FanPost

Sophomore Standouts: Players Primed to Have a Big Second Season

Dilip Vishwanat

Les Snead's first Rams draft was very good. He was able to get immediate contributors like Janoris Jenkins, Michael Brockers, Chris Givens, and Daryl Richardson. There were also guys who didn't transition well to the NFL. (See: Isaiah Pead and Brian Quick) Here are my top three candidates are for a big sophomore season:

1.) Janoris Jenkins

Janoris Jenkins was, in my opinion, the best draft pick the Rams made last year. Coming out of college he had character concerns, but Jeff Fisher took a chance on him, and it paid off. Jenkins led the team with four interception in 2012, and he returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns. Jenkins also recovered a fumble for a touchdown. He has proved that he'll take risks, which paid off at times. When the risks didn't pay off, Jenkins got burnt. There were times when he just got beat too. This happened because Jenkins was forced to be a learn-as-you-go corner. Now, as a second year guy, he will have the experience to fix his mistakes and make more big plays. Janoris Jenkins had a good rookie season, and I think that he will become a top-tier corner back in the years to come.

2.) Michael Brockers

Michael Brockers was the Rams first round draft pick out of LSU last season. He is a legit talent. I think he's going to be one of the best defensive linemen in the game in a few years. He was injured at the beginning of last season, so he only played in 13 games, starting 12. Brockers had 31 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. For comparison, Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork had 48 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles from his defensive tackle position. Another thing Brockers has going for him, is that the Rams defense around him. The other defensive linemen will be Chris Long, Robert Quinn, and Kendall Langford, who have proven themselves already. The linebackers James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, and Alec Ogletree are going to be a very solid unit this year. Laurinaitis and Dunbar have proved their worth. Ogletree hasn't yet, but I have no doubt that he'll have a good rookie season. If Michael Brockers stays healthy in 2013, I can see him putting up Pro Bowl type numbers in his sophomore season.

3.) Brian Quick

Brian Quick's rookie season did not go according to plan. Quick was the 33rd pick in 2012 draft. He is a big, physical receiver, but he also has some speed - running a 4.5/40 yard dash. In his two touchdowns last year, you saw exactly what the Rams wanted Quick to do. On his first touchdown, he caught a pass, stiff-armed a defender, and muscled his way into the end zone. In his second touchdown - against the Vikings - Sam Bradford threw the ball up and Quick climbed the ladder to get it in the end zone. Brian Quick is a big guy - standing at 6'4 and weighing 220 pounds - so he definitely is built to be able to excel in the NFL. Quick's playing time will grow with the departure of Brandon Gibson, and I think he will grab the opportunity and run with it. Brian Quick will use his experience from the first year to improve and become a reliable red zone target for Sam Bradford and the Rams' offense.

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