The interior of the offensive line is an area of need for the Los Angeles Rams right now. During the free agency period of the offseason, the Rams have re-signed Brian Allen and Coleman Shelton to keep as much of their offensive line intact as possible.
While Los Angeles was able to retain Allen and Shelton, they were unable to bring back Austin Corbett, who signed a multi-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. Even with Allen and David Edwards being solid starters for the Rams, it remains to be seen if Shelton is capable of being a consistent starter.
Regardless of whether or not Los Angeles views Shelton as a starter, they’ll likely consider selecting an interior offensive lineman in the 2022 NFL draft later this month. Just because I’m a man of the people, I’ve been taking a deeper look at potential prospects that the Rams could target at positions of need.
To finish out my shortlist of potential interior offensive linemen that Los Angeles could draft (you can read the others below), I’ll be taking a quick look at Joshua Ezeudu out of North Carolina.
Ezeudu enrolled at North Carolina as an offensive tackle prospect in 2018. Despite making his first collegiate start at left tackle in 2019, he would start at left guard for the final five games of his redshirt freshman season.
Upon declaring for the 2022 NFL draft, Ezeudu compiled 28 total starts (10 of those coming at LG in 2021 and one at LT) in college. Ezeudu’s ability to transition from guard to tackle could pique the interest of teams in their pre-draft process.
At the NFL scouting combine, Ezeudu did a solid job improving his draft stock, producing a 5.19 40-yard dash (15th among IOL), a 7.83 three-cone (16th among IOL), and a 4.56 20-yard shuttle (6th among IOL).
With Sean McVay leaning on a zone-running scheme, the Rams would prefer to find offensive linemen that are decent in the athletic department. Ezeudu is an above-average athlete in the interior of the offensive line and he’s explosive out of his stance.
North Carolina was a fast-paced offense and Ezeudu showcased his ability to play multiple positions, making him a valuable player at the NFL level. At the very least, Ezeudu could be a massive steal for a team looking for a depth option along their offensive front.
If the Rams were to select Ezeudu, he could spend time sitting behind Edwards and Shelton to fine-tune his skills. It will be interesting to see where Ezeudu is selected in the draft later this month.
With only a few weeks until the draft gets underway, Ezeudu’s draft projection is all over the place. Some mock drafts have him going in the latter part of the fourth round while others have him going undrafted.
Given his skill set and versatility, Ezeudu should be a Day 3 pick, which could put him on the Rams’ radar. Of Los Angeles’ eight draft picks, seven of them are from the fourth-to-seventh round.
Upon watching Ezeudu and seeing his athletic scores at the combine, I believe he could be a nice late-round steal for whatever team selects him. If the Rams elect to target an interior lineman in the later rounds, Ezeudu should be someone they consider taking.
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