The Los Angeles Rams’ 97th overall pick of OU’s Bobby Evans isn’t a sexy pick, but it is necessary. The departures of LG Rodger Saffold and C John Sullivan did cause concern for offensive line depth. The addition Evans is for future gain too.
The Rams will likely start second-year players Joseph Noteboom at left guard and Brian Allen at center. Rookie Evans may be an apprentice for Whitworth at tackle. However, Evans and fellow rookie David Edwards will both train at tackle and guard. The philosophy with the youth movement is to cross-train at multiple positions on the offensive line.
The Rams offensive line coach Aaron Kromer likes the versatility of the 6-foot-5, 301-pound Evans. He did play two positions at left and right tackle at Oklahoma. This would allow Evans to back up Noteboom or move to right guard if Allen struggles, moving Austin Blythe from right guard to center. In other words, Sean McVay and Kromer is attempting to make use of all offensive line depth. The plan is for Evans and Edwards to be prepped for the future, while being ready for rotation and in the event of an injury.
Evans started at right tackle at OU during his freshman and sophomore seasons, but moved to left tackle in his junior year. Last season, he started all 14 games and was selected as a second-team All-Big 12 representative. Evans has experience protecting high profile quarterbacks like OU’s Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Both QBs won the Heisman trophy for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, respectively. Evans did play with Murray at Allen High School in Texas where he protected his blindside at left tackle. QB Jared Goff is hoping this translates to success in protection on the NFL level.
Evans is a good pass protector and is able to use the defenders’ rush against him. He is a little susceptible to inside counters, but does a good job creating running lanes as a lead blocker. He’s excellent at reaching linebackers to seal them off too. There’s still much for Evans to learn, but he does have plenty of guidance.
Since Evans can play multiple offensive line positions and is experienced at both tackle spots, the Rams fill in much needed depth. Overall, drafting Evans is a solid B grade for me. His potential for growth is vast, and he will learn from a talented offensive line squad that earned Offensive Line of the Year in 2018.