He tends to block low and sticks with defenders to detour them away from the play. He possesses a strong initial burst and is efficient at redirecting blockers. The former Hawkeye excels more at pass protection, but Welsh is also solid at blocking the inside run.
Welsh has experience at right tackle, right guard and center, so he is capable and versatile enough to play multiple positions on the offensive line. Utility players are great to have on any team. He will likely be asked to play at center in the NFL level though.
Ideally, Welsh must play center, because he is undersized. Even at center, he needs to be a bit bigger and stronger. At the collegiate level, he was able to get away with the lack power and body frame, but it won’t work in the NFL. Welsh will need to bulk up, but that may not be enough considering he will struggle with one-on-one matchups.
His overall speed is not up to par with NFL standards. Welsh will have to rely on his technique to make rosters, which can be beneficial, but physical traits are just as important on the next level. With that in mind, he will likely be a career depth guy.
It’s not impossible someone like Welsh to overcome the odds and make an impact based on skilled technique. It’s just not likely. Considering his skill set, teams could look at him as a situational blocker or for depth purposes with the hope of him blossoming into something more. I expect him to be drafted in the sixth or seventh round.
The Rams did interview Welsh during the Senior Bowl, so there does appear to be some interest. If Welsh drops to the sixth or seventh round, there would be no harm in drafting him as a depth blocker. The Rams are uncertain of the center position at this time with starter John Sullivan’s contract expired. There is also a real possibility that Sullivan might retire as well. It might be a stretch to expect Welsh to become a starter, but the Rams need depth regardless.