The biggest surprise is the upgrade at cheerleader. Right? Right?
Every season, there's always a player that surprises, by going beyond what the majority of us, thought they would do. We've seen it in the NFL, time and time again. For the Rams, I would say in 2010 the surprise player was Sam Bradford, but 2011 it's hard to say, but I guess I would say Robert Quinn. The problem with saying Quinn is because he was a first round pick, so what he did last season should be expected.
Hopefully this season will be different, the Rams added lots of talent. Rather it's one of the rookies or one of the savvy veterans that decided to come to the Rams because of Jeff Fisher, or one of the returning players on the roster, that decides to make the leap this season.
So, I asked the Turf Show Times crew, who will be the surprise player this season. Obviously, there were wide spread answers, so click below the jump for the potentially surprise players for the Rams.
Brandon Birkhead @birktothehead
I'll go with Kendall Langford. Not a big prediction, I know, but not many are talking about Langford this season. He has the potential to be one of the best interior pass rushers in the league playing alongside Long, Quinn, and when he returns, Brockers. He should have,plenty of opportunities to rush the passer.
Michael Brockers - He's going to not only change the perception that the Rams are easy to run on inside the tackles, he'll also put an enormous amount of the spotlight on the Rams' linebacker corp. If he can be taught to shed blocks instead of controling the line of scrimmage, he could be a pass rushing threat by season's end.
I'm going to take a flyer on Janoris Jenkins. The man looked horrible against Dallas in the preseason, but I believe he has the natural ability to succeed in the NFL. The Rams have assembled a bevy of coaches that are going to have the defense hitting on nearly all cylinders this year. The addition of Cortland Finnegan is going to turn this kid into a star.
3K twitter (@3k_)
I'll go with Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Literally for no reason whatsoever.
Eddie P (@iAmMrEddieP)
Daryl Richardson. Dude has a good feel running the ball.
Tevin Broner @T_bron
Honestly, and I know I will get a lot of flak for this, but I think it's Gibson. If he get's around 800 yards that will be a good season. I think he's a solid number two wideout.
Joe Mazzi (@Joe__Mazzi)
This is tough because there are several players who I'd like to see make a more positive impact. Lance Kendricks and Steve Smith stand out the most to me, though. Kendricks could be safety blanket No. 2 behind Amendola. He has the skill set to be a threat anywhere on the field, but he needs to put it all together. Smith doesn't need 1,000 yards and/or multiple touchdowns to make me happy. All he needs to do is what Rams receivers haven't been able to do for years - catch the ball and move the chains.
Josh Wehrle (@jmwehrle)
I think Chris Givens will really help take the top off of defenses and catch a few long touchdowns this season.
Mike Dietrich (@dvond)
I think Austin Davis plays at least 3 -4 games and performs better than Clemens did last year
Rick Siegel (@RSiegel81)
At this point, how can we say anyone but Austin Pettis? Rams fans had all but written him off before the preseason started, and he has responded by playing very well, and securing himself a spot on the roster, despite his upcoming 2 game suspension. Just the fact that he made the team has to make him the surprise of the season.
I wouldn't say I'd call him a surprise after watching him this preseason, but I think Robert Quinn has initiated 'beast mode,' and I don't think there's a kill switch. I'll apologize to 16 QB's in advance for their headaches
As strange as this sounds, I think Kendricks is going to surprise a lot of people this year. He's shown flashes in 2 preseasons (I know, I know) and seems to be running routes a lot better than last year. I can see him being "Blankie 2" for Sam this year.