As of this moment, the Los Angeles Rams need a left tackle. There have been conversations with Andrew Whitworth, but no contract so far. Even if Whitworth comes back for the 2020 season, he’s a temporary fix. Nabbing an offensive tackle and grooming him to learn from Whitworth wouldn’t be a bad idea.
This brings us to UCONN prospect, Matt Peart. But, is Peart a good option for the Rams in the 2020 NFL Draft?
If there’s a desired size for an offensive tackle, it’s Peart. Standing at 6-foot-7-inches and weighing 318 pounds, Peart has the intimidation factor locked-down. He’s extremely light on his feet for someone as large as he is. Evidence of this is his ability to escort defenders around the pocket. That’s tough to do especially with the edges getting lighter and faster too. Peart’s constant foot motion makes him an effective run blocker that opens holes. He is skilled enough to emerge from his stance and latch on to defenders.
All things considered, Peart has started all 12 games for three-straight seasons. There’s something to be said for a healthy offensive lineman. He only allowed two sacks and four hurries in 2019. Peart is experienced at left and right tackle, although he did play at right tackle in 2019.
For someone as large as Peart, it doesn’t necessarily translate in overall strength. This is a huge concern considering he was overpowered at times and that’s not something teams want to see in offensive tackles. It’s not comforting that he is coming from a weak ACC conference. One of the first things he’ll need to do is get stronger. He will see quicker and stronger defenders on the NFL level. Not the most balanced lineman, often loses balance with frequent bull rushes.
Peart’s mentality is a little kinder than what teams hope for in a larger offensive lineman. Plays hard, but doesn’t execute the opposition when finishing the play. His hand placement is a bit of a concern too. On film, he extends his hands too wide on defenders, which will draw flags on the NFL level. This will kill drives and frustrate offensive coordinators if he doesn’t adjust.
Expected Draft Round:
There’s a lot to like about Peart, and I do believe he can become a quality starter if he finds the right coaching staff for him. He will likely be a prospect teams have to be patient with and may not end up as a tackle. While left tackle is a position he played while with the Huskies, he was moved to right tackle for a reason. So teams will likely use him as a right tackle or guard. All this said, expect Peart to go in the late third round to early fourth round.
So, would Peart be a good target for the Rams? I would say no. That’s not to say Peart is a bad player or won’t amount to anything, it’s just the Rams have plenty of linemen like Peart on the roster. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if the Rams added him for an extra body, but the Rams need a versatile tackle or a center.