This week, every SBN NFL site is looking at the best newcomer for their team. The challenge for doing so with the 2017 Los Angeles Rams? The number of candidates.
Just in free agency alone, you have OLB Connor Barwin, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, C John Sullivan, WR Sammy Watkins, CB Kayvon Webster, LT Andrew Whitworth, WR Robert Woods all logging significant playing time. From the draft, WR Cooper Kupp and TE Gerald Everett have both made major contributions.
But as I whittled it down, I came down to just two candidates in the final voting tier: Whitworth and Kupp.
Kupp’s having a heck of a rookie season and is perhaps in the deep mix for rookie of the year discussions with 14 receptions for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
But with the offensive revival under Head Coach Sean McVay, no newcomer has made more of a difference than Whitworth. He has only surrendered one sack in the entire season and is tops in the NFL per Pro Football Focus’ Pass Block Efficiency. His addition alone has elevated the performance of the offensive line which is single-handedly allowing McVay’s concepts to be implements and allowing QB Jared Goff to do what he has done this season: go through reads, make good decisions and work all areas of the field to a wide diversity of targets.
Put simply, none of this would be possible without the play of Andrew Whitworth.