Betting odds continue to link Rams to offensive line

The mystery surrounding the Los Angeles Rams’ 2024 NFL Draft plans has shifted once more towards a new position. The buzz has been building around the Rams potentially eyeing an offensive tackle with their first-round pick. So much so that the betting odds surrounding the Rams pick have shifted towards the offensive line being the favorite with +115 odds, a monumental shift away from the previous thought process.

While betting odds aren’t totally reliable, the shift is one to take note of, especially this close to the draft.  With this being said, who are potential players the Rams could be looking at this Thursday?

The No Brainers

I’m going to go ahead and hit this one early. If the Rams have a chance to draft either of Notre Dame’s Joe Alt or Penn State’s Olu Fashanu, they should do so with zero hesitation. Those two are two of the best prospects in this class and some of the best tackles we’ve seen in recent years. Both are plug-and-play left tackles for the next several seasons and would potentially be the long-term solution the Rams have been searching for at left tackle seemingly throughout Les Snead’s entire tenure as general manager.

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The “I Can Dig It” Picks

Each of these picks comes with their own risks, but have huge payoffs if they pick and are more likely to be there at 19 if the Rams don’t make a move up. This tier I’m looking at Washington’s Troy Fautanu and Georgia’s Amarius Mims. Fautanu, a natural left tackle in college, has been projected to guard often. I personally believe both sides here. If a team is looking for more of an immediate pay-off, playing Fautanu at guard is the better choice. However, I think his issues at tackle can be developed over time. Mainly, Fautanu has an issue with oversets (in layman’s terms: he gets too wide and opens up his inside path to the quarterback). Time and development can temper this, and the presence of stout guard Jonah Jackson next to him will help, but it’s one worth noting.

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Mims comes with risks entirely different from Fautanu. Mims has only played right tackle in college, and has only made eight career starts due to talents ahead of him and injuries. I believe he has the tools and traits to move over to left tackle (his lack of experience helps in my opinion), but it’s not an easy transition for anyone to make. His own medical history and a position switch would make this one riskier than the rest, but he has an All-Pro caliber ceiling and would be a worthwhile swing at left tackle.   

Alabama’s JC Latham could also be in contention for this tier as well. I’m less certain about moving him to left tackle than Mims, but he is a fantastic athlete in his own right and could also make the switch. Latham played left tackle in high school. 

The “Swing for the Fences” Picks

Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton and BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia make up this tier. These are players the Rams would be better off moving back and selecting later in the first round, due to their lower floor. Guyton, a former tight end turned tackle, is still refining his process and growing as a player. He was a right tackle at Oklahoma, and could be the long-term answer behind Rob Havenstein if they keep him there. However, I believe Guyton has the tools to move over to left tackle unlike some other tackles in this class, but I’m hesitant to move an already raw player over and potentially stunt his growth. 

Suamataia has played both tackle spots at BYU and has quality film at both spots. Suamataia is also fairly raw as a player, but that versatility and his fit with the Rams’ power-run scheme is intriguing. 

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The “What was that?” Picks

This tier is both about the players and the Rams. If the Rams come away from round one with one of Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga or Duke’s Graham Barton, it would be an extreme head-scratcher. Fuaga could be the long-term RT play, but at that point you’re punting on your first-round pick having any impact in year one, barring a Havenstein injury. I do not believe he can play left tackle, and I’m even hesitant about him being able to play right tackle at the next level. If the Rams want a long-term solution to eventually take over Rob Havenstein’s spot at right tackle, I’m totally here for it. In round one of this year? It’s a pick that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me value-wise, in my opinion. 

Barton is a fine player in his own right, but he’d be at his best playing inside in the NFL instead of left tackle. With the Rams having each interior spot locked up for the next three seasons, it would be a pretty questionable selection as well. 

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