Before the season we had an article on who the the Rams should consider trading, one of those players was Robert Quinn. Boy were we wrong. Quinn has gone on to have a monster season this year and is by far the best player on the Rams defense this season.
Not only has Quinn been the best defensive player on the Rams, but very possibly the best defensive player in the NFL. With 12 sacks which is the most in the NFC and five forced fumbles, the most in the NFL. Quinn has been in the conversation for not only the Pro Bowl, but defensive player of the year.
Along with leading the NFC in sacks and having the most forced fumbles, according to pro football focus, Quinn rates as the best 4-3 defensive end with a 36.6 overall rating. Quinn also has the second most quarterback hits behind only JJ Watt and has the tenth most quarterback hurries with 28, 4th among 4-3 defensive ends. Quinn also has the most 3rd most stops among 4-3 defensive ends.
Everybody has always known that Quinn could rush the passer, but where Quinn struggled the most last season was against the run. This season has been a much different story however as he ranks 7th against the run among his position.
Its quite obvious that Quinn has vastly improved from last season and has become an elite player not only at his position but in the league.
Quinn isn’t the only player being considered for defensive player of the year however. Richard Sherman, JJ Watt, Robert Mathis, and many others. Quinn however may be the most dominant.
Richard Sherman may be said to be the best cornerback in the NFL, but unlike Quinn, Sherman ranks only 4th at his position behind Revis, Verner, and McCourty. Sherman also only ranks 8th in coverage as well. Sherman does however have the second most interceptions with four and has also returned one for a touchdown.
Watt on the other hand by far ranks the best at his position with a 61.3 rating, the next closest being Cameron Jordan at 21.0. Watt also ranks as the best rushing the passer and stopping the run at his position.
Watt has been a dominant player in the NFL the last couple of years and has been the best 3-4 defensive end. The race between Quinn and Watt will be an interesting one, but with Quinn having 12 sacks, and more forced fumbles, that may give Quinn the edge. Watt does however lead the NFL’s best defense.
My last candidate that leads the conversation of defensive player of the year is Robert Mathis. Mathis leads the NFL in sacks with 13.5 and has had a excellent season rushing the passer as a 3-4 OLB.
Mathis however ranks only third at his position behind Dumervil and Houston. Mathis ranks third against the run, but as an OLB you also have to be able to cover and Mathis ranks 17th in coverage among 3-4 OLB.
Watt and Mathis have had great seasons, but neither have been quite as dominant as Quinn. There are still six games remaining and it will be interesting to see which one of these players will take over and win the defensive player of year award at season’s end.