2015 NFL Draft: St. Louis Rams Select Iowa OL Andrew Donnal in Fourth Round


The St. Louis Rams made a surprising pick in the fourth round of Saturday’s 2015 NFL Draft, taking Iowa offensive lineman Andrew Donnal with the 20th pick of the round (119th overall). Donnal, a 6-foot-6, 313-pounder, has the size and experience to contribute at both guard and tackle. In 2014, his first season as a full-time starter, Donnal started every game at right tackle for the Hawkeyes. Prior to his senior season, he had seen rotational action at both guard and tackle and had taken over as the Hawkeyes’ starting right guard for three games as a sophomore prior to suffering a season-ending injury.

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Obviously, having started collegiately for just one full season, Donnal has a ways to go in terms of being ready to start as a pro. ESPN’s Mel Kiper called Donnal a “developmental long-term project type” on Saturday. The general consensus is that Donnal needs to add strength and improve his body composition in order to be an effective pro.

Donnal didn’t attend a postseason All-Star Game, and he was a surprise combine invite, though he did take advantage of that opportunity, as he was one of the top performers among offensive linemen in the vertical jump, jumping 32 inches.

Unless he really makes an impression during OTAs and training camp, Donnal will likely be a healthy inactive for his first season in a Rams uniform, as the team’s second and third-rounders, Rob Havenstein and Jamon Brown, seem to be more logical fits to serve as the gameday backups (if they aren’t starting). Players such as Garrett Reynolds, Brandon Washington, and Tim Barnes could fit in those backup roles as well.

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