If Mikell is able to keep his production up for the rest of the season, he could very well be looking at his first Pro Bowl as a starter—he was voted to the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2010.
Clearly, Mikell has proved to be the Rams' best acquisition of the offseason. When O.J. Atogwe left St. Louis for the Washington Redskins, it left a gaping hole in the Ram secondary. The signing of Mikell seemed to be a solid, logical decision by the Rams organization, but he's proved it to be more than that, and a spectacular addition thus far.
In each of the first three games of the season, Mikell has been able to force a turnover. He was able to come away with the Rams' lone interception of the season at a crucial time, when the New York Giants were driving to score.
Against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1, Mikell came away with a strip-sack on Michael Vick when the Eagles were inside the Rams' 10 yard line. Furthermore, last Sunday, and although it didn't have a large impact on the game, he was able to recover a fumble against the Baltimore Ravens as well.
Considering that St. Louis has only been able to force three turnovers this season, and Mikell has been involved in every one, it really speaks to the game-changing ability that he has shown thus far.
The biggest problem with Mikell making the Pro Bowl this season is that he is competing with some pretty talented guys. His biggest competition is between last season's NFC Pro Bowl safeties Adrian Wilson, Roman Harper, and Nick Collins.
The former two of the aforementioned players aren't showing signs of slowing down, while Collins, the quarterback of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers' defense, was unfortunately ruled out for the season after sustaining a Week 2 neck injury.
Another emerging name that will give Mikell stout competition for a Pro Bowl strong safety spot is Washington's LaRon Landry. Anybody who was tuned into the Redskins/Cowboys game on Monday Night saw the vicious hit Landry laid on the former Ram Laurent Robinson. Landry is a young player who is developing very quickly.
Another complication for Mikell is that this Rams team is losing its hype very quickly. The attention has quickly turned away from winless St. Louis, which means that less people will notice Mikell. Much like veteran linebacker London Fletcher, who finally made his first Pro Bowl a season ago, Mikell could have a very productive season and still not gain the national recognition.
Nevertheless, Mikell is off to a very hot start this season, and, if he maintains the high level, he could be playing in Hawaii in 2012. However, Mikell will need all the votes he can get from Rams fans, otherwise, he may not be recognized for his outstanding play.
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