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Sam Bradford Is the Right Pick for Rams

One of the discussion topics for The Washington Post sports panel I’m part of is whether Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the right choice for the Rams in the first-round of the 2010 NFL Draft. My response to the question centers largely around one issue: value. Here are my thoughts:

I answer this question the same way I did last year with the Detroit Lions. If you feel that there’s a quarterback in the draft who will be a franchise QB, then the right move is to take him. For St. Louis, we know they don’t have a quarterback and they haven’t had good quarterback play the past three years; they desperately need help at that position. From a scouting standpoint, only they can answer the question of whether or not they feel like Bradford can be a a franchise quarterback. If they do, they have to take him.

If you look at the teams that have been successful over the past several seasons, they all have something in common: strong quarterback play. Look at the Colts, Patriots, Eagles, Saints, and Chargers. All those teams have had consistently good quarterback play and they have won consistently. While teams with strong defenses can pop up to make a great run here-and-there, the chances of them falling back to the pack the following year is great. If you look at the recent history of the league, the key to having long-term, consistent success if having a good quarterback.

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Shoulder Injury Could Be a Chronic Problem for Sam Bradford

Much like the way knee injuries or tight hamstrings bother some guys, Sam Bradford’s shoulder injury looks like it could turn into a chronic problem. The shoulder was initially injured when Bradford was slammed to the turf against BYU and he missed a month to recover from the sprain. After playing against Baylor last weekend and having a good game, Bradford got slammed to the turf in his second series against Texas Saturday and did not return. The hit was reminiscent of the one against BYU because of the problem it caused to Bradford’s shoulder. Check it out:

It’s pretty clear to me that Bradford needs surgery on the shoulder to try and repair it. Think about it — he gets knocked out of the game every time he takes a sack and gets slammed to the ground on the shoulder — you telling me that’s not going to happen almost every game? Trying to return this season doesn’t even seem like an option to me and going to the NFL with his stock this low would be a worse idea. Surgery is the answer and then Bradford has to hope he rebounds next year. Sucks for him and the program.

Video: Sam Bradford Hit by BYU, Sprains Shoulder

So much for a repeat Heisman Trophy performance for Sam Bradford. Right before the half, Bradford got crushed by Coleby Clawson and he was driven down into the turf, shoulder first. The hit was very reminiscent of the Tom Brady/Albert Haynesworth play, but this seemed more direct. Check out the Sam Bradford BYU hit video to judge for yourself:

Just another reason to leave for the NFL and make the money when you can get it, you know? Based on the way Bradford cradled his arm close to his body throughout the second half, I’d guess it’s separated. He’s probably out at least half the season but maybe I’m just overstating things. One thing to keep in mind is that this doesn’t mean Oklahoma should be counted out for the season. Remember when they kicked Rhett Bomar off the team right before the season? They still went 11-3 and made an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl. This should be interesting.

video via BSO

Video: Sam Bradford Goes Airborne Against Oklahoma St, Gets Helicoptered

When a guy throws 46 touchdowns in a season, it’s pretty hard to narrow down his very best plays. That’s why I’m guessing the following play will standout in Sam Bradford’s highlight reel at the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York. Aching to get into the endzone, Bradford let his body go and just leaped for the goalline against Oklahoma State. He didn’t quite make it, but the spectacle was phenomenal:

That reminds me so much of the John Elway play from the Super Bowl, the way they both just laid their bodies on the line. Bradford said after the game that he felt his team needed the lift and that’s why he went airborne. The move must have worked because the Sooners were pretty charged up after that point and went on to win the game. Now it’s just a little computer mess to sort out before the National Championship Game is decided.