Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
Armed with 14 draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams did well to address the numerous needs on their suddenly thin roster.
The Rams’ first pick of the draft was No. 36 and they took arguably the best interior offensive lineman in Steve Avila. Avila was a highly-rated prospect who is known for his tenacious run blocking and ability to stand up against power pass rushers. Those two traits should serve him well with the Rams who were decimated along the offensive line last season and need all the way they can get for the 2023 campaign.
The transition from college to the pros can be a difficult one, but Avila sounds like he’s taking everything in stride and even thriving so far, via Cameron DaSilva of USA Today:
“Not really. I know for me, the transition from high school to college was tough, but I feel like you kind of get a taste of how things are a little bit. So this transition was a lot easier. It’s actually my first time being away from home, but again, it’s California. It’s a great place, so it’s been awesome.”
As far as his brief experience in Los Angeles with his teammates, Avila acknowledged how young the lineman room is but is still learning a lot:
“There’s a lot of younger guys in there too – I’m talking younger, like under 30 – but they all know what they’re doing,” Avila said of the veterans on the team. “Taking in all the coaching I can and it’s definitely a bunch of camaraderie going around. Got a good group of people. I’m learning stuff every day so I know especially being a rookie and how they do things, so it’s all fun.”
When listening to Avila talk, he sounds confident and seems to possess the kind of mindset that Sean McVay and the rest of the organization values. As a rookie, the TCU prospect is expected to play a sizable right away. Aside from his run and pass blocking, Avila is a versatile piece that can move between guard and center.
The rest of the starters are up in the air outside of Avila and Rob Havenstein. Alaric Jackson and Joe Noteboom are the favorites to start at left tackle, while the interior should be an interesting positional battle between Coleman Shelton, Brian Allen and Logan Bruss.
Despite the question marks, the Rams are in much better shape in the trenches and it’ll be fun to see where Avila eventually slots in.
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