Washington OT Emerging as Rams NFL Draft Target

Washington OT Emerging as Rams NFL Draft Target

The Los Angeles Rams may look to the middle rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft to add depth to their offensive line.



The Los Angeles Rams are undoubtedly among the teams that are eager to turn the page from 2022.



In what was expected to be a hard-fought Super Bowl LVI title defense, L.A. finished the season with a 5-12 record, missing the playoffs amid a sea of injured impact players.

Washington OT Emerging as Rams NFL Draft Target



As expected, the Rams’ subpar showing last season, coupled with their salary cap restraints, has led to more departures than arrivals of impact players in free agency, thus far,

Therefore, Los Angeles is likely to look to the 2023 NFL Draft to add some future promise to their lineup. Despite their lack of a first-rounder, the Rams possess several mid-to-late-round picks which can help add depth, as well as potential stardom to positions of need for the upcoming season.



One prospect to watch is Washington offensive tackle, Jaxson Kirkland.

Washington OT Emerging as Rams NFL Draft Target

Kirkland was one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the nation in 2021.



Having received the John P. Angel Linemen of the Year Award in both 2019 and 2020, he seemed poised for an early-round selection in the upcoming Draft.

However, he chose to return to school after suffering a severe ankle injury; subsequently forcing his move inside to the guard position.



Washington OT Emerging as Rams NFL Draft Target

Still, Kirkland is a tackle both by nature and design. At 6-7, 310 pounds, he has both the size and athleticism to handle the blindside at the next level.

Though he possesses better-than-average timing in the run game, he is at his best in pass protection due to his exceptional football intelligence and field awareness.

In order to solidify his standing as a pro-level stater, Kirkland will need to add some bulk in his lower body to keep himself better anchored.

Washington OT Emerging as Rams NFL Draft Target

Perhaps no unit on the Rams roster was hit harder by the injury bug last season than its offensive line. The Rams offensive line struggled mightily in 2022, with injuries playing a major role in their decline.

Fellow Rams’ linemen Joe Noteboom (Achilles,) Logan Bruss (knee,) Tremayne Anchrum (fibula) and Alaric Jackson (blood clots) all suffered season-ending injuries.

In addition, Brian Allen (knee,) David Edwards (concussion,) Coleman Shelton (ankle,) and Chandler Brewer (knee,) all missed significant time, as well.

As a result, L.A.’s unit often featured reserves and in-season signees — including Oday Aboushi, Matt Skura, and Ty Nsekhe — rotating in and out of their starting lineup.

Washington OT Emerging as Rams NFL Draft Target

Kirkland may not project as an immediate starter. However, his versatility may be intriguing enough for coach Sean McVay and new offensive line coach Ryan Wendell to secure his services on Day Two or Three of the upcoming draft.


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