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Thread: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

  1. #1
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    The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    While we look to FA and the draft to upgrade the roster, we should not lose sight of the potential to "improve from within." Here are 10 Rams I think could continue to develop in the next 2-3 years.

    1. Sam Bradford
    Duh. Clearly, Sam has not reached his peak. After demonstrating great promise as a rookie, he was crushed under an avalanche of injuries, poor protection and dropped passes in his second year. Count me among those who believe that he can still develop to become an upper-tier NFL QB.

    2. Robert Quinn
    Quinn's performance as a rookie, viewed in light of his year off and limited playing time behind James Hall, was not bad at all (20 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 2 blocked punts). His physical tools are off-the-chart and he's only 21 years old. I expect him to become a 10+ sack player within the next two years.

    3. Rodger Saffold
    One of this year's great mysteries was Saffold's backslide from his impressive rookie campaign. This will be a cruicial year for Saffold. Whether he holds the LT spot or moves to right side to make way for a Blue Chip rookie (i.e. Kalil), I expect he'll return to form.

    4. Lance Kendricks
    Kendricks had a great preseason, then seemed overwhelmed at the start of the regular season. His production by year's end was not great but, then again, Vernon Davis', Aaron Hernandez's and Jimmy Graham's rookie numbers were nothing special either. I think Kendricks could develop into a reliable receiver for Bradford.

    5. Chris Long
    Long may not belong on this list in the eyes of some, as he is already playing at a near-Pro Bowl level, but consider this... How many disruptive DTs has Long played next to? The thought of Long getting more 1 on 1 opportunities intrigues me, and makes me wonder how good Chris could be if the Rams bring in a better DT (Devon Still, maybe?).

    6. Darian Stewart
    Stewart was one of the few "finds" of the Devaney era. He put up nice numbers this year (84 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 11 passes defended). He certainly earned a shot to hold the starting spot at FS in 2012.

    7. Greg Salas
    Before his injury, Salas showed some promise as a reliable 3rd down/slot receiver. He'll have to battle Danny Amendola for that role in 2012, but he has a big edge in terms of size. I give him the edge.

    8. Jerome Murphy
    Murphy's coverage skills are raw, but his physical play and tackling ability could be valued in a Jeff Fisher style defense. I don't know that he'll ever be starting CB, but he could play an important role in nickel and dime packages.

    9. James Laurinaitis
    Laurinaitis, like Long, has produced great numbers with little support. Improved play at the DT, along with better OLBs, could free him up to become even more of a playmaker.

    10. Jason Brown
    Brown, who will be 29 when next season starts, may seem a bit old for this list. However, I wonder if he might be a "comeback player" candidate for the Rams. The downturn of his play could have been impacted by system changes, instability, and even his emotional state (his brother was killed in Iraq last year). I'm hoping a new year with a new coaching staff will lead to a rejuvenation of his career.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -01-19-2012 at 10:56 AM.


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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Agree with most if not all. Love this post, post like this is what keeps the excitement going after a 2-14 seaosn

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    The only one I would disagree with is Brown.

    In my opinion, he's never going to return to his old Baltimore form, unless he undergoes some major lifestyle changes (counseling/therapy, time off, reflecting vacation).

    It's the internal pressures he feels that is the cause of his drop in play. Changing anything on the outside (new head coach, new scheme) probably will do almost to nothing in making him progress back, unless he develops a very close, mentor-ish bond with Fisher or something, which I don't see happening.

    He used to be known as a tough, strong road grader as an interior linemen. Now, even the most average defensive tackles can push him back and rough him up at ease.

    Is he magically losing strength or something? No, it's because of his emotional state and the stress and even maybe depression that is hampering his body into being lackluster, sluggish, tired, and weak.

    I think Jason Brown's football career is finished.

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    I think Pettis belongs on the list. He showed real flashes this year. I also think that bradley fletcher is worthy on inclusion, and possibly bartell as well.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Michael Hoomanawanui!

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    My hope is that Fisher shows us that no one on the roster was at their peak potential. : )

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    i guess you have given up on Danario Alexander and his knees...its a shame he really has talent and could be a major threat but his body just cannot hold up

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    I think Pettis belongs on the list. He showed real flashes this year. I also think that bradley fletcher is worthy on inclusion, and possibly bartell as well.
    Pettis - given his suspension, I'd say he's a longshot to even make the club.

    Fletcher - second major knee injury makes him a major question mark.

    Bartell - I think Bartell is underrated, but I don't see a ton of upside.
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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Quote Originally Posted by xpmar9x View Post
    Michael Hoomanawanui!
    One year ago, he would have been on this list. Now, after a second year in which he couldn't stay on the field, he'll have to earn his way back.

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Quote Originally Posted by BarronWade View Post
    i guess you have given up on Danario Alexander and his knees...its a shame he really has talent and could be a major threat but his body just cannot hold up
    I don't think there is any question that Danario would have been a very good NFL WR had he not had the knee issues. But, at this point, I just don't see him withstanding the rigors of an NFL season.
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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Av, i was only responding to the title of the thread, ie Rams who havent reached their peak. Whether pettis' suspension means he doesnt make the team or not doesnt really go to the question of whether he has peaked. I think he has a lot of upside and i also agree he may not make the team.
    Injuries go to the issue of durability, which is a fair point on bartell and fletcher, but i still think both have a lot of upside, bartell on ball issues and fletcher experience wise.
    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Pettis - given his suspension, I'd say he's a longshot to even make the club.

    Fletcher - second major knee injury makes him a major question mark.

    Bartell - I think Bartell is underrated, but I don't see a ton of upside.
    Absolutely spot on. Good honest opinion with no fandom bias, whatsoever.

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    Replace Jason Brown with Pettis... Sure the kid made big mistake but i still think you don't cut a 3rd Rd pick, when you can only name 10 players Who Have Not Yet Peaked. Pettis started slow and came on at the end.

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    Re: The "Upside" List (10 Rams Who Have Not Yet Peaked)

    I disagree with moving Saffold to the right side if he doesn't perform well. The main weakness we seen this past season was him against stronger DE and the bullrush. If he went to RT thats what he would have to deal with all game against LDE.

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