ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 30: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints gets rid of the ball to avoid being sacked by Robert Quinn #94 of the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Saints 31-21. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
With the NFL offseason in full bloom, many pundits have taken to the airwaves (or is it 'interwebs' now?) to list their sleepers and breakout players, so they can say, "I told you so" months later. John Clayton from ESPN has his list of 10 breakout players for 2012 and surprise, surprise, Rams DE Robert Quinn is listed at #6.
Here is what Clayton had to say about the young defensive end:
After a slow start last season, Quinn had four sacks in the final eight games. He could be freed up against single blocking now that Chris Long needs double-team blocking and Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford have been added at defensive tackle.
I went into a little detail about that in my 2012 Preview for Chris Long, but Clayton makes perfect sense. Quinn can fly by bigger, slower offensive tackles, leaving him with an open shot to sack the quarterback. Quinn wasn't used much early on last year (which Clayton noted), but when given the chance, he shined later on in the year. With so much potential on the defensive line, you can't help but be excited for this unit in the upcoming season.