5 Future Pro Bowlers on the Rams
This picture personifies how it feels to be a Rams fan, especially over the last five to six seasons. However, the St. Louis Rams are a young team, now officially the third youngest team in the NFL. With youth comes potential. These are the five Rams players who have all the potential in the world, and will cash in on it to become Pro Bowl players.
Firstly, this is based solely on players who have yet to be selected for a Pro Bowl. So no Steven Jackson.
Secondly, all of these players have three years experience or less in the NFL.
Thirdly, all were original draft picks by the Rams.
So without further ado, the top five future Pro Bowlers on the St. Louis Rams roster.
5) No. 84 Danario Alexander
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Alexander passes the eye test without question. He is 6-5, 217 lbs and runs a 4.46 40. He is an elite NFL blocker and can put some brilliant runs after the catch.
That is where Alexander's one problem lies. His hands are weak. Many times over his two-year career has he dropped easily caught balls for no reason. When you watch him play it does not seem like it is a lack of concentration though, rather a lack of talented hands. That is a problem that can be easily overcome.
Alexander has all the potential in the world. With the addition of a No. 1 WR (hopefully with the sixth overall pick in this year's draft) Alexander will be able to match up against No. 2 cornerbacks and scorch them if he can get his hands working the way they should.
I honestly expect Alexander to make the Pro Bowl in 2014.
4) No. 94 Robert Quinn
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The 14th overall selection in the 2011 draft, Robert Quinn has all the potential to be a dominant pass rusher for the Rams.
As a sophomore at UNC he racked up 11 sacks before he was suspended his entire junior year.
In his first year with the Rams he registered five sacks as a situational pass rusher.
This is going to be Quinn's breakout year. With the release of DE James Hall, the Rams are handing over the reigns of starter over to Quinn. Yes, Quinn is not very strong and at this stage of his career not very good against the run, sacks is what brings DE's to the Pro Bowl.
With Chris Long starting opposite (who will be in the Pro Bowl soon, but he did not fit into the three year time period) and added run support with the signings of Kendall Langford and Trevor Laws, Quinn will be able to pin his ears back and go after the passer.
Anything short of double digit sacks this season will be a surprise to me.
3) No. 32 Bradley Fletcher
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Bradley Fletcher and Cortland Finnegan together will be nightmares for opposing WR's.
Fletcher is a great CB who has battled injuries throughout his three-year career with the Rams. Fletcher has great tackling ability and is more than willing to hit a RB when the time comes. This year playing against second tier WR's he could become a shut down player.
There are two things standing between Fletcher and the Pro Bowl.
1) Injuries - During his three years in St. Louis he has played in 27 games and 16 of those came in his only full season in 2010. That season he totaled 75 tackles and four interceptions for the Rams.
2) Hands - It seems as though the Rams need to invest some time into catching the ball. Fletcher has sub-par ball skills. He is not the most competitive for the ball and his hands are not as strong as I would like.
If he can stay healthy and get a lucky pick or two, I see no reason why Fletcher can't be a Pro Bowler as early as next season.
2) No. 8 Sam Bradford
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Bradford needs no introduction. The first overall pick in the 2010 draft, the former Sooner instantly put up the most impressive numbers ever by a rookie QB.
Many people have been down on him saying that he is not as good as his stats say that year and compare him more to his sophomore year which was below average to say the least. I blame much of last season on the shaky offensive line and Josh McDaniels, who has never been one to fit his scheme around his talent opting to kick them off the team and use the draft picks for blocking TE's.
In my mind, Bradford has always been best comparable to Eli Manning. Neither have elite arm strength, instead relying on their intelligence and accuracy to beat defenses, which did not fit well into last years offensive system.
And just like Eli, Bradford will take a few years to develop while the team develops around him. His Pro Bowl bid might be a few seasons away, but I have no doubt that Bradford will be a Pro Bowl player for many years to come.
1) No. 55 James Laurinatis
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This man is a monster.
A day one starter for the Rams defense, Laurinatis has yet to miss a single game in his three-year career.
Over those three years, Laurinatis has accumulated 376 tackles, eight sacks and five interceptions.
There have been rumblings from fans that Laurinatis should have made the Pro Bowl last year after registering 142 tackles, good for eighth in the league, and three sacks, which was the second highest total for players in the top 10 in tackles.
He might not be the most gifted naturally, but he has earned everything that he has done in his career on his own sweat and tears.
Between a will that won't quit and his elite tackling ability, he will make the Pro Bowl this season.
Who Do You Think Will Make the Pro Bowl?
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That's it. The young guns that the Rams will build a promising future on.
Who do you think on the Rams roster in good enough to make the Pro Bowl?
Any inclusion on the list you don't agree with?
Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.