We all know what a #1 Wide Receiver is, but defining it can prove difficult. Everyone has their own twist on what being a #1 WR means. But regardless of what criteria your definition contains, there is one constant: the Rams haven't had one since Torry Holt.
Gone are the days when we were blessed with 2 primo-WRs in Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. The Rams have been a revolving door at WR since the Greatest Show on Turf days. The team's leading WR dating back to 2008 have been(yardage): Jared Cook (671), Chris Givens (698), Brandon Lloyd (683), Danny Amendola (689), Donnie Avery (589), and Torry Holt (796). Think about that for a moment. That's 6 years with six different players leading the team; none of them getting over 700 yards with the exception of the only (future) Hall of Famer in the group.
We're only three games into the season, but it looks like Brian Quick is changing the status quo. In his first two years in the NFL, Quick showed flashes of greatness, but failed to produce with any consistency. With the emergence of Alshon Jeffery last year (he was selected 12 picks after Quick), fans were left wondering if the Rams drafted the wrong WR.
The front office had hyped Quick as the next Terrell Owens and Les Snead compared him to Vincent Jackson. That's extremely high praise. When he struggled to meet those expectations in his first two seasons, the phrases "bust" and "workout warrior" started to be thrown around in conversations about Quick. The fact that he is well known as a beast on the practice field only added fuel to the fire. Fan frustration peaked when the Rams passed up the opportunity to draft Sammy Watkins - or any other WR - in this year's draft.
Then, during OTAs, we heard the familiar adage of Quick being the MVP at camp. But unlike his first 2 years in the league, that wasn't enough. He needed to start showing that he could translate it to the field on Sundays if he was going to win over the fans.
Over the course of the first 3 games this year, Quick has done just that; consistently being the Rams top receiving weapon, and has started to live up to his draft status. In 3 games this year, Quick has already outpaced his numbers from his rookie year, and will likely exceed his stats from his sophomore season in the Rams next game. Oh, and at his current pace he would surpass his CAREER numbers in the Rams 6th game. I'd say that surpassing 2 years worth of production in what amounts to 2 months is pretty impressive, wouldn't you?
With such a small sample size, I understand that extrapolating Quick's current stats over the course of a full season is kind of silly. But just for fun, let's have a look at what Quick's 2014 season stats would be if he keeps producing at this level.
Now those aren't Calvin Johnson-type numbers, but it would be (by far) the best season a Rams WR has had since Torry Holt left town. With Quick quickly establishing himself as the Rams #1 WR, lets take a look at how he stacks up against three well established (and well paid) #1 WRs across the NFL. To avoid the small sample size pitfall again, I used 2013 season stats.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if the Rams had the opportunity to add one of these three WRs, most fans would do so in a heartbeat. With the exception of TDs (which can come in spurts), it's clear that Quick has produced at the level of a #1 WR Rams fans so desperately desire.
The question, as it has been throughout his career, is consistency. Can he continue to produce at this level? If he can, he will prove Jeff Fisher and Les Snead to be very smart men.