Ed "Pi double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams claimed J.J. Dielman, the cousin of the four-time Pro-Bowl guard of the San Diego Chargers. Rams are optimistic that Dielman's genes have been passed down to the younger cousin. Believe it or not, but when Dielman signed his letter of intent with the University of Utah, he only weighed 236lbs during recruiting. Shocking enough, he needed to gain more weight, something that was very difficult to achieve living in Phoenix, AZ. However, he managed to put on the necessary weight gain with muscle growth of some 65lbs, increasing his weight to 300lbs, standing 6-feet-5-inches tall.
Dielman was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, by the Cincinnati Bengals. He initially was predicted as a late first round or an early second-round selection. However, his season was cut short due to a leg injury he sustained his senior year. He will injure himself against the University of Cal and MRI’s later determined his injury be season-ending.
The Bengals were well aware of his injury, and also knew his potential, and still manage to draft him with their #176th overall pick. Assuming his injury didn't heal as quickly as the Bengals expected, they waived him after the final 53-man rosters. The Rams claimed Dielman through the waiver process. Indeed, the Bengals were optimistic he become unclaimed so that they could develop him further on their practice squad. Sources reported that he was just beat out by a better competition of Alex Redmond.
Claiming Dielman, inserts him right on the Rams 53-man roster, as he will give depth and help to an offensive line that's already slim. The jury is still out with the right side of the Rams starting offensive line of Jamon Brown and Rob Havenstein. The two hasn't looked very fluent since week one of the pre-season, and simply Rams offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has done about as much as he possibly can from a coaching perspective. It's merely the talent and good mechanics by the two players to want to become and play better.
JJ Dielman's Senior Season At Center
I believe the Rams have made the right choice by claiming Dielman. They are getting a very versatile and athletic offensive lineman who has a very high football I.Q., high feet, is agile, and can block extremely good. When asked by his ex-collegiate coach at the University of Utah, this is how ex-coach Kyle Whittingham described him about his past consistent performer.
"His work ethic is phenomenal," he said. "He's just a prototypical offensive lineman. He's got the size, the strength, the mentality, the footwork. Moreover, he's just a junior, that's the best part about him."
Dielman's versatility of able to play all over the line, recently at the tackle and center positions, he will help a Rams line that has not been very good and decimated with injuries over the years. In the video footage above, you see his ability to move around, as well as his awareness on the field. As a run blocker, the defender almost disappears when Dielman engages contact. He has an excellent knack for backside pressure where he can help when uncovered.
JJ Dielman's Junior Highlights At Tackle
Above is footage of Dielman highlights as a right tackle. Again, you can observe his great awareness, footwork, and strength. His most significant upside here is that Aaron Kromer can enjoy his ability to pass block and the quickness of his hands. Being tall, stout, and athletic, he's probably can be the answer to the right guard position.
Dielman once asked of what was his favorite position he enjoys playing on the line, without hesitation, he would answer playing the center position. If the Rams are looking for him to become the future at that position, we have to think where will Aaron Neary play, whom they've also claimed. Also to include, the Rams added rookie Jake Eldrenkamp, undrafted lineman to the practice squad, someone else they had the intention of playing that position.
The Rams will play their home opener next Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Already being reported that the Colts will be without starting quarterback Andrew Luck, and potentially starting center Ryan Kelly. Also, starting defensive back Vontae' Davis was ruled out against Rams this afternoon as well, leaving a massive hole of their secondary to be filled. Nonetheless, this will not be the first time the Rams faced an injured brittle team and still walked away losing. They will take this game as dangerous as Scott Tolzien is Andrew Luck.
J.J. Dielmans Week 4 Pre-season Highlight
Dielman played his last preseason game against the Colts where he did an ok job. In at the center spot, first, play opened up a nice hole on a switch blocking assignment for running back Jarveon Williams to gain about 15 yards on the run. Pass block was functional, however when he got in open space seemed to look a bit lost. Indeed, Coach Kromer can fix that problem. Another play was a screen outside where he had to pull and get out in front, in which he did excellent cutting down the pursuing linebacker.
We have seen what in store for Dielman because I can look at the signs of his big cousin Kris Dielman coming out of him on the field.