From All-Pro to Pro Bowl, the honors just keep on piling up for St.Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and punter Johnny Hekker. This one isn’t an official award, but it’s still impressive. NFL.com writer Elliot Harrison put these two Rams on his all-under-25 team.
“If you’re surprised Quinn made this list, you should probably hop over to the Food Network’s website. Quinn led the NFL with 75 combined sacks/knockdowns/hurries — SEVENTY-FIVE!!”
Yes Elliot, those numbers are impressive, and somehow not defensive player of the year worthy. Quinn had a fantastic season nonetheless, defensive player of the year or not.
With new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in charge of the Rams defense, it would not be surprising if Robert Quinn becomes the Jevon “The Freak” Kearse of the St. Louis Rams defense or better.
“Hekker just turned 24, yet is already one of the best punters in the business. In fact, he led the league in net average at 44.2 yards. That’s a field-position-flipping number.”
Harrison forgot to mention that Hekker’s net average was also an NFL record. Punters rarely do anything special, but the plays that they are involved in do matter. Hekker only allowed 79 return yards on 78 punts in 2013, of which 30 were returnable.
Hekker is only in his second year and has already earned Pro Bowl Honors. He makes it a point to take the opponent’s special teams out of the game and he does just that.
Hekker and Quinn are two of the brightest spots on the team’s roster. You could also make a case for Tavon Austin, Alec Ogletree, and Michael Brockers, but with at least two first round picks in the first round of this year’s draft and young players continuing to develop, the Rams could definitely have more players on this list next season.
Harrison did this exact story a year ago, and not one Rams player made the list. The Rams have came a long way since last season, despite a few setbacks, and will continue to grow into 2015.
You can see the rest of Harrison’s All-Under-25 team right here.