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Thread: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

  1. #1
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    Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    Bernie: Maybe Rams should draft a QB

    1 hour ago ē Bernie Miklasz bjmiklasz@post-dispatch.com

    GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher are standing by their man, Sam Bradford. The bosses have put the word out again: The Rams donít intend to take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft.

    Seeing that I am among the townís leading Bradford apologists, youíd think this would make me happy.

    You would be wrong about that.

    I think the Rams would be shortsighted to rule out drafting a quarterback at No. 2 overall.

    No, I havenít flip-flopped on Bradfordís talent.

    Yes, I realize that Bradford has burned through four NFL seasons. At some point, even a Bradford honk will lose patience. But Bradford was coming along nicely until having his knee shredded in the seventh game of this season. The injury put Bradford down for the season. It was yet another attack of bad luck in a career that canít gain traction.

    And thatís my primary concern here.

    This isnít about ability.

    Itís about durability.

    My pragmatic side makes it impossible for me to ignore Bradfordís obvious difficulty in staying healthy.

    How can the Rams count on Bradford to lead them to consistent success when he has such an inconsistent record in being physically able to huddle up and play?

    Going back to his collegiate football days at Oklahoma, Bradford has been been fully intact for only two of the last five seasons.

    Letís review Bradfordís career since he won the Heisman Trophy at OU in 2008:

    In 2009, Bradford suffered a shoulder injury in OUís first game and re-injured it later in the year. He started three games but only played one full game, meaning that he was healthy for only one of the Soonersí 13 games.

    In 2010, Bradford started all 16 games for the Rams and was named the NFL offensive rookie of the year. All good. Come on up for the rising.

    In 2011, Bradford suffered a high ankle sprain in the Ramsí fifth game, at Green Bay. He missed six entire games and limped through five other starts. He really shouldnít have played in them. Bottom line: Bradford was healthy for only five of the 16 games.

    In 2012, Bradford started all 16 games and played well down the stretch. Back on track. Come on up for the rising ... again.

    And 2013: Not so fast. Seven starts. The knee unravels. Nine games missed.

    Over the past five seasons (college and pro) Bradford could have started a maximum of 77 games.

    He started only 52 of the 77.

    He was healthy and viable for only 45 of the 77.

    Given that spotty track record, Iím not sure why the Ramsí authorities have such strong confidence in Bradfordís ability to endure.

    And the starting quarterbackís health is a critical factor in determining an NFL teamís success.

    During the 2013 regular season, NFL teams that received a minimum of 15 starts from their No. 1 quarterback posted a collective winning percentage of .600. Teams that had to rely extensively on backups paid for the instability with a losing record.

    Of the 12 teams to qualify for the 2013 postseason tournament, 10 had at least 15 starts from their starting quarterback.

    That continued the pattern. Bradford has been in the league for four years. Over that time, 40 of the 48 teams that made the playoffs had their starting quarterbacks in place for a minimum of 14 games in the applicable season.

    Considering the vital importance of having your No. 1 quarterback go the distance, the Rams would be taking a huge gamble to disregard Bradfordís injury history.

    The Rams simply canít afford to view their No. 2 quarterback position as an afterthought. This is still a quarterback league. Itís still the most essential position on the field.

    Do the Rams need to invest the No. 2 overall pick in a quarterback? No, they donít. Just take a look at the two best teams in the NFC West: San Francisco drafted Colin Kaepernick in the second round; Seattle hit the lottery in landing Russell Wilson in the third round.

    But if the Rams scout quarterbacks and are blown away by any of the top prospects ó Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles ó then they have to consider grabbing their guy at No. 2 overall. That depends on availability.

    Given Bradfordís history, itís hardly a luxury or a frivolous action to use the No. 2 overall pick on a potential franchise quarterback. Besides, the Rams can fill another need with their 13th overall pick, and as of now they hold nine selections in Mayís draft.

    Even if Bradford stays upright over the next two seasons, thereís no guarantee heíll finally become an elite quarterback.

