Last season when the Rams drafted Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree in the first round, some people thought that the Rams may have a good chance of having both the offensive and defensive rookie of the year.
When all was said and done however, Austin got off to a slow start and ran into some bad luck with penalties. Little did we know it would be Zac Stacy who would be in more consideration than Austin. On defense, Ogletree definitely should have been in consideration, but it was Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson who took home the award.
The last Rams rookie to win offensive rookie of the year was Sam Bradford back in 2010 while the last Ram to win defensive rookie of the year was all the way back in 1971 when linebacker Isiah Robertson earned the award, he remains the only Rams defensive player to do so.
This season the Rams drafted Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald in the first round as well as nine other rookies who could win the award. Here are the Rams rookies with the best chances:
Although it may be difficult for a running back to win the award, Packers running back Eddie Lacy, did win it last year. Like Donald, Mason won’t have to do everything on his own as he will have Zac Stacy sharing the carries with him.
If Mason can make a positive contribution and make plays both running the football and catching the ball out of the backfield, and pick up around 500 yards rushing and receiving to go along with five or more touchdowns, there is no reason Mason can’t win this award.
On offense it will be Johnny Manziel, one of the first round wide receivers, or Eric Ebron who could do well in Detroit. With Manziel, he will be playing in the AFC North which could give him problems. Of the first round receivers, Odell Beckham Jr and Brandin Cooks are the two with the best chances of winning the award as they both have solid starting quarterbacks. With Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson on the outside, Eric Ebron could see his fair share of good looks.
Mason may not be a favorite, but he certainly could have a good shot.
It is well-known that the Rams got a steal when they drafted Aaron Donald at number 13 overall and that he lead the NCAA in tackles for loss last season. Donald will be going into a good situation in St. Louis with a defensive line that already consists of three other former first round picks.
Two of the last four defensive rookies of the year were defensive lineman, which gives Donald a pretty good chance. However, 9 out of the last 11 have been linebackers, and with players like Khalil Mack, Anthony Barr, C.J. Mosley, and Ryan Shazier, winning the award could be a challenge for Donald.
If Donald can make as many plays behind the line of scrimmage and be the anchor on the Rams defensive line like many expect, Donald very well could bring home the award.
Unfortunately Greg Robinson basically has no shot at the award as no offensive lineman has ever won rookie of the year. Unless Robinson does something spectacular, that will most likely stay the same.
Of the Rams rookies, it is Donald and Mason with the best chances, but you never know, another Zac Stacy that was taken later in the draft could emerge and make us forget about these two guys.