When James Laurinaitis started at middle linebacker for the St. Louis Rams as a rookie out of Ohio State University, he turned some heads. Not just the heads of Ram fans, but the heads of opposing running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers too. When quarterbacks look straight ahead before the snap of the ball and see #55 staring back at them, their throats go dry. What they see is eyes with a mix of Wyatt Earp coolness and Hellboy's controlled fury. They look over their shoulder and mouth a "Sorry" to the running back that's about to run straight toward kinetic doom... Did I mention I'm a fan of #55?
James has out shown his 2009 NFL Draft linebacker brothers. Names like Curry (#4 in the 2009 NFL Draft) and Maualuga (#38 in the 2009 NFL Draft) were ranked higher by a guy with hair worthy of the Sci-Fi Channel. Chosen by the Rams with the 35th pick in the 2009 draft, James Laurinaitis has exceeded all expectations.
So let's dive right into some statistics predictions.
These are his stats from the 2010 season we'll be focusing on:
Solo Tackles: 98 Total Tackles: 114 Interceptions: 1 Sacks: 3.0 Forced Fumbles: 0 Passes Defended: 5
So here's where you get to prognosticate. Give me your predictions for JL55's 2011 season.