Scott Wells, Center
Once again, the Rams were in search of a center, leading up to the 2012 season, and settled on Green Bay’s Pro Bowl center—Scott Wells.
They signed Wells to a four-year deal worth $24 million, according to Spotrac, but he suffered a Week 1 foot injury and sat out for nine consecutive weeks.
On the bright side, the line played at a much higher level upon his return late in 2012, and he appears to finally be healthy for 2013.
The injury was unfortunate, but Wells can make it up by starting all 16 games in 2013.
Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Linebacker
Jo-Lonn Dunbar was viewed as a low-end acquisition and didn’t carry a lot of expectations, but turned out to be a steal.
Not only was Dunbar a playmaker and stout against both the run and pass, but he had tenacity and brought attitude to the defense.
Dunbar will be a key part of the defense in 2013 and the third wheel in what should be a terrific linebacker trio in St. Louis.
Cortland Finnegan, Cornerback
Cortland Finnegan was a blockbuster free agent and St. Louis had to fork over a five-year deal worth $50 million to secure him, according to Spotrac, but he was worth every penny.
Finnegan is a playmaker—he recorded an interception in each of the first three games of 2012—and brings an attitude to the defense that can’t be taught through coaching.
Not only that, but he’ll team up with James Laurinaitis and Chris Long to provide the Rams with a great trio of veteran leaders on defense.
Finnegan still has four years remaining on his contract. But so far, Finnegan is as good as it gets as far as free agent acquisitions go.
Kendall Langford, Defensive Tackle
Kendall Langford was signed to a four-year deal at $24 million last offseason, according to Spotrac, and was expected to be the team’s anchor at defensive tackle, but rookie Michael Brockers outplayed him.
Langford played in a 3-4 scheme with Miami and was making the transition to a 4-3 system in St. Louis, so that surely slowed his progress.
He was a mildly productive in 2012 and started every game, but he hasn’t reached his potential, at least not yet.
He’ll be expected to improve in 2013 and will be part of a fierce defensive front in St. Louis.
Overall 2012 Grade: A-