QUESTION: Out of all their draftees and free agent additions, which of those players do you think will have the greatest impact on the Rams this season?
Based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s no question that cornerback Janoris Jenkins looks like he’ll have the biggest impact. Jenkins has been good in coverage, and an aggressive tackler. Pair him with free-agent pickup Cortland Finnegan – whose the tone-setter in the secondary – and the Rams suddenly look legit at cornerback. I have to think too, that as the season progresses, rookie wideouts Brian Quick and Chris Givens will play a larger role in the offense.
This is a very good and extremely difficult question. There are so many people who could potentially be That Guy, from the rookie receivers Brian Quick and Chris Givens to veteran WR and former Pro Bowler Steve Smith, to Pro Bowl center Scott Wells, to CB Cortland Finnegan and rookie DT Michael Brockers.
But my vote goes to rookie CB Janoris Jenkins, who could be defensive rookie of the year. If he plays the sort of shutdown corner all season that he has displayed so far in preseason he will be that impact guy
I think a couple of players have a chance to be important additions. Linebacker Jo-Lunn Dunbar promises to make an impact player on defense because of his versatility. Dunbar can play outside or inside, sideline to sideline and is a smart player. Along with Rocky McIntosh, he gives the Rams depth at that position they have not had in recent years.
In addition, receiver Chris Givens has continued to look good in camp. He could provide the long threat the Rams need to stretch the field for possession receivers like Danny Amendola and Steve Smith.
Janoris Jenkins just LOOKS like a Pro Bowl cornerback. He plays tight pass coverage and he makes plays. That has been a hard-luck position for the franchise and he should change that in in a hurry. Veteran Cortland Finnegan will provide leadership at cornerback as well, but Jenkins could become the difference maker.
Cortland Finnegan. He brings a lot of attitude at defensive back. The Rams defense needs a little more snarl.
KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
Michael Brockers and Cortland Finnegan. Brockers is the “block out the sun” defensive tackle the Rams have needed to anchor the defensive line for years. Finnegan is a reliable player and positive influence in the locker room.
Brockers is still just a kid at 21 years old and I’m not sure if he’ll meet his vast potential this year or somewhere further down the road but he can be special. I’m not going to compare him to Albert Haynesworth, on or off the field, but I do find it interesting the Jeff Fisher likes him so much. Fisher has proven he has a knack for developing similar talents.
As for Finnegan, the results of his presence have already been felt. He’s a good player for Janoris Jenkins to have around. If the kid can follow the lead of his veteran teammate, on and off the field, he will realize his talents moving forward. I should also say that Finnegan is about more than an example for others, he’s a really good corner who plays physically and doesn’t back down when challenged.
For the past several years the Rams had trouble in the middle of the defensive line and in coverage. These two guys, along with Jenkins and Kendall Langford, can change that.