Who exceeded expectations the most in 2021, and who will in 2022?

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AvengerRam

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In the category of "exceeded expectations," I'd say the players that stood out the most in 2021 were Brian Allen on offense and Greg Gaines on defense.

I have no problem admitting that I had little faith in Allen going into the season, but he proved me wrong. While he's not going to make anyone forget Rich Saul or Doug Smith, he was a solid and consistent contributor. As for Gaines, he got his chance when Sebastian Joseph-Day was injured, and really performed well enough to secure the starting spot and make SJD expendable.

So which of our players who is not expected by many to be many to make an impact do you think will make a significant jump this season?

My candidates:

Offense: Kendall Blanton. I know @Loyal thought I'd go with Tutu, but Blanton showed flashes in the playoffs and, with Johnny Mundt gone, he'll have the chance to secure the No. 2 TE spot. I considered whether to predict Brycen Hopkins, but I think Blanton's size (260 lbs.) and versatility will keep him above Hopkins on the depth chart.

Defense: Bobby Brown. With SJD gone, Brown has a great chance of securing a role in the DL rotation. I think he has more upside than Michael Hoecht and Marquise Copeland, and could be a significant contributor in what I expect to be an outstanding run defense.

Who are your risers for 2022?
 
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Riverumbbq

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2021 - ILB Ernest Brown

2022 - I'm leaning towards OLB Terrell Lewis or CB Robert Rochell
 

Riverumbbq

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I really wanted to say Lewis and, if you could convince me he'll be/stay healthy, I very well might have. He definitely has talent.

Yup, ... it's all about his remaining free of those knee issues imo.
 

OldSchool

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Excellent 2 choices Avenger I'll try two different ones. Even though he came on late to the starting role in defense Nick Scott was immense! Especially when it mattered most in the post season. Offense I'll go with Big Rob Havenstein at RT. I know we're supposed to cut him any day (sorry that will never get old) and he's been good for a while but he was one of the best RT in the game and deserves any praise sent his way.

2022 candidates aside from Rookies I'll go with Rochell I think he'll push Hill by the end of the season to be CB2. On offense lets go with UDFA rookie Jamaal Pettigrew! Not only does he make the 53 man roster but he pushes your choice for offense out the door! A monster of a man who's got some very good talents and room to grow.
 

Elmgrovegnome

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Last year Scott, this year will be Rochelle

Now that the Rams have their chess piece back (Hill) the defensive backfield will return to 2021 status with his versatility and tackling ability. Rochelle will only have to play outside. It will simplify things for the young guys, allowing them to excel.


Its difficult to pick any player that we haven't seen in a Rams uniform yet but I'm gonna throw one in the pot. By midseason Dekobie Durant will be pushing for playing time at nickel.
 

fanotodd

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Offense: Allen and Blanton (post season)
Defense: Gaines and Scott/ARob (post season)

Going into the season, I was concerned about the DL. Neither Gaines nor ARob had done much. But their play was crucial to the Rams winning the championship.

2022 offense: Blanton establishes himself. I’m gonna go off the board and predict a sleeper. I can’t even remember the guy’s name!! He got a lot of reps last year during the pre season at RG. I was surprised to see him cut so easily. I’d like to see him get another shot.

2022 defense: BB3, we need you. Garrett on the edge. That would be welcome. He excelled each time they moved him up in class last year. I think it continues.
 

CGI_Ram

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For this coming season… On offense I sure hope Noteboom is in consideration. We need a big year from Joe. I also think Atwell has the opportunity to carve out a big play niche.

On defense, it sure looks like Rochelle has first dibs to emerge in a big role at CB.
 

PARAM

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Last year: Greg Gaines
This year: Chris Garrett

I would have said Tutu but that's too easy. Considering the beating that non-Creed fella has taken the last 12 months, making the roster will exceed many Rams fans expectations.
 

