Going back 5 years in Rams history is a scary proposition as a Rams fan. I took a look back at the previous 5 seasons to find players that deserved a little more recognition for their efforts.
2010: DE James Hall
Before the Rams started building a reincarnated version of the Fearsome Foursome, it was pretty much the Chris Long and James Hall show for the 2010 Rams defense. However, Long got most of the attention. Take a look at their stats and you'll see why I believe Hall was underrated.
It's pretty clear to see that Player B had a better season than Player A. You see where I'm going with this.... Player B is Hall and Player A is Chris Long. In Rams circles, we knew what Hall was capable of. But nationally? Hall got next to no love.
Honorable Mentions: Pat Shurmur, Donnie Jones
2011: Darian Stewart
Finding an underrated player on this really, REALLY bad roster was fairly difficult. The selection of Stewart reflects that. He put up starter-worthy numbers in 2011, but nothing otherworldly: 60 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles, and an Interception.
His performance can largely be chalked up to being an average player on a 2-14 team who's stats are inflated. But that's not to say that he wasn't worthy of more love. Unfortunately for Stewart, the Rams brought in a new regime in 2012 that didn't give him much love. And the fans were left wondering why Craig Dahl was starting over Stewart.
2012: Brandon Gibson
In a complete 180 of the 2011 season, the 2012 season provided a lot of options. I went with Gibson because he quietly had a better season than the much more ballyhooed Danny Amendola. Gibson had more yards and more TDs, and while he trailed in receptions, it was due to sheer volume. Amendola saw 101 targets to Gibson's 82.
Honorable Mentions: Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Janoris Jenkins, Jo-Lonn Dunbar
2013: Alec Ogletree
Ogletree was the far less heralded pick of the Rams draft class entering the season. While Tavon Austin was garnering all the hype, Ogletree was able to step in at the 'Will' linebacker position and flourish for the Rams. He was the first player to unseat James Laurinaitis as the Rams leading tackler in JL55s career.
On top of being a tackling machine, he added 1.5 sacks, 9 passes defenced, 6 forced fumbles, and this interception.
Honorable Mention: Lance Kendricks
2014: T.J. McDonald
Forget most underrated player on the Rams. In my opinion, T.J. Mac is one of the most underrated safeties in the NFL. After a rough start, T.J. was an absolute baller once the Defense got over their slow start. I've thrown this out on multiple occasions this offseason, and it fits here as well...
Though he struggled early in 2014, no safety had a higher grade from Weeks 9 to 17 than Rams safety T.J. McDonald. pic.twitter.com/1yxOEy7fwg— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 8, 2015
You would think with such stellar play, T.J. would garner at least some Pro Bowl love. But when you look up the voting results, he's nowhere to be found. That shouldn't happen in 2015.
Honorable Mentions: Darren Bates, Kenny Britt, Rodger Saffold
Heading into the 2015 season, there are a lot of players who could fit this bill. Possible options include any number of OL, Stedman Bailey, Akeem Ayers, and possibly Nick Foles.