Rams front could be among league's best

Updated: July 8, 2003, 11:36 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
Many prognosticators are picking the St. Louis Rams to return to the top of the NFC heap this season because they feel that both Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk will return to their MVP forms. There is no doubting that if the Rams are to make any real noise this year they'll need these veterans to play better, but one of the key players on the roster will be rookie Jimmy Kennedy.

Kennedy, a defensive tackle out of Penn State, slipped slightly and the Rams snatched him up with the 12th pick of the draft. Kennedy was noted for his sometimes inconsistent play on the college level, but when he was on his game has was almost unstoppable. And while other defensive tackles, like Dewayne Robertson, were thought to have more upside, no other player at his position was more prepared to contribute right away.

"When we do a player (evaluation) we take them apart piece by piece, and then we put them back together," general manager Charley Armey told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We look to see what pieces of the puzzle are missing. There are no missing parts to this player's puzzle. He's the total package. He's very smart and aggressive. He's also very intelligent so we expect him to be a quick study."