The Los Angeles Rams sorely needed offensive linemen to protect veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford after he was one of the most sacked players during the 2022-23 season. General Manager Les Snead used an early second-rounder in the 2023 NFL Draft to take former TCU standout Steve Avila, who has already earned the team’s starting job at left guard and looks like the plug-and-play interior lineman many scouts projected him to be. Avila was one of two Horned Frogs taken by the Rams earlier this year, with Los Angeles snagging TCU cornerback and Jim Thorpe Award winner Tre Tomlinson in the sixth round.
Avila dominated opposing defenders throughout his collegiate career at TCU, where he earned All-Big 12 and All-American honors at both center and guard. The 6-foot-3, 332-pounder helped lead the way when the Rams battled the San Francisco 49ers earlier this month, making key blocks to spring two touchdowns for running back Kyren Williams. Avila is one of two former TCU athletes starting on the offensive line, as former Horned Frog tackle and third-rounder Joe Noteboom has shifted over from left tackle to right guard.
Avila is the latest offensive lineman from TCU to find success in the NFL. Former Horned Frog tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai currently starts at right guard for the Detroit Lions after signing a five-year, $45 million contract, while Lucas Niang (Kansas City Chiefs), Austin Schlottmann (Minnesota Vikings), Matt Pryor (San Francisco 49ers) and Aviante Collins (Chicago Bears) are on active rosters as second-stringers. Former TCU center Joey Hunt remains with the Seattle Seahawks on the team’s practice squad.