There are few players who take longer than three years to truly begin to develop. Most of the time, if there are no signs of progression by year three, it's not happen. The Rams now enter their third season under Jeff Fisher. Fisher's first batch of Rams players will more than likely be looked upon to take another step forward and help the team progress towards the ultimate goal.
Brockers has been very productive over the course of his first two seasons. He has become an anchor in the middle of the defensive line trenches and has actually been one of the best players on the roster. His abilities - to both rush the passer and stop the run - have even earned him a little national attention. That says a lot considering it's rare a Rams player not named Sam Bradford is mentioned on TV or in the NFL media. Brockers has consistently been mentioned as a possible breakout player for the 2014 season. He's earned it. There were even times last year, where he was absolutely dominant. Three games that really stand out are Houston, Chicago, and Indianapolis. Not all of his contributions will show up on the stat sheet, but it doesn't go unnoticed. Brockers does indeed look poised to enjoy and prosperous and sucessful 2014 season.
Projection- 55 tkl---7 sck---2 ff---4 pbu
Janoris Jenkins is an enigma. His problem is not lack of effort. He doesn't struggle because guys are more talented than him. He's not still trying to figure out what he is doing. When he faces really good competition he doesn't lose confidence. In fact, his problem is the exact opposite; he has entirely too much confidence. In other words: he gets too cocky at times. That cocky approach is risky. Because when you build yourself up so much, it makes it easier for your opponent to get into your head. They know all they have to do is beat you one time, and it's over. When you're trying hard just to make up for the last mistake, and don't move on to the next play, you're not playing your game. So the opposition has successfully taken you out of your own game, and now you are playing theirs. This is Janoris. When he plays his game, he is as good as any corner. Examples would be his performances against Chicago, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay. But when you get in his head, (i.e. Carolina) things can take a turn for the worst. The hope is, with another year of maturity under his belt, and Gregg Williams calling a more "in your face" Janoris' style of defense, he should take a noticeable step forward.
Projection- 71 tkl---3 int---11 pbu---1 ff
Givens had a rough second season. But in all honesty, part of his failures should be put onto the fans. There were some really lofty expectations going into the 2013 season for a player who was still trying to learn the route tree. In other words: he had no clue what he was doing. It also did not help that there were fewer play calls that had a route with him going 20+ yards down field than in 2012. With that being said, it was clear Givens also took a step back. He dropped a few really easy passes, and there was one against Carolina which should have gone for a touchdown. With that being said, he did show flashes of improvement with his route tree. Against Atlanta, Tennessee, and Seattle (week 8), it was clear he was getting better. His intermediate route tree should only continue to get better. He is still far from a finished product, but as long as Sam Bradford does not miss any significant playing time Givens should have a nice rebound year.
Projection- 48 rec---721 yds---4 tds---4 drops
Of all the players brought in from the 2012 NFL draft, an argument can be made that none has consistently improved as much as Johnson. As a long, tall, and big corner, many thought Johnson would be better served as a safety. Jeff Fisher threw that notion out of the window very quickly, and so far it's proven to be the correct choice. Johnson is a true football player. When the lights come on and he steps in-between the white lines, he is full go. He plays with a certain swagger and confidence, that really helps him week in and week. He had good performances against Arizona (week 14), New Orleans, and Indianapolis (maybe his best game overall). At 6'2", 210 lbs., deceptive speed, loose hips, physicality, and continuously rapid progression, Johnson looks like he could develop into a shut down corner some day.
Projection: 79 tkl---6 int---9 pbu---3 tfl
Les Snead made it abundantly clear, the team was not expecting any major contributions in Quick's first two seasons. This is supposed to be the year that it starts to click for Quick (I think I just figured out what my first sign in the stands will say?). Until this point, none of the complaints could seriously be taken into account, because technically Les told everyone to not get their hopes up. For all of the Brian Schottenheimer haters out there, if you want to know why he is still around, then look no further than players like Brian Quick. His biggest struggle thus far has been knowing what he's doing. If you are changing coordinators every year, what will that do to the growth of a player like Quick? Continuity is a must, but after three seasons - the time frame Les Snead himself gave - it will be expected for Brian Quick to take a massive leap. Up to now, he's given little reason to believe that he'll become the player they were hoping he'd be. Not to say the team has given up hope, but the addition of Kenny Britt says a lot. Britt and Quick have similar measurements, in both physical dimensions and athletic abilities. Britt seems like a Quick insurance policy? If Quick does flop, you have Britt, who by all accounts has at least shown that he can be a damn good player in this league. But if Quick starts to put it all together, you now have two physical specimens you can put on the field at the same time, a la Chicago.
Projection: 34 rec---512 yds---4 tds---6 drops