    Moreover, there are no assurances of re-signing him to a reasonable contract.

    Bradford has two years remaining on his original rookie deal. His salary-cap figures for the next two seasons are $17.61 million for 2014 and $16.58 million for 2015.

    So I ask: Whatís the bigger risk here?

    Drafting a QB at No. 2 overall, or continuing to invest vast sums of money in Bradford?

    Itís a legitimate question.

    Because of the major change in the rookie compensation system that went into effect in 2011, the cost of paying a young quarterback has dropped dramatically.

    For example, this season Kaepernick had a salary-cap figure of just under $1.4 million; Wilsonís 2013 cap figure is just over $681,000. Those figures go up slightly in 2014, but both quarterbacks are incredible bargains.

    The Rams would save $10.42 million on the cap by cutting Bradford before next season. They would save nearly $13 million on the cap by bailing on Bradford before the 2015 season.

    Iím not advocating a dump-Bradford play. But itís silly to ignore the obvious reality here. Heís making a lot of money for a team thatís tight against the salary cap.

    The Rams could have it both ways.

    Keep Bradford and still afford to pay a quarterback drafted No. 2 overall. That keeps Bradford in place for 2014 and gives the Rams an appealing quarterback option if (A) he gets hurt again, or (B) falls out of favor.

    Think of Philadelphia and young quarterback Nick Foles, who was ready to take over when Michael Vick broke down again. (Related note: Over the past three seasons Bradford has started only four more games than the frequently injured Vick, 33 starts to 29.)

    This discussion becomes irrelevant if the Rams are ambivalent over the top quarterback prospects.

    Or maybe Fisher and Snead identify a QB that theyíd be excited to pull off the board in the second or third round.

    All Iím saying is this: One way or another, the Rams need a viable alternative.

    Unless, of course, Fisher and Snead truly believe Bradford is about to suddenly morph into an iron man and become something that he hasnít been ó namely, a quarterback who will start and complete full seasons and perform at an elite level.

    It pains this Bradford apologist to say it, but the evidence suggests a different outcome.


  2. #2
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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    I don't think that anyone disagrees with the notion that the Rams should consider taking a QB in the draft so they have a better contingency plan than Kellen Clemens.

    The issue, though, is whether the Rams should invest a first round pick on a QB, or should wait until later in the draft to find a developmental QB.

    Bernie - as is his nature - fails to commit to a side on this difficult issue. Instead, he's written an article that, in essence, could be read as advocating taking a QB as high as No. 2, or as late as the day 3 of the draft (way to take a stand, Bernie!)

    In my opinion, the Rams should consider a QB in Rounds 3-5. In that range, they could have a shot at guys like A.J. McCarron, Jimmy Garoppolo, Taj Boyd or David Fales. I'd be happy to see the Rams take one of these guys to compete with Clemens for the backup role in 2014.

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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    But Bradford was coming along nicely until having his knee shredded in the seventh game of this season.
    Maybe it's a small thing, but I don't really appreciate what Bernie is doing here. When he wants to make the point that Bradford has a good chance of being ready by Week 1, he says the ligament (singular, not plural) had a clean tear. But now that he wants to write an article about the Rams possibly needing to look for a QB early, he says the knee was "shredded".

    It's a tiny detail, but I just don't really like what he's doing there.
    Rambos and FestusRam like this.
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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Maybe it's a small thing, but I don't really appreciate what Bernie is doing here. When he wants to make the point that Bradford has a good chance of being ready by Week 1, he says the ligament (singular, not plural) had a clean tear. But now that he wants to write an article about the Rams possibly needing to look for a QB early, he says the knee was "shredded".

    It's a tiny detail, but I just don't really like what he's doing there.
    Good point.

    In fact, if the term "shredded" is intended to denote a particularly bad knee injury, then its not an accurate statement. Sam did not tear his PCL, his LCL, his meniscus or his patella tendon. He tore his ACL, which is bad... but it actually could have been worse.

