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NFL St Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams 2013 Breakout Candidate: Brian Quick

Brian Quick St. Louis Rams

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Based strictly on his draft position from a year ago, it’s fair to say the St. Louis Rams have some pretty lofty expectations for wide receiver Brian Quick. The first pick in the second round is essentially a bottom of the first round selection in the eyes of most general managers, and Rams GM Les Snead is no exception. 2013 will be the season that Quick’s abilities translate on the field to justify why Snead and company took him at that early juncture a year ago.

Now it’s easy to simply say that a player will break out based on pure potential, but there are several surrounding factors that also play into the idea of Quick bursting onto the scene in 2013.

With the Rams allowing Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson to leave via free agency while Steve Smith retired, the team’s depth chart is severely depleted at wideout. Now obviously Tavon Austin will get some serious looks as a rookie and Chris Givens figures to top the chart, but just how does Quick stack up?

Reports have said that he has made some serious strides in OTAs catching everything in sight and showing his Terrell Owens-like potential as a red-zone threat and crossing pattern beast. But still Austin Pettis remains a big obstacle for Quick to overcome in training camp if he wants to get his fair share of passes from quarterback Sam Bradford this season.

Pettis has been strong in camp as well which has allowed him to hang on to the third position on the depth chart – for now. The upside of Quick certainly gives him the edge should the battle be close as he put up 14.2 yards per catch (YPC) compared to Pettis at just 8.7 YPC.

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer figures to really open up the Rams offense this season which will be beneficial to every receiver on the roster – Quick included. The team will definitely incorporate the new weapons of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook early and often to help move the chains. These extra weapons will draw defenders away from Quick and leave him with single coverage on many occasions.

At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, trying to cover Quick with a single man will prove detrimental to most defenses this season. For a guy with physical tools comparable to T.O., Quick will be a difficult match-up for most teams in single coverage.

Fantasy Football fanatics will surely cherish Quick this season should he gain the trust of his quarterback Bradford. His potential to be an absolute beast in the red-zone figures to produce some serious touchdown numbers this season and for years to come, and that will likely be his role in the offense this season. The process is still ongoing for Quick as he enters year two, but there is clearly plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.