Rams Considering Joe Noteboom At Guard, Shift Logan Bruss To Tackle

Rumored ahead of training camp to be holding four position battles along their offensive line, the Rams have made one notable change up front and are considering another. Their top 2022 draft choice is now at a new position, while the left tackle they re-signed for more than $13MM per year is not a lock to be Matthew Stafford‘s blindside protector to begin this season.

Logan Bruss is moving back to his college position of right tackle, per Sean McVay, who indicated this switch — which The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes (via Twitter) came about because of injury issues at the spot — will likely be for good. Bruss, who was transitioning to guard before ACL and MCL tears nixed his rookie year, is set to back up Rob Havenstein at right tackle — the Rams’ lone solidified starting O-line post coming into camp. The Rams chose Bruss in the 2022 third round.

While Bruss (25 right tackle starts at Wisconsin) is moving to a backup role, the Rams are also considering the prospect of Joe Noteboom not opening the season at left tackle. Introduced earlier this offseason, the notion of Noteboom at guard is now firmly in play, per McVay.

We want to find the best five,” McVay said. “But I think every one of those positions is incredibly valuable and really whatever we deem is the best fit for the five players at the two tackles, two guard spots and center. But I think Joe is a guy that can start at guard or tackle and he’s played at a high level so players like him are very rare that have the ability to do that. … Whether or not he ends up doing that or playing tackle, we’re still kind of working through that.”

Returning from an October 2022 Achilles tear, Noteboom is attached to a three-year deal worth $40MM. The Rams paid up to keep Noteboom in the wake Andrew Whitworth‘s retirement. Whitworth’s fill-in at that high-profile blocking post to close his career, Noteboom attracted a free agent market that led to the $13.3MM-per-year accord. The Rams used a few left tackles following Noteboom’s injury — one of many maladies to affect Los Angeles’ O-line during a disastrous Super Bowl title defense — and one of those options (Alaric Jackson) is pushing the incumbent for the job.

Using the increasingly popular “or” distinction to denote a position battle, the Rams’ depth chart lists Jackson as a co-left tackle starter. A 2021 UDFA, Jackson made six starts for the team last season. But a blood clot issue ended the Iowa alum’s season.

Jackson joined Tristan Wirfs as Iowa’s starting tackles in 2018 and ’19. The lower-regarded prospect started as the Hawkeyes’ left tackle from 2018-20, earning first-team All-Big Ten acclaim in 2020. This did not lead to a high profile coming into the 2021 draft, but the Rams have seen enough from the 25-year-old blocker to give him a legitimate shot at unseating Noteboom.

A “best five” scenario may well involve Noteboom shifting to right guard, where the depth chart lists Tremayne Anchrum — a 2020 seventh-rounder who started one game for the team last season — as the present first-stringer. With second-round pick Steve Avila set to start at the Rams’ other guard spot, Noteboom — who previously played guard before settling into the role as Whitworth’s apprentice — could return to an inside spot to accommodate Jackson. Anchrum joins Noteboom, Bruss and Jackson in coming off a season-ending injury — a fractured fibula.

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