Rams’ Rookie Grades

Andrew Luck and RG III are playoff bound, while Sam Bradford is not.

At the time, I wrote the Rams should pick RG III, but hindsight is 20/20 and who knows where the Rams would be if that scenario took place. It didn’t so let’s focus on the 2012 Rams rookie class.

Michael Brockers A-

Brockers finished his rookie season with 31 tackles (20 solo) and four sacks in 13 games.

Brockers was everything the Rams hoped he’d be along the defensive front line. His performance was even more impressive considering he was slowed by a high ankle sprain through the first three games and said he never quite felt 100 percent all year. Brockers has the potential to become one of the top defensive tackles in the league and should help anchor the club’s defensive front for years to come.

Brian Quick C

Though the low-grade, Quick is not a huge concern. He has all the intangibles, but the jump from Appalachian State into the NFL was a big leap. Quick has pure, raw talent. He never learned an extensive playbook in college, and it became an overwhelming year one for him.

Quick finished his rookie season catching just 11 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns, but his grab against Minnesota quickly reassured every one of his potential.

Janoris Jenkins A-

Jenk played almost every snap (aside from SF/suspended) in 2012. He immediately brought a big-play threat, scoring four defensive touchdowns.

His off-field issues only got the best of him once, but the off-season will test his character. Janoris is not a bad guy by any means. The defensive unit developed a strong camaraderie with Jenk during the year, and Cortland Finnegan plays a huge role in his development into the NFL.

Jenkins has a ways to go in pass coverage. His occasional lapses cost the Rams dearly. Jenkins has a -11.4 score in pass coverage from Pro Football Focus. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 61.5 percent of their passes against him, and he’s been scored on five times.

Most of his problems stem from biting on fakes and double moves.

Isaiah Pead D+

Pead’s rookie campaign was a challenge. 7th round pick Daryl Richardson ran laps around Pead’s progress, and he was lost in the running back shuffle.

Pead needs to have a strong offseason and prove his second-round worth. He showed flashes in Week 17 against Seattle that were impressive, and had some nice garbage time runs against New England in London.

Unfortunately, his season will be remembered as the guy who fumbled a kickoff return against San Francisco which Frank Gore turned into a go-ahead 20-yard TD run on the very next play.

Trumaine Johnson C+

The 3rd round pick out of Montana is an exciting player. Johnson has good coverage skills, and he got better the more he played outside. Johnson finished with 2 interceptions and 8 passes defended against, but he had about five dropped interceptions.

Some project Johnson as a safety, but Jeff Fisher shot that down.

Chris Givens B+

Givens established himself as a legitimate deep target for Sam Bradford. He had a five-week span where he caught a pass over 50-yards.

Givens finished with a team-high 698 yards receiving on 42 receptions with three touchdowns.

Givens developed his underneath game as the season went on.

Rokevious Watkins NO GRADE

Rok opened the season as the starting left guard before a season-ending ankle injury.

Greg Zuerlein B

Zuerlein was the team MVP early on, connecting on his first 15 kicks before enduring a rough game in Miami. Legatron earned his nickname for his big leg, but missed a few clutch kicks.

His worst kick came on a 57-yard try, which would be hard to fault a guy for if he hadn’t proclaimed he once hit a 74-yard field goal.

Here were Zuerlein’s misses in 2012: 66, 58, 58, 57, 52, 50, 37, 35.

Draw your own conclusions.

Darryl Richardson B

Daryl provided a nice change of pace option for Steven Jackson. Richardson showed the big play speed, and had the 7th most rushing yards amongst rookie running backs (475).

Richardson slowed down with just 24 yards rushing over the final five weeks, but he did catch eight passes for 44 yards.

He had long runs of 53, 44, 32, and 20 yards in 2012.

While he probably isn’t durable enough to handle a full load, his versatility and speed make him a dangerous weapon.

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