June 12, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Lance Kendrick (88) goes for the ball as linebacker James Laurinaitis (55) and safety Darian Stewart (20) defend during minicamp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers topped the NFL Network's annual Top 100 list, the network's offseason airtime filler and the televised version of an internet slideshow. Needless to say, not many members of the St. Louis Rams made the list.
The Rodgers pick makes sense. I certainly don't disagree, and there are probably a handful of other players that could be at the top of the list that would not raise hackles either.
As for the Rams, Steven Jackson was the player nearest the top. He came in at No. 37, up a notch over last year's place on the list. Chris Long also at No. 84. Cortland Finnegan was on there too. Fans may argue about their placement on the list of the 100 best players in the league, but nobody would deny that they belong on the list.
So here's my question to you on this fine Thursday morning, who would you put as the Rams' top player ... among the current group of guys, free agent additions included? How would you rank the top five players on the Rams? My list, after the jump.
Ok, here's the deal with this, my list is based on results not potential. If it were potential alone, I'd put Sam Bradford on top, but this isn't the kind of exercise that we can base on potential.
1. Chris Long, DE - The stats show that Long has established himself as one of the league's best pass rushers, part of an elite group of players. He's in the prime of his career. To me, this one is easy.
2. Steven Jackson, RB - Four years ago, SJ would have been an easy pick for the top spot. He's still an elite player, and hopefully the team has some parts around him to keep defenses from keying in on him.
3. Cortland Finnegan, CB - Finnegan is one of the league's top corners, period. He excels in coverage, works the outside and the slot, and even has a knack for pressuring quarterbacks.
4. James Laurinaitis, LB - Linebackers of the non-pass rushing variety are fairly anonymous in the NFL to begin with, so JL is used to not getting the credit he deserves. In a way, he's like Jackson, surrounded by too many inferior parts to let his full productivity blossom.
5. Sam Bradford, QB - Bradford did show enough in his rookie of the year campaign to make this list. Had last season gone as planned, he would be in the top spot. Here's hoping he is next year.
Alright, what's your list look like?
Who is the St. Louis Rams top player?
Steven Jackson (415 votes)
Chris Long (138 votes)
James Laurinaitis (119 votes)
Sam Bradford (50 votes)
Cortland Finnegan (23 votes)
Other (3 votes)
748 total votes