LaDarius “The Freak” Hopkins of the Los Angeles Rams is the first player to earn the top-rated wide receiver spot on the NFL Draft headlines for his performance in college. The former Ole Miss standout finished an All-American career at the school with 98 receptions for 1,521 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also served as the team’s primary kick returner for the past two seasons, coming up with 1,826 yards and four touchdowns on special teams.
The Athletic has announced its top 100 players entering the 2019 NFL season and one Los Angeles Rams receiver has made the cut. Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks was ranked #80 on the list. He was one of the best players in the NFL in 2018, recording 1,138 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was the Rams’ leading receiver and was on pace to have another 1,000-yard season before injuring his hip. Cooks is one of the top targets for Rams quarterback Jared Goff and the two should form one of the most explosive offensive duos in the NFL.
Los Angeles Rams players take the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for their 2019 playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. One of the Rams legends who played there was named Sunday in The Athletic’s list of the 100 greatest players of all time.
National publication The Athletic launched a new series on July 8 to determine the 100 best players of all time, and the Los Angeles Rams are already represented.
And Rep. Aries is an iconic player who, according to football historian Dan Daly, was the hippy of choice to bring about the turnaround.
Elroy Crazy Legs Hirsch was ranked 94th in the standings released online Sunday. Bob Kravitz, who joined The Athletic’s editorial board and started the countdown to No. 1, helped name the Rams quarterback who played for the franchise from 1949-57.
Long before Cooper Kupp was the 6’2 receiver who helped open the Rams offense, or before Robert Woods showed his versatile side, or even long before the days of Isaac Revere Bruce and Henry Ellard, there were the Crazy Legs.
Kravitz, an award-winning columnist who covered numerous Hall of Fame players during his time at Sports Illustrated and the Indianapolis Star, compared Hirsch’s game to the current explosive receiver who won the Super Bowl in 2020 with the Kansas City Chiefs.
He was Tyreek Hill before Tyreek Hill, Kravitz wrote.
Kravitz went on to describe Hirsch’s control of the ball as something that helped usher in a new era of fast, rhythmic football. Sure, Hirsch still played receiver (or flanker) in the days of the one-wing and T-formation, but Kravitz paid tribute to his astronomical receiving numbers, including 124.6 yards per game, a record that held up for several years before the NFL and AFL merged.
The 1951 season is remembered by many players as one of the greatest individual seasons. Hirsch has 1,495 yards, 17 touchdowns and an average of 22.7 yards per catch in 12 games.
He was a man of his time, with monster receiving numbers at a time when the NFL was just beginning to switch from the 3-yard, dust cloud game to a more open game with the forward pass, Kravitz explains in his article.
Head and shoulders above the rest
Daly, who according to his biography made football history for 43 years, portrayed Hirsch as a talent who combined great speed with the unpredictability of the direction he ran.
The epitome of eloquent poverty, Daley called it. When he came at you, you didn’t know which way he was going, and he did it with great speed. He was a great runner after he caught the ball. You only have to look at highlights from that era to see how well he followed the ball in depth.
In 2010, NFL Films included Ram in its own list of the 100 best players, ranking him as the 87th best NFL player of all time. In the video, Hirsch is described as the next best receiver in the NFL after the legendary career of Green Bay Packer Don Hutson.
With another Rams legend, Norm Dutch Van Brocklin, throwing him the ball, Hirsch caught 343 of his 387 passes in his Los Angeles career.
He also finished his career with 7,029 yards and 60 touchdowns. With this team, he was named to three Pro Bowls.
Crazy Legs stood out head and shoulders above the rest, Daley said. In an era where the game is becoming more and more of a passing game, he is by far the best receiver in the game.
Kravitz added: Those who have seen him play describe him as Willie Mays with his ability to adjust to the ball in the air. If you look at the stats, he was head and shoulders above the rest. In the 1950s, the Rams were the forerunners of the great offensives that followed: The Chargers Eira Coryella and the biggest show in St. Louis Louis on the lawn.
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