The St. Louis Rams' rookies have made a big impact, but not like most people expected.
There's an interesting fanpost at Turf Show Times this week about the St. Louis Rams' rookie class of 2012, and their performance so far, and it puts a fine point on something I've only just begun to notice: They've been a big part of the Rams' success, but it hasn't come at all like I expected. Old and busted: Michael Brockers, Brian Quick. New hotness: Greg Zuerlein and Daryl Richardson?'
The St. Louis Rams' first overall pick, No. 14 Michael Brockers, has barely played thanks to a preseason injury, and while the Rams' quarterback-stuffing ability has been much improved in 2012 he's had little to do with it so far. Their second pick, Brian Quick, is even more raw than we anticipated; he's barely played. There's no reason to write either of them off in the next year-and-a-half, let alone now, but neither has asserted himself in the youth movement just yet.
Meanwhile, the Rams' most impressive rookies have been a kicker and a running back who was a pick away from being Mr. Irrelevant. Greg Zuerlein has become football's highest-profile kicker, and seems like the NFL's best bet to finally break the field goal distance record; early in the season the Rams' offense seemed almost built around him. Daryl Richardson, meanwhile, took second-rounder Isaiah Pead's job in the preseason and seems on the verge of taking Steven Jackson's job at midseason.
Two major successes—and Chris Givens, the Rams' best deep threat since Mike Martz was deposed, could join them before the year's out. Now imagine how they'll do once Brockers and Quick are playing consistently.