Avila brings new muscle to the offensive line
For a very long time, fans have been clamoring for the Los Angeles Rams to improve the offensive line with more size and muscle. The last time the Rams featured an offensive line with considerable size and strength was in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, with starters: Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, Austin Blythe and Rob Havenstein.
Since that time, Los Angeles has tried to skate with players who can “position block” instead of chasing linemen out of the line of scrimmage. Steve Avila’s selection signals a commitment to addressing his inconsistent running game issues since 2019 and bolstering pass protection from the line.
Steve Avila (News):
Avila was a Redshirt Senior in 2022. He turns 24 in October. At 6’3 1/2” and 332 pounds, Avila has a dense frame. At the combine, his frame measured 33-inch arms and a 9 1/4-inch hand height. He was voted team captain in his senior year at TCU.
40-yard dash: 5.21
Vertical jump: 29.5″
Long Jump: 8’2″
3-taper drill: 7.85 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.74
Bench press: 28 repetitions
Avila played in 11 games as a redshirt rookie in 2019. In 2020, he started nine games while earning honorable mention All-Big 12. As a junior, Avila was a second-team all-time pick. conferences, starting 11 games at the center. In 15 games as a senior, he moved to left guard, earning second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-Big 12 honors. He captained TCU for the FBS Championship Game . He didn’t allow a single sack in 899 snaps in his final season at TCU. The powerful left guard gave up just eight QB rushes and two QB hits.
Avila thinks he can compete with Coleman Shelton for the right guard position along the starting offensive line. Because Los Angeles has embarked on a renovation, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Avila in the lineup for week one. In two to three years, we could see Avila move to center replacing Brian Allen. Avila’s girth and ability to control defensive linemen should allow him to carve out between 7 and 10 years in the NFL assuming he stays relatively healthy. Avila is a change of pace from the Rams’ recent offensive linemen. As a power guard, LA might tend to add more maulers, like when the team had Rodger Saffold at left guard during McVay’s first two seasons. With Saffold, Sean McVay was able to use Todd Gurley’s balanced attack and back passing game.
Despite his 330-pound size, Avila plays with speed and flexibility along the inside line. He uses great technique, finding leverage and using a solid anchor in pass protection. There is a sense of urgency to unleash the snap and drive its blocks. He includes his footwork in protecting passes, keeping them moving and mirroring defensive linemen. Avila relies on her bottom half to talk to every rep. He ends the game with an extra hand to the defender’s chest.