Every season there are a few players that come into their own and have an amazing year. Last season it was Zac Stacy taking over the Rams backfield and becoming one of the better young running backs in the league, but who will it be in 2014?
Trumaine Johnson, CB
Trumaine Johnson is headed into his third year in the league and he has positioned himself within the organization to have a big year in 2014. Drafted 65th overall by the Rams in 2012, he came into the league with tremendous upside. During his rookie campaign, he didn’t see a lot of playing time as he played behind Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins, but when Johnson was on the field he made the most of it. He tallied up 2 interceptions and had 31 tackles which was great production from someone who played as much as Johnson did. Then, last season when he filled in for the injured Finnegan for most of the year he started to gain a strong feel for the ball, getting 3 interceptions, but more than doubling his tackling total by racking up 68 tackles. Now, going into 2014 Johnson is expected to be the number two cover behind Jenkins. This will be Johnson first full season of starts and if he continues his recent trend of play, it should be a big year from the third year man out of Montana.
Tavon Austin, WR
One could argue that in his rookie year last year Austin had already broken out, but it wasn’t until the last few games of the season before he really started making strides. It wasn’t until week 10 in Indianapolis that Austin had over 100 yards receiving. Now, he also had a 99 yard punt return for a touchdown in the same game so he really put his name on the map that week, but imagine if he could have that kind of production the entire season? Austin had only 40 receptions and 418 yards receiving on the year and 132 of those yards was in the aforementioned game against the Colts. Austin has insane speed and agility in the open field; a perfect slot receiver. With the addition to Kenny Britt this offseason and the deep threat Chris Givens it seems that Austin will continue to get most of his time in the slot and that would be perfect for not only him, but quarterback Sam Bradford; seeing how the two were barely on the field together due to Bradford’s season-ending ACL injury. If Austin can use that speed over the middle, he could certainly scotch opposing secondaries and have a huge season in 2014.
Ray-Ray Armstrong, LB
Last season, Armstrong played special teams for Jeff Fisher‘s Rams. Armstrong tallied up 13 total tackles which isn’t necessarily a mind boggling stat, but for a special teams guy like Armstrong, it certainly opened up the eyes of Rams coaches. So much so, that it is a good chance that Armstrong will see some time at linebacker, backing up the aging Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Armstrong has decent size at 6’3″ 234 pounds, but it is his speed that makes him a good football player. Seeing how Armstrong will most likely be a backup, his 2014 stats may not be enough to get league wide notoriety, but his play will certainly give Jeff Fisher more reason to give him more reps in 2015. Expect Armstrong to get his name out there in 2014.