Believe it or not, the St. Louis Rams have one of the most fearsome defensive front fours in the entire NFL heading into the 2013 season. It really is fitting given the recent passing of a legend in Deacon Jones that the guys with horns on the sides of their helmets would once again possess one of the best pass rushing groups in the league. One of the key components to that dominating edge rush is third-year defensive end Robert Quinn.
At 6’4” 264lbs. Quinn really blossomed in his first season under new head coach Jeff Fisher and his defense-first mentality. The 2011 first round pick out of North Carolina came into the league with plenty of potential and an equal amount of question marks given his eligibility issues during his final season in Chapel Hill. Choosing him early is proving to be a worthwhile risk now as the youngster enters his third year in the league.
Quickness and an impressive first step are really what allow Quinn to have success as an edge rusher at the NFL level. He often gets opposing tackles off balance by forcing them to anticipate is next move due to his extreme athleticism.
His skill set is the perfect complement to the more power-oriented Chris Long lining up at the opposite defensive end spot. Add in guys like Kendall Langford and last year’s first round pick Michael Brockers at the defensive tackle positions and St. Louis has a tremendous front four. Each player helps one another to experience more success, and that only figures to continue looking ahead to the upcoming season.
After a breakout 2012 with 10.5 sacks while his partner in crime, Long, managed 11.5 of his own, Quinn looks to have an even better encore effort this year. The Rams relied on their defense to keep them competitive a season ago, and this year figures to see a similar trend. Quinn is one of the NFL’s emerging stars at the defensive end position and 2013 will be the season that he is recognized on a more national level.