NFL Network has put together a list of the top 100 players for each season since 2011. Last season there wasn’t a single Rams player on the list despite Chris Long having 11.5 sacks, Steven Jackson rushing for his 8th consecutive 1,000 yard season, and James Laurinaitis having the 6th most tackles. This list ends up becoming more of a popularity contest, but there is a lit of anticipation as to who makes the list each year.
This season the Rams at least had two bowlers, which should get at least one Ram on the list. Here’s who to watch for.
Players That Should Expect to Make The List
The Rams defensive end very well should have won defensive player of the year. Quinn had the second most sacks in the NFL last season, second most forced fumbles, and was one of nine defensive lineman to have scored a touchdown. If Quinn doesn’t make this list, NFL Network will lose all credibility.
Players That Will Get Snubbed
Had Jake Long not gotten hurt, he very well could have made the Pro Bowl, Long was the rated the 8th best tackle on Pro Football Focus, and was rated the second best in run blocking. Long did give up six sacks however, and because of his injury he most likely will not make the list.
Saffold turned out to be one of the best guards in football last season, and because of that, he earned himself a mighty big contract in Oakland. Because Saffold plays for the Rams and isn’t as well-known of a player, he will fail to make this list.
Punters are people too! Unfortunately, the NFL doesn’t think so, and is why Hekker will be left off this list. Also, a punter has never made the list. Hekker finished the season with a net average of 44.2 yards, which broke the single-season record.
Coming in late in the season, Stacy made a push for rookie of the year and almost rushed for 1,000 yards. Had Stacy been the Rams starter all season, he very well could have made this list. If he repeats his performance last season, there is no doubt he will could be among the NFL’s top 100.
Ogletree had over 100 tackles as a rookie and lead the St. Louis Rams in tackles, taking the title from James Laurinaitis. If Ogletree can continue to develop and build on last season, he can be a special player.
Austin had a disappointing season to some, but did show some potential that he can be that player that can make the big play. Against the Colts, Austin became one of three players ever to have three touchdowns of 50 yards or more in the same game. Austin has a bright future, and if the Rams can lay off the holding penalties, he could break out in 2014.
This list is mostly just a popularity contest and realistically I expect the only Ram on the list to be Robert Quinn who should make his way into the top 50 at the very least. The list has already listed 90-100 and no Rams have been mentioned yet. NFL’s top 100 airs Saturdays at 7:00PM CT.