[Chart last updated 7/9/14]
• One of the easiest decisions of the depth chart series was making Robert Quinn elite after his massive 2013 season. He had a couple of quiet games over the course of the season, but these occurrences were a rarity compared with the games where he was close to unstoppable as a pass rusher. He’s just 24 years old now so we’re really all just waiting to see how he follows it up in 2014.
• Janoris Jenkins is a player who I feel at times gets overvalued. He absolutely can make plays on the ball, as his 22 pass breakups, to go along with five interceptions, over the past two years suggest. However he’s also prone to mistakes in coverage, and had six games last year where he allowed a reception of 30 yards or longer.
• One player the Rams will be expecting an improvement out of in 2014 is linebacker Alec Ogletree. After drafting him in the first round of the draft last year, the former Georgia Bulldog failed to impress much, finishing the year with 19 missed tackles. There were flashes of good play in there, but he needs to show that much more often for the Rams to get a return on their investment.
1. Defensive Tackle
After drafting him in the first round of this year’s draft, big things will be expected out of Aaron Donald. But how quickly can we expect to see him with a starring role? He’ll have to beat out Kendall Langford, and with the former Miami Dolphin having such a strong season against the run in 2013, it seems to make a lot of sense to leave him in on early downs, and bring Donald onto the field on more obvious passing situations early on.
Like Donald at defensive tackle, the Rams also have a high draft pick at cornerback in second round pick Lamarcus Joyner. Right now he’s expected to be the team’s third corner, but faces a fight with Brandon McGee. McGee didn’t play much as a rookie in 2013, outside of a poor outing against the Chicago Bears in Week 12 where he allowed all four passes thrown his way to be caught, and committed three penalties in coverage.
3. Wide Receiver
We know that the Rams will be expecting big things, in a variety of roles, out of second year man Tavon Austin, but how do the rest of the receivers stack up? The combination of Chris Givens, Austin Pettis, Brian Quick and Stedman Bailey won’t strike much fear into opposing defensive backs, but if there’s a wild card here it’s Kenny Britt. He’s been terrible in recent years, so much so that we can’t have him as anything other than a poor starter. And yet when you look back over the first couple of years of his career, you would have expected him to have developed into a top receiver. Can he salvage his career in St. Louis and get back to the level he once played at?
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