Noregar

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A'Shawn Robinson and David Long both exceeded my expectations especially during the stretch run to the Super bowl title.
Going into the 2021 season I thought Long would be a big liability in the secondary and I was greatly underwhelmed by Robinson's' play in 2020 and even at the start for 2021. I think Robinson and Long both benefited from Morris adjusting to their strengths or especially in Long's case not letting teams exploit his weaknesses. Gaines, Allen, and Scott were not surprises to me. I preferred Scott to Rapp and Gaines to SJD early on and I always thought the criticism of Allen was overly harsh.

Long had a rough start to the season and was exploited quite a bit but kudos to the young man for improving as the season progressed. He was never spectacular but he was solid in the playoff run and actually made some key plays down the stretch including the 4th down stop at the end of the Super Bowl.

A'Shawn was an absolute BEAST in run defense during the playoff run and had a spectacular Super Bowl. Even though he was a brick wall in the Super Bowl, I am still not sure about his long-term consistency at the position.

Going into 2022, I expect Rochelle to emerge as well but since many think he might, it will more of a disappointment if he does not. On defense I think Ernest Jones will enjoy a really strong season and really blossom playing next Wagner. As far as depth guys I hope one of the rookies emerges in the secondary but since I did not follow the draft that closely this off-season so I have no idea who that might be but Snead an his scouts have a proven track record of finding DB gems later in the draft and as well as via UDFA's.

On offense the surprises are harder for me to to predict because you never know how what guys will get a chance because of injury.
A player I am really high on is AJ Jackson. Noteboom has a history of injuries so I think Jackson will be called apon at some point in the season and I think he will deliver and elict discussion about whether Noteboom should get his job back.
 

Reddog99

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I'm gonna go with Ben Skowronek in 2021 and in 2022 I'm guessing it'll be David Long coming on in his contract year just in time to get a decent comp pick.
 

den-the-coach

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In 2021 for me it was Brian Allen on Offense & Greg Gaines on Defense. Two guys built low to the ground.

In 2022

Defense...Nick Scott, agree with others, IMO, he becomes an all pro.

Offense....Allen Robinson....The new Triple Crown Winner.
 

JonRam99

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In 2021 for me it was Brian Allen on Offense & Greg Gaines on Defense. Two guys built low to the ground.
In the category of "exceeded expectations", I couldn't agree more - I really thought we were in serious trouble with Allen at C, so glad I was wrong. But I think a lot of his growth was simply due to Stafford taking over the job of line calls, which allows the C to focus on execution. And GG.... I thought he had promise, but he really worked hard in the offseason & turned into a monster. He might even be *faster* than AD. Ya Scott is def a runner up, and who knew E. Jones would be as good as he is, but GG takes it by a nose.

2022? who knows, but I know who I'd *hope* would explode:
- T. Lew. If this kid's knee gets fixed this offseason, he will have a break-out year. He's a monster, and if he's healthy, we'll all go "Von Who??", no cap. E. Jones is of course another candidate here, but after we've seen his play, we *expect* him to shine next to BWags. Getting Von at Edge was one of the critical pieces we needed to get us to the SB; but, if someone currently on the roster doesn't step up here, I'm not sure we have what we need to run it back - Edge is a critical piece to disrupt passing games, so at this point, unless we land some miracle cap casualty, we need one of either T.Lew or Garrett to fill that massive hole.
- AJ-Jax. The single biggest hole opening up on this team after this season is at LT, the #1 critical role after QB on offense. I fully *expect* Noteboom to do a great job sliding into AW's shoes; but if he gets hurt (again), AJ-Jax's play would be a huge "exceed expectations" event, because of how important the LT post is. From what I've seen of comments on here & elsewhere (I'm no football expert just a fan) this kid has a ton of potential.
 

kurtfaulk

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Just surviving his first hit would make him better than last year!

he got hit hard plenty of times in the last preseason game and got up every time like nothing had happened.

you don't have to like him but don't make up shit about him.

.
 

Loyal

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he got hit hard plenty of times in the last preseason game and got up every time like nothing had happened.

you don't have to like him but don't make up shit about him.

.
Hopefully I am eating crow about Tutu after this year. From the little I remember about him last year, he seemed skittish about getting hit. I was half kidding about surviving his first hit, so relax about that. You obviously have high hopes for him and that's ok.
I don't.