Which Rams rookie do you see having the biggest impact in 2011?
Which Rams rookie do you see having the biggest impact in 2011?
Here's how I look at it:
The three 7th round picks - if they contribute anything, that's a bonus, so they're off the table first.
Hines - I think he could see a lot of action, particularly on "running downs," so he could be our rookie leader in tackles. I don't see him as an immediate "impact" player, though.
Kendricks - I think he could do some big things for us, particularly in the Red Zone, but he'll likely be splitting time with Hoomanawanui, so it will be limited.
Quinn - if the question was, "which 2011 rookie is most likely to one day be in the Pro Bowl," he'd be my choice. As a rookie, though, he'll be splitting time with James Hall (particularly if the Rams sign another DL like Barry Cofield), so I think year 2 is where he'll really start to make an impact.
That leaves Pettis and Salas. I think either can make an impact, as the Rams' WR position is an open field. I went with Pettis as I think he's a bit more NFL-ready than Salas, but I could see either guy making an impact this year.
Kendricks - should fit McD's schemes and will find eat easier going rising through the depth chart, probably split time with Hoomanawanui but my outside pick to be #1 TE by years end
Runner up - Quinn - will be splitting time in year one and will have an impact but on 30-40% of snaps
Noteable - Salas and Pettis - with the congestion at WR, hard to pick either to contribute to the level of most productive rookie.
Let me think, here...
7th Rounders - I could see all of them pitching in here and there, but nothing huge.
Hines - This is a kid I really like. He'll make some big plays for us at safety. However, I'm also worried he'll allow some big plays. When the year is said and done, I think the mistakes and big plays will probably even out.
Salas/Pettis - I like both of these guys as players. My only problem is that they're in a pretty cramped WR corps. With the way Slingin' Sammy likes to spread the ball, I can't see either of them getting enough touches to have the most impact.
Kendricks - I, for one, loved the Kendricks pick. He has great receiving ability, and can do the dirty work in the trenches. He reminds me a lot of Heath Miller. He does have to compete with Uh-Oh, but I think he'll get enough touches in the red zone to do well. Add in his blocking, and you have a rookie who can really do some work.
Quinn - As has been stated several times before, Quinn's year will probably be spent learning from James Hall and rushing the QB on 3rd down. Give him a couple years, and he'll be scary.
So, when I weigh it all in my head... I have to go with Kendricks.
I'm betting Austin Pettis will have the biggest impact. His football smarts and hands will do wonders for us in the red zone/3rd down situations and with Josh McD pulling the strings, his route running will only develop faster. We might end up having a top 5 red zone offense because of Kendricks and Pettis.
Quinn will make contributions in pass rush situations but Hall will be taking the main reps until Quinn learns how to stuff the run.
Salas is a very physical slot receiver, him and Kendricks will make contributions in the run game where they can provide the push for Jackson.
I'll be surprised if Kendricks isn't the teams starting TE from day one. Big Mike could see a lot of time as well, but I think most of it will be in two TE sets or special packages.
Quinn might have a hard time adjusting to the speed of the NFL early in the season seeing as he hasn't played in a year. Even if he does come in at top shape with something to prove, it's going to be very hard to beat out a savy veteran like J Hall.
My vote goes to Kendricks.
I voted Kendricks seeing as how he fits into McD's system and is probably going to be a starter. Also Robert Quinn will only play on passing downs because he doesn't have the bulk to play the run. I would like to vote for Jabara seeing how well he did in college (look it up) and have him a OLB and help James. He could be great help but he will most likely be a special teams guy.
Unfortunately Kendricks in no way is similar to Heath Miller. Miller is 6'5" and 256 lbs. He is a legit TE who can play on the line and also get down the field as needed. He can solo block defensive ends and linebackers without much help along with stretching the seam in pass receiving work.
Kendricks, otoh, at 6'3" and 241 lbs is known as a "hybrid" TE. He is called a hybrid because he is not big enough to line up at the traditional TE spot and will be at a distinct disadvantage attempting to block defensive ends and the bigger linebackers in the league. This is why he will most likely be lined up wide and/or put in motion frequently. To me he is a catch-first, block-second type of player. Whereas I believe that TEs like Heath Miller can do both equally well.
BTW I do agree with your assessment on Robert Quinn.
WHAT SAY YE?
While I hope that he works out for us I really don't see much of a comparison with the Heath Millers of the NFL.
I used all the bias I have in my heart and selected Pettis--however, I do have a rationale, one of our biggest deficiencies on offense last year was red zone offense--and AP is somewhat a cure all to this deficiency.
Pettis's hands and ball skills make him an excellent red zone target, and he is deft at the simple but effective fade from the 10 in. I can see this single play call alone drastically increasing our efficiency in this area---as a result I can see Pettis grabbing 8-10 tds this year. Therefore, even if his receptions and yardage are low, as they might be due to the logjam at receiver, ill give the nod to Pettis based on his potential in this area alone.
My runner up would likely be as I can see his pass rushing abilities netting about the same amount of sacks--but as tds are more significant that sacks, I'll give the nod to Pettis.
It's in like Quinn. History seems to suggest that Spagnuolo likes to rotate his linemen liberally. Meanwhile, the logjam at receiver could mean limited playing time for the rooks, as well, and few tight ends make a big splash as rookies.
I'm going with Quinn. With the way the "SACK" is magnified in the NFL it won't take too many for him to bring on the spotlight.
Here is my list of realistic (minimum) goals for each rookie:
Robert Quinn: 36 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
Lance Kendricks: 35 receptions, 385 yards, 4 TDs
Austin Pettis/Greg Salas: 25 receptions, 370 yards, 3 TDs
Jermale Hines: 45 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 turnovers (forced fumble, fumble recovery, interception)
Mikail Baker: 24.0 yards/kick return, long of 50, special teams contributer
Jabara Williams/Jonathan Nelson: make team, special teams contributers, spot duty on defense
My vote goes to Kendricks. Which would we rather have - sacks or first downs? Not sure if I know the answer to that one. I think the Rams view Kendricks as having a unique skill set - more of a mismatch than Salas or Pettis. (Pettis would be choice #2 by the way). I believe Kendricks has the skill set and potential to affect the outcome of games more than any other rookie we have in 2011. Were we to have the same poll going into 2014, then my vote might well go to Quinn. He surely appears to have plenty of "star" potential.