- NFL Media’s Charley Casserly writes Cardinals first-round LB Isaiah Simmons is expected to have an immediate impact as a rookie, with Arizona planning to start the versatile Simmons at inside linebacker first.
- Casserly says Cardinals veteran OT Marcus Gilbert will look to hold off third-round OT Josh Jones for the starting right tackle gig.
- Other competitions include Haason Reddick vs Devon Kennard at EDGE and Zach Allen vs fourth-round rookies Rashard Lawrence and Leki Fotu at defensive end.
- NFL Media’s Charley Casserly writes the 49ers think first-round DT Javon Kinlaw and WR Brandon Aiyuk can be immediate impact players as rookies.
- Aiyuk will compete with 49ers WRs Kendrick Bourne, Dante Pettis and 2019 third-rounder Jalen Hurd for roles behind WR Deebo Samuel — and to replace Samuel while he’s out with his foot injury.
- Kinlaw will compete with 49ers DL Solomon Thomas and D.J. Jones for playing time on the interior.
- Casserly notes 49ers G Tom Compton will compete with OL Daniel Brunskill to start at right guard.
- 49ers CBs Emmanuel Moseley and Ahkello Witherspoon will continue their competition for the No. 2 corner job in 2020.
A big reason the Rams offense took such a large step back in 2019 was the drop in performance from the offensive line. Injuries and transition hit the unit hard. While the unit was expected to be an area the Rams looked to address in the draft, especially at left tackle where there’s no clear heir to Andrew Whitworth, Rams GM Les Snead says the offensive line situation isn’t viewed as direly inside the building.
“We did go into [the draft] probably a little different than maybe the outside of our building where, ‘OK, hey, it’s a major, major glaring weakness,'” Snead said via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “We felt confident that if we continue grooming and developing these players, they’d have a chance to become a really solid offensive line.”
Whitworth and OT Rob Havenstein will hold their starting jobs on either side of the line, though Havenstein might have to fend off a challenge after he was hurt and his play slipped in 2019. Los Angeles re-signed OL Austin Blythe to start at either center or guard and bring back 2019 starters G Joseph Noteboom and C Brian Allen, each of whom missed time due to injury.
If neither are healthy, the Rams also drafted Bobby Evans and David Edwards in the third and fifth-rounds last year, each of whom can play tackle or guard and figure to push for playing time, along with former second-round G Austin Corbett who arrived via midseason trade from the Browns.
“We know we have players that can play, but it’s about finding ways to get the best five on there,” Rams HC Sean McVay said. “Certain guys might have a little bit more position flex.”