So yeah, like most St. Louisans, I am pretty much stuck in the house right now while Ol Man Winter plays pea knuckle with the entire region. When it is pure out negative degree weather outside, you know what to do. Sit your butt at home!
Therefore I have time to I look back on our season with disappointment, hope, and a tad bit a pride as we beat two of the teams that are going on to the next level after this weekend's wild card games. Of course throughout the weekend, we heard so much about the growth of young wide receivers in the league that had made such an impact on their teams. I could not help but think about our young receivers and wonder what the differences are between us and the rest of their respective teams. Then I noticed something very important. All of the receivers they mentioned had a elite veteran presence on their squad or they were the only rookie on a squad of seasoned vets.
For the Rams, our lone receiving veteran is Austin Pettis with a whopping 3 years in the league and has never been considered a number one receiver. I cannot say that he is elite, but he is clutch and can make plays when needed.
Alshon Jeffery has a chance to work with a true number one in Brandon Marshall. Whether we'd like to admit it or not, this is a massive opportunity for a young player coming into the league. I get the impression that Brandon has grown into a leader on this Chicago Bears team and is bringing this young man through the basics of the game to ensure his elevation is proper! He was picked up a bit down the line in the draft from Brian Quick in the 2nd round.
Keenan Allen has become a real weapon in his rookie season. Just so happens that he is also the only rookie on his receiving squad. This year he has been clutch and a definite contributor as to why this team is moving forward in the post season. He was picked by San Diego in the 3rd round.
DeAndre Hopkins' situation is not a lot different than Alshon Jeffery's in that he gets to work with a potential Hall of Famer in Andre Johnson. Hopkins made significant contributions on a team that came out with the first pick in the draft due to their record and not "deal swingin". Yet in the midst of a bad season for the team, this rookie stepped in the make some plays. He was drafted #27.
Although I do believe that Pettis is a weapon on this team, I think we might need a little more to go along with that. So what can the Rams do in the off season to potentially add this presence and maybe even find a number one in the process? Check on the below guys and see what's up. Knowing Les Snead, he's probably already done just that and has a plan brewing under his blonde locks.
Jeremy Maclin is someone to be considered for a few different reasons. First of all he is young and has not peaked by any means. Secondly, he is fast enough to hang with our squadron of blazers and will command attention from any NFL defense. Lastly because of his injuries, he will not be able to command top tier money hence he may be worth a shot. He's also a hometown kid!
Kenny Britt is not on anyone's list as a potential number one threat, but no one can deny the fact that he is big, strong, young and can be athletic. Yeah, after seeing Jared Cook fail to impress this past season and Cortland Finnegan fizzle out due to injury/age/eye socket damage, one might not want to see another ex-Titan on our 53 man roster. His flashes have shown that he has the makings to be a force if put in the right situation. He was drafted by Jeff Fisher and has been in the league long enough to know what it takes to play professionally. He will have to earn a #1 title on a squad and prove himself. Based on his most recent comments, he sounds hungry. With an attitude check and proper feeding of the ball, this guy may be a real steal. Maybe.
Hakeem Nicks is one that I have to place on the bottom of the heap. Although he has always shown sincere promise as a play maker in the past, he's also got a lot of wear and tear. Meaning leg injuries. These injuries and the drops this past season would give a team pause at giving him any significant payday. He is going to come on the cheap. My problem is this smells like another Steve Smith situation waiting to happen. I say we should pass on this all together. Forget I mentioned it.
So tell me what you think about my theory that a veteran presence can surely help a young squad turn the corner. Thanks for reading!