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Robert Quinn, right, sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees for one of his five sacks as a rookie.
DE Robert Quinn
Quinn, the team’s first-round pick last season, started to find his groove midway through the year. His breakout game came against New Orleans, when he blocked a punt that led to a key Rams’ score to help them spring the upset. Quinn finished the season with five sacks and two blocked punts while playing backup to James Hall.
Hall was let go by the team, making way for Quinn to step in as the starter. Quinn revealed during the offseason that the coaching staff has set a goal for the Rams to break the NFL’s all-time sack record of 72 set by the 1984 Chicago Bears. If the Rams are going to go from 39 to 73 sacks, Quinn and other end Chris Long, who had 13 sacks last year, will each have to get about 20 and then hope for help from their teammates.
WR Brian Quick
The Rams drafted Quick with the first pick of the second round in hopes that the 6’4” wideout from Appalachian State can be the team’s top receiving option. During minicamps and organized team activities, the coaches and quarterbacks raved at Quick’s quickness (pun intended) and his hands. He wowed the Rams at his private workout at the App. State campus in Boone, N.C.
Quick has all the tangibles to succeed in the NFL—size, speed, hands—it’s just a matter of him adapting to life in the NFL from a Division I-AA (FCS) school.
TE Lance Kendricks
Kendricks, a second-round pick last season, had an incredible preseason as the Rams went 4-0 in their exhibition games. Unfortunately for Kendricks, that success did not translate to the regular season and he became inflicted with a bad case of the dropsies for most of the season.
He did show flashes of why the Rams surprised many by selecting him in the second round. His best game came in his home state when he grabbed four passes for 71 yards, including a 45-yarder at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. Kendricks finished the year with 28 catches for 352 yards and zero touchdowns.
Those numbers would have been much better had it not been for his drops. Expect that to be remedied this season.
CB Jerome Murphy
Murphy was expected to compete for a starting job last year before a broken ankle early in training camp shelved his sophomore season. The 2010 third-round pick from South Florida was a special teams stud as a rookie and got his first career interception at Oakland. He had shown improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 despite last year’s lockout.
Murphy is hungry to get back on the field and showcase his skills. He’s cut off the long dreads and is more focused on football. With a crowded secondary that includes new free-agent signee Cortland Finnegan and top draft picks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, Murphy may not start, but will make some game-changing plays on special teams and in nickel situations.