The Los Angeles Rams are in a “really good place to be” in the NFL Draft if they’re looking for offensive linemen, draft expert Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network said via conference call on Friday, February 24.
However, say the Rams decide not to wait until April 28 and the No. 36 spot of the second round to begin addressing their offensive line issues. There is one trench protector in free agency who not only has a Super Bowl ring on his resume, but thrived in an offense similarly structured the way Sean McVay has his Rams system.
That’s where Pro Football Focus writers Arjun Menon and Brad Spielberger on Wednesday, February 22 gave out this tip to the Rams: Sign free agent guard from the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles Isaac Seumalo, who’s also a Super Bowl 52 winner.
The 29-year-old guard is not only predicted to ink his next deal with the Rams by the PFF writers, but earned two Super Bowl trips while playing in a zone read style of offense in Philly. And adding Seumalo, they believe, will help restrengthen an offensive line that tolled with season ending ailments plus greatly missed two valuable contributors in the Rams’ Super Bowl 56 run.
“The Rams’ offensive line took a huge step back in 2022 partly due to injuries but also partly because of the Andrew Whitworth and Austin Corbett departures in the offseason,” the PFF writers wrote.
Again, the 6-foot-3, 304-pound veteran mauler played in a McVay-like attack in the NFC East.
“Seumalo comes from the Eagles, who were one of the best zone running teams in the league. Rams head coach Sean McVay’s run scheme is primarily zone runs, so Seumalo should fit in well,” they wrote.
Is Seumalo Worth the Price & Taking in?
Seumalo is at the end of his three-year, $15.9 million deal. He entered the league signing an entry level four-year, $3.2 million deal in 2016 — ultimately playing in the Super Bowl his second season in the NFL.
But Spotrac is now predicting this kind of market for Seumalo: $12.1 million annually and giving his signature to a two-year, $24.2 million deal for his next stop.
In looking at his most recent production, it’s easy to see why Seumalo would command that kind of market for his position. As a 17-game starter, he became one of the best pass protectors on the Eagles in allowing just one sack on 753 pass blocking attempts per PFF.
And while Seumalo has allowed 19 career sacks across seven NFL seasons, he’s surrendered just a combined one in his last 24 games — though he was limited to three games in 2021. Run blocking wise, Seumalo has been graded with a 67 or higher rating in five of his seven seasons.
For a team seeking protection help especially after allowing 59 sacks last season, Seumalo would be considered a welcome sigh of relief. There is one concern, though.
Why Seumalo May be Passed Over
As Ram fans know, this unit had a revolving door of injuries across the line. Unfortunately, Seumalo has his own history there.
“Durability is a bit of a concern for Seumalo,” PFF writes, as Seumalo has only started in every game twice in his career.
Being in a room with the Rams’ medical staff, though, could make his injury history an afterthought.
“But the Rams’ sports science and medical staff is one of the best in the league. Seumalo should help to bolster the interior of that offensive line for 2023,” they wrote.
While the Rams are in a great position to bolster the OL group in the upcoming draft, Seumalo is considered the 29th best free agent to pursue and has his own history of dominating in an offense identical to what McVay loves to do — which adds fuel in potentially luring the former Oregon State Beaver back to the West Coast.