2018 Los Angeles Rams roster preview: OL Cornelius Lucas' experience benefits line – Turf Show Times


Los Angeles Rams LT Cornelius Lucas has what anyone would want in a reserve offensive lineman—size, experience and decent technique. Those are also the very things can keep him on the final 53-man roster.

Lucas came to the Rams following three seasons with the Detroit Lions. As a UDFA, Lucas worked his way onto the Lions’ roster slowly before making the starting lineup. He made three starts in each of his first two seasons with the Lions (2014 and 2015) and made appearances in five games in 2016 bringing his overall experience to 34 games with Detroit. However, he was cut by Detroit last September to make room for a pair of additions before being picked up by Los Angeles the same month.

With the Rams in 2017, he played the same role as backup and made a start in the final game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Roster battle

Lucas is listed as a left tackle with the Rams, but he’s proven a capable swing tackle. Against the 49ers, Lucas seemed comfortable at the right side of the line.

The Rams currently carry five tackles—LT Andrew Whitworth, RT Rob Havenstein, OT Darrell Williams, rookie LT Joseph Noteboom and Lucas. Whitworth and Havenstein will hold their mantles as starters with the rest serving in reserve. Though Noteboom is a newcomer, he has a strong chance of beating Lucas for the No. 2 job at left tackle.

Expectations

Lucas does his job well as a backup and is a reliable fill-in if someone goes down or needs a rest. He displays decent athleticism for someone of his size (6’9”) and frame (328 pounds). As a pulling tackle, Lucas shoots out of his spot and has the speed to come around the corner.

Against the 49ers, he displayed solid technique as a pass-protector. His run blocking needs work as he tends to abandon his technique using small, choppy steps when leaning against an opposing lineman instead of driving his long arms into their chest.

All-in-all, he’s a reliable depth man.

Expectations of making the final roster (8/10)

The Rams were lucky last year in regards to offensive line health, luck they can hopefully carry into the 2018 season. Lucas provides solid insurance should Whitworth or Havenstein go down.

Noteboom is expected to rise and become the next chapter at left tackle for LA, and Lucas is not going to be the guy to fight him for that spot.

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