The Los Angeles Rams offensive line has a lot of question marks as training camp approaches. General manager Les Snead appears content with starting 2018 draft picks Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen. The left guard and center positions are vacant with the departures of Rodger Saffold and John Sullivan.
The selections of Bobby Evans and David Edwards did address depth concerns. Edwards’s pedigree offers some familiarity, with Rob Havenstein and Andrew Whitworth. All three are Wisconsin alums. The Rams are hoping Edwards’s experience in a pro-style offense carries over to the NFL.
What do the Rams have in Edwards?
Edwards did play through a shoulder injury in 2018, which hurt his draft stock. But he did address the matter after his selection, “We actually had the chance to figure out what was wrong, it was something very minor. I’m feeling confident, I’m healthy and ready to head into OTA’s and rookie minicamp.” Hopefully, he will be 100 percent heading into the 2019 season.
Edwards is at his best when he is run blocking. This means he is better at the right side of the offensive line. For now, he must learn all offensive line positions except center. He’ll likely be a rotational player during his first year. The Rams see Edwards as a potential starter in a year or two. It’s similar to Noteboom and Allen, the Rams don’t have to worry about departures if the projects work.
Edwards is a top 15 offensive tackle heading into the 2019 NFL Draft. To many, he is Day 3 prospect. And though he did play in only 10 contests in his junior year, he still possesses the second-team All-Big Ten selection. The potential is there to be meaningful backup for the Rams this year. Edwards may turn some heads in OTA’s now that he is back to 100 percent.
Being pick 169 seems fitting for Edwards. Before the Rams took him in the fifth round, the last offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste went 37th overall.
I give this selection a C+ grade. Edwards’s Wisconsin pedigree and experience in a pro-style offense offers great potential. Yet, he is coming off an injury and we simply do not know what to expect. This pick could work in the Rams’ favor, but I have my doubts. But, let’s see how he performs in training camp and preseason.