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Some thoughts on the OL and why I wouldn't get my hopes up for drafting 1 high

February 04, 2019 04:23PM
Some things about zone blocking and how it relates to the draft and what the Rams do:

1. Zone blocking relies on OL to work in pairs or tandem to block bigger stronger DTs, it also requires OL (including TEs tasked with blocking) to get to the 2nd level to block LBers. And lastly, it requires backside OL to seal their man. It also requires these pairs to correctly read their gap and adjust as a pair. Thats the tricky part (and part of why NO was such a mess)

2. Zone blocking works really well in conjunction with play action. Why? Because almost always a zone blockers first step is a sideways shuffle or a side step. So the defense cannot get a sense of pass or run by looking at what an OL is doing with his feet. This is why the Rams OL seem to play so much better with play action then without. It always has the defense guessing or at least buying the OL 1 extra step.

3. Zone blocking requires OL that are: 1. agile 2. and can be (but don't have to be) smaller. So it makes finding OL in the draft easier, because you are not looking for big, strong blockers that are not statues against speed rushers.

So why did the Rams have issues last night? Because while the Rams OL were taking sidesteps, the Pats were charging upfield and getting into the gaps, so they didn't care if the play was a run or a pass because they were going upfield to take away the running lanes or get in Goff's face. Either way was a win. They also stunted and blitzed confusing the Rams OL pairs on who's responsibility was who's (gap wise since they aren't assigned a man).

So why won't I get excited about drafting an OL high. Frankly because ZB OL are easier to come by then big, strong maulers that are also not statues against speed rushers.

And this isn't coming from just me, listen to OL past and present and they have all said the same thing. Matt Birk has been on the radio a bunch on KFAN and he talks about it every now and again, esp around the combine. (He's a weekly morning show guess with the play by play voice of the Vikings. Alex Boone was just talking about it the other day.

Case in point: Quinton Nelson OG, Notre Dame, drafted by the Colts. a 6'-5" 325 lb. forklift. he is a mauler and ultra aggressive. I'm not saying he would be wasted in a ZBS because Indy runs a combination of run blocking concepts including some that are disguised as zone and end up man. And some zone. He is just fine. But the reason Nelson is so good is because he a rare powerful, aggressive OL that just wants to destroy the guy in front of him. Draft him high.

The Rams went with Noteboom because he is a guy that has the the athleticism, the footwork and the ability to pull, but has issues when matched up against power. Noteboom would be miserable in a man power scheme.

For the same reason, the Brian Allen pick has me confused. He's undersized, which is fine for ZB, but he is not athletic and more of power blocker as far as strength and hand fighting go.

I believe zone blocking is why Brown was more expendable. He was a OT converted into a OG and not overly athletic. it helped that his salary would clear enough space to bring on Fowler. But Brown was a square peg in a round hole in McVay's offense.

So would the Rams draft an OL early? Define early. I would say there is zero chance the Rams are drafting a OG or OC in the first round. Value + zone blocking + players available this year = zero.

Would they draft one in the 3rd? Sure, especially if Whitworth retires (I pray he doesn't) but I think they will have more pressing issues then OG or OT.

For a OC, I think i would look hard at Eric McCoy Texas A&M in the 3rd round. Fits what the Rams probably are looking for. Garrett Bradbury, NCST. Alyo loves him some NCST lineman this year and he is a great fit for the Rams zone scheme. Both were at the Senior Bowl.They have to be to be a Rams target IMO.

As far as OGs, Dru Samia Oklahoma is prefect (undersized, but moves well and seems like a heady player. Not sure he's there in the 3rd but, hey, take a look. Another Senior Bowl guy. Keaton Sutherland is another Texas AM guy that could slide in as a later round Zone OG.

On an interesting side note, the Rams did meet with Andre Dillard an athletic LT from Washington State. He could very well be a late first early 2nd round pick.



Don't waste your time looking back, you're not going that way. - Ragnar Lothbrok
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

  Some thoughts on the OL and why I wouldn't get my hopes up for drafting 1 high

Deadpool512February 04, 2019 04:23PM

  Re: Good post.... a question...

dzrams140February 04, 2019 04:35PM

  Some stuff that works

Deadpool133February 04, 2019 05:03PM

  great posts on ZB and draft, Dead

SunTzu_vs_Camus98February 05, 2019 08:54AM

  Re: great posts on ZB and draft, Dead

Rams4372February 05, 2019 09:41AM

  Regarding the draft (as it stands per cuts or FA)

Deadpool79February 05, 2019 04:24PM

  sweet...exactly what I was wonderin...

SunTzu_vs_Camus43February 05, 2019 04:35PM

  Re: Reminder and a word of caution on Wade's tendencies...

dzrams53February 05, 2019 05:27PM

  I don't really hope for anything. TBH I hope my boards look fairly close. lol

Deadpool52February 05, 2019 07:37PM

  Sylvester Williams

PHDram42February 09, 2019 08:34AM

  Re: No...

dzrams38February 09, 2019 09:39AM

  Got it!

PHDram31February 09, 2019 12:26PM

  EXCELLENT

Steve110February 05, 2019 08:57AM

  I appreciated this entire discussion

NewMexicoRam58February 05, 2019 09:44AM

  Great post!

dodgerram55February 05, 2019 10:43AM

  Re: Love it when I learn stuff. and I just got schooled

leafnose47February 09, 2019 07:58AM

  Your point on what the Pats did...

jemach30February 09, 2019 09:51AM

  My concern about this....If I read it right..

Ramgator38February 09, 2019 11:29AM

  It really seems like every team has

Deadpool55February 09, 2019 03:23PM

  Re: It really seems like every team has

dzrams29February 09, 2019 05:18PM

  Re: It really seems like every team has

zn21February 10, 2019 05:07AM

  School's is Session...

LoboRam29February 09, 2019 12:51PM