For the past couple of year nfl.com and the NFL network have had a series called top 100 players of 20xx. They are back at it again this year and the series has gone on for about a month and a half now counting down 10 players per week and so far the countdown has gone through the 100th best player to the 41st best player and a Rams player has yet to be on the list. Chris Long and Steven Jackson were the only two Rams players who made the list last year. Long came in at 84 and Jackson came in at 37. Both players should make the list once again, even though Jackson is no longer a Ram. You cant pay to much attention to the list as it’s mostly just a popularity contest, however the Rams have more than a few players that deserve to be on the list and with only 40 players left, you have to think some players may end up getting snubbed.
Players That Should Still Make The List
Chris Long should once again make the list this year. He’s not on the list yet, but he should be on it soon. If he doesn’t end up making the list it should be a crime. Long ranked tied for 9th in total sacks last year among all defensive players and ranked 5th among defensive ends with 11.5 sacks. Long may have not gotten as many sacks as he did last year, but he was still in the double digits, and he opened things up for Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers to make plays. Long has yet to make a pro bowl in his career, but as the team hopefully continues to win, Long should be making his pro bowl debut soon.
Although he still isn’t on the team, Steven Jackson will forever be a Ram, and he should also make the list. Jackson ranked 37th last season and should be in the same area this season. Look for him on the next episode. If Chris Johnson can make the list by being almost non-existent since rushing for 2,000 yards, Steven Jackson should be able to make this list by rushing for over 1,000 yards the past eight seasons. Jackson has earned the respect among fellow players throughout the years and without a doubt will be on the list soon.
Players That Will Get Snubbed
This will probably be the biggest snub on the team, but without a doubt James Laurinaitis should be on the list, but probably wont make it. Laurinaitis lead the NFL in tacks last season and has consistently been a good player on the Rams defense. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson made the list at number 59 and Laurinaitis had more tackles, combined tackles and more interceptions than Johnson. In every other category Laurinaitis and Johnson were dead even or pretty close, with Johnson having the slight edge in sacks with two compared to Laurinaitis’ 0.5. Laurinaitis will get on the list as the team starts winning, but for now, James may just get snubbed.
Another big name player on the Ram that will probably get snubbed is Robert Quinn. As good as Quinn is, Long gets most of the credit and is seen as the main guy on the Rams defensive line. However, Quinn did tie for the 17th most sacks last season and ranked 7th among DE’s in sacks. Quinn has a shot at still making the list, but with how far along the list is, it is highly unlikely. Quinn plays a major role on the Rams defensive line, but because of the Rams and their losing ways, Quinn will miss out.
One of the snubs that I am going to be most disappointed with is that of Janoris Jenkins and Corland Finnegan. I am going to be more disappointed with Jenkins not making the list, but Finnegan deserves to be on it as well. Jenkins however was tied for 11th in the NFL in interceptions with four and tied for 17th in the NFL in passes defended. Jenkins was also tied for first in the NFL in interceptions returned for touchdowns. Last season it seemed like every time Jenkins touched the ball he was in the end zone. With Richard Sherman and Darrell Revis already on the list, it seems doubtful that Jenkins or Finnegan will make it. If both players play as well as they did last year or even better, both players will not only have a shot at making the list, but making the pro bowl as well.
Sam Bradford had a good season last year, and it’s disappointing that a guy like Cam Newton makes the list, but Sam doesn’t. If Sam takes advantage of his playmakers this season and has a career year like he’s projected to have, Bradford could be on the list next year.
Michael Brockers also will just miss out this season, but if he plays just a little better than he did last year, it wont be long before he is on the list.
Greg Zurlein is also a player that I wouldn’t mind seeing on the list. Zurlein was the first player to make a 50 and 60 yard field goal in the same game. Zurlein set a rookie NFL record for longest field goal by making a 60 yarder and was the first player in NFL history to make two field goals of 58 yards or more in the same game. He also set a record for most 50+ yard field goals attempted in a season. Zurlein set many records, but because he is a kicker, he will probably miss out.
Chris Givens is another player that will miss out on the list. However, there is no doubt Givens could become one of the best receivers in the game and could make this list within the next few seasons.
Unfortunately because the Rams have had a tradition of losing for the past decade, many of their players that deserve to go to the pro bowl or be on a top 100 list, aren’t. With winning, will come recognition. These lists are usually a big popularity contest and players always get ranked too high, too low, or players that shouldn’t make the list do. It is impossible to get these lists 100% accurate as everybody has their own opinion, and for Rams fans, their opinion is that their players may be getting snubbed.