With the NFL Network counting down the Top 100 players and the Rams most obvious best player, Steven Jackson, not on the team anymore, it got me thinking, who is the Rams best player? The Rams don’t really have a guy that stands out as the best player on the team, which made it difficult to decide, as there are many great candidates. With that said, here are my top five Rams players.
5. Janoris Jenkins
Janoris definitely deserves to be in the top five. He made so many plays on defense last year that impacted the result of some games, most obvious being in the second meeting against the 49ers. Jenkins had four interceptions last year which was tied for the 11th most last season. More importantly Jenkins returned three of those for touchdown. Jenkins should improve after having a full year under his belt. If Jenkins has improved, opposing offenses should be worried.
4. Chris Givens
As of right now Givens is the Rams best offensive weapon. Cook and Austin are in the conversation, but I need to see them play before I give either of them the title. Givens on the other hand has the speed to beat defenses underneath while also having the speed and ability to beat defenses over the top. Givens had five straight games last season where he had one catch that went for over 50 yards, one of those was against Seattle’s Richard Sherman. Givens will go into 2013 as the Rams number one receiver, and the Rams are relying heavily to produce. Don’t be surprised if Givens breaks out this season and has over 1,000 yards receiving.
3. James Laurinaitis
James Laurinaitis has probably been the most consistent player the Rams and one of the few good things the Rams have had since he was drafted by the team back in 2009 as he has been in the top ten in total tackles every season and he led the league last season. Laurinaitis is one of the key components on this potential top ten defense. Without Laurinaitis the defense would not be what it is, as he is the Peyton Manning of this defense. Laurinaitis will be around and will be giving opposing quarterbacks headaches for many years to come.
2. Chris Long
It took a few years for long to find his groove, but once he did, nobody has been able to stop him. Long tied for the 9th most sacks last season with 11.5. Long has had a good last two year, but he is ready to really breakout in 2013 and get into the upper teens in sacks. Long is probably one of the most underrated defensive ends in the NFL and what makes Long so important is what he does for the other players on the field. Long is such a threat that he gets a lot of attention from offenses which sets things up for other players like Robert Quinn, William Hayes, and even Michael Brockers. Robert Quinn in his second season had 10.5 sacks. Hayes in a role position, had 7.0 sacks. A lot of those sacks are made because of what Long is doing on the other side. Long is the best player on the defense and unfortunately for other offenses he is young and will be around for a long time. It will be because of Long that the Rams will have the best front seven in the NFL.
1. Sam Bradford
What?! How is it possible that Bradford is the best player on the Rams? I’ll tell you why. The Rams will win and lose because of Sam Bradford. If Bradford doesn’t produce, the team will not win. The Rams will only go where Sam Bradford takes them. Bradford is the face of this franchise and will be as long as he is on the team. The team finally gave Bradford some weapons and extra help up front, now it’s time for Bradford to produce. If Bradford plays up to his number one pick potential, the Rams could be contending for a Super Bowl very soon.
Well that’s my top five. Be sure to comment below and let us know what you think. These five players are the most important players on the Rams and if they don’t produce, the team will not win. Guys like Austin and Cook aren’t on this list just because they need to prove themselves on the teams still. There are other players who definitely deserve to be on this list, but at the end of the day, these are my top five.