Credit Rodger Saffold. Rookies aren't supposed to be this good, but he was too busy settling into the starting left tackle role for the St. Louis Rams to hew to expectations.
Saffold stepped right in and started playing like a veteran, while the other left tackles picked above in the 2010 NFL Draft are still struggling.
Now, the second round pick is getting used to the constant pain of life as an NFL lineman. He strained his shoulder again last week versus the Falcons. Nevertheless, he practiced this week, albeit in a limited role, and will play against Denver tomorrow.
Danario Alexander didn't even make it the draft. Recovering from yet another knee surgery, he sat out until August when the Rams signed him as an undrafted free agent. Assigned to the practice squad, he didn't see NFL action until week 6, scoring a TD on a beautiful layout catch and accumulating 72 yards on 4 catches.
The Mizzou product then had to have his surgically repaired knee scoped, missing more time. He recovered from that operation, his fifth knee surgery, quickly and is ready to play this weekend.
Sam Bradford may get all the headlines this year, as talented QBs often do, but an improved Rams team owes plenty to rookies like Saffold and Alexander, powering through their pain to get on the field and start a new era.