The St. Louis Rams will get a taste of live action on Friday night, as they head out west to take on the Oakland Raiders in their first preseason matchup of 2015. And seeing as how the football season has officially kicked off, now is as good a time as any for preseason power rankings. And Elliott Harrison, over at NFL.com, has some for you.
Here’s what he’s got to say about the St. Louis Rams, who dropped in at 19th overall:
Too much talk about rookie running back Todd Gurley, not enough talk about the wide receivers. Dilly-dally all day about Nick Foles playing "Words with Friends" with his new locker-room chums and the defensive line dominating, but perhaps 'ol Bernie Kosar was right a couple of years back when, while calling a Rams-Browns preseason contest, he savaged some of St. Louis' players, including some of the receivers. Brian Quick (who is still recovering from the shoulder issues that derailed his 2014 campaign), Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook and especially Stedman Bailey must step it up, or the Rams will be doing the 7-9 (or 7-8-1) thing again.
Harrison has the Seahawks as the NFC West’s top team heading into the preseason, ranked 2nd overall just behind the Packers. The Cardinals are also getting respect from Harrison, who has them as the league’s 6th best squad. The 49ers round out the West, placing 26th in the rankings.
It’s evident that Harrison isn’t impressed with the Rams’ corps of wideouts, as he references Bernie Kosar’s comments about the receivers - just about two years ago - who stated the player's parents would’ve been "embarrassed" to have seen their play against the Browns in that preseason game.
Fair or otherwise, the Rams’ receivers don’t get much respect, and until they start proving that they really are "Americas Finest Receivers On Sunday," they’ll continue to search for, not garner, respect from the media and others.
Regardless, being ranked inside the Top 20 is one of the more generous prognostications for the Rams in a power rankings. If the defense does what they’re capable of, and the offensive line is able to protect Nick Foles [which is the true question mark in the Rams’ offense], then maybe the Rams move a little bit closer to a Top 10 team as we progress through the early stages of the regular season.