After reviewing Papa_Lurch's excellent write up of the most underrated Rams players of the last five years, I thought it'd be fun for us all to hop in the DeLorean and go back to review the most overrated players during that time frame.
2010: DT Darell Scott
Scott started nine games in the 2010 season. The former fourth round pick regularly received high praise from the coaching staff, but that praise usually came in the off-season and rarely reared its face when games began to count. Scott finished the 2010 season with 18 total tackles. He never recorded a sack on his career so needless to say he didn't have any this season either. Fans and coaches alike seem to have been stuck in some sort of continuum that led everyone to believe this hype train would eventually take off.
Honorable Mention: WR Mardy Gilyard, SS Michael Lewis, WR Donnie Avery
2011: RB Jerious Norwood
Some may have forgotten that in Steven Jackson's final seasons with the Rams, there was a yearly search for a quality backup. The plan was to bring in a back that could spell Jackson and ultimately prolong his career. Norwood began his career in Atlanta as an explosive change of pace back that averaged 5.9 YPC in his first three seasons. The Rams however signed him for cheap as he was coming off a torn ACL (Todd Gurley anyone??), and he never regained his pre-injury form. The staff sold him as being back to 100% and having a great workout before he was signed, unfortunately Rams fans never got to witness this, and he was gone after one season, and 24 carries for 61 yards.
Honorable Mention: DT Justin Bannan, WR Greg Salas, CB Justin King
2012: RB Isaiah Pead
Much like the situation the previous year with Norwood, the Rams were in search for a change of pace back for Steven Jackson and a possible successor. Hence the drafting of Isaiah Pead in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The hype was insane for Pead, and as he put it in his rookie press conference, he was coming in to work and prove his worth and would be living in the "back pocket" of Jackson learning everything. Well this never came to fruition. Pead ultimately finished the season with 13 total touches, for 70 total yards. It was a colossal disappointing season for the young back, who played a position that is said to be the easiest to transition from college to the pros.
Honourable Mention: WR Steve Smith, OT Wayne Hunter, OT Barry Richardson, OC Brian Schottenheimer
2013: RB Daryl Richardson
Anyone else noticing a trend here? Yes, another running back has graced the list. After an exciting and explosive rookie season as Steven Jackson's backup, Daryl Richardson rode a wave of hype throughout the off-season and straight in the starting line-up. But after showing a very decisive and explosive running style as a rookie change of pace back, he looked more like a practice squad player when trusted with a full time role. Then the toe injury happened and that was all she wrote. Richardson would eventually fall to fourth on the depth chart and released at seasons end. It was one of the fastest rising and falling stars in recent memory for the Rams.
Honorable Mention: CB Cortland Finnegan, OG Harvey Dahl, C Scott Wells, CB Janoris Jenkins, OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, OC Brian Schottenheimer
2014: WR Tavon Austin
Finally the trend of running backs have ended. Although I get the feeling no one told Brian Schottenheimer this as he used Tavon Austin like a 230 lb feature back. Either way, Austin had far less explosive plays in his sophomore season than his rookie season. Austin flashed often as a rookie. Some may have forgotten that he had three touchdowns called back as a rookie, and a handful of other explosive plays. So while his final stats never reflected it, he did show why he was the number eight overall pick. He also finished his rookie season on a streak that wasnt talked about much. That streak was plays of 50+ yards. He had three against Indianapolis, one against Chicago, and one against Arizona. He only had one for all of 2014. Austin was a complete nonfactor in his sophomore year. A chunk of that can be blamed on the OC, but he also has to improve his overall game, and learn to be more of a traditional receiver.
Honorable Mention: RB Zac Stacy, OT Joe Barksdale, OG Davin Joseph, DT Kendall Langford, OC Brian Schottenheimer
The Rams are entering the season with a lot of hype this year. Expectations have grown and with those expectations people are expecting to see certain players really excel this season. This usually means someone is being set up for an overrated championship title.
But who will that player be???