    This is also a typical Bernie article in that it is, first and foremost, about Bernie:

    I am among the town’s leading Bradford apologists
    No, I haven’t flip-flopped on Bradford’s talent.
    Mypragmatic side
    I’m not advocating
    All I’m saying
    It pains this Bradford apologist to say it
    Bernie's evolving viewpoint, in my opinion, is NOT a story. Particularly when it remains a combination of "duh" and wishy-washy musings.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -01-13-2014 at 04:12 PM.

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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    I think we should draft one no earlier then round four. If Sam can't stay healthy after next year and we move one. We can used a first rounder on his replacement and have our backup in the rookie we take this year. No need to waste a high pick on a QB that we may never need.

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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    Bernie is an idiot on so many levels. But I agree with you guys, no need to use a 1st round pick in QB. Bradford gets a real shot next year, so we draft someone in the later rounds to back him up. This way we have a contingency plan too if we want to switch QBs. Instead of drafting someone next year and losing another whole year on a rookie QB.


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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't think that anyone disagrees with the notion that the Rams should consider taking a QB in the draft so they have a better contingency plan than Kellen Clemens.

    The issue, though, is whether the Rams should invest a first round pick on a QB, or should wait until later in the draft to find a developmental QB.

    Bernie - as is his nature - fails to commit to a side on this difficult issue. Instead, he's written an article that, in essence, could be read as advocating taking a QB as high as No. 2, or as late as the day 3 of the draft (way to take a stand, Bernie!)

    In my opinion, the Rams should consider a QB in Rounds 3-5. In that range, they could have a shot at guys like A.J. McCarron, Jimmy Garoppolo, Taj Boyd or David Fales. I'd be happy to see the Rams take one of these guys to compete with Clemens for the backup role in 2014.
    Bernie does waffle on the issue, although if he DID take a stand, he'd be ripped either way. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

    Aside from the obvious reason- that it cost him the bulk of his season- Bradford's injury was terrible in that the entire off-season will be filled with questions, doubts and negativity surrounding both his status and his ability to be the guy that leads us. Unfortunately, many of these concerns are valid heading into the 2014 season. Still, I would not advocate taking a QB in the 1st round for two reasons: One, we have other, more pressing needs. And two, because Bradford showed enough before the injury to lead me to believe he can be a very good player with a team whose talent has improved.

    That said, two of Sam's four seasons have been cut short due to injury. Therefore we need to get a QB who we can develop into a possible starter if Sam falters or is set back. And I don't mean some 6th round roster-filler who we'll release before the start of the season. Failing to do so would be irresponsible.

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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    We definitely aren't taking a QB in round 1 but I think it's obvious we need to take one in the rounds 3-5 range. Whoever the staff feels is the best out of McCarron, Fales, Jimmy G., Boyd, Mettenberger or Brett Smith. I like Boyd, Smith and Fales personally.

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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I don't think that anyone disagrees with the notion that the Rams should consider taking a QB in the draft so they have a better contingency plan than Kellen Clemens.

    The issue, though, is whether the Rams should invest a first round pick on a QB, or should wait until later in the draft to find a developmental QB.

    Bernie - as is his nature - fails to commit to a side on this difficult issue. Instead, he's written an article that, in essence, could be read as advocating taking a QB as high as No. 2, or as late as the day 3 of the draft (way to take a stand, Bernie!)

    In my opinion, the Rams should consider a QB in Rounds 3-5. In that range, they could have a shot at guys like A.J. McCarron, Jimmy Garoppolo, Taj Boyd or David Fales. I'd be happy to see the Rams take one of these guys to compete with Clemens for the backup role in 2014.
    Av,

    Very glad to see that David Fales made it to your radar screen. I think he could be something special with right development. Could get him in 4th or 5th round I think

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    Re: Bernie: Maybe Rams Should Draft A QB

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Av,

    Very glad to see that David Fales made it to your radar screen. I think he could be something special with right development. Could get him in 4th or 5th round I think
    I really love Logan Thomas as a later round guy that could be a starter. 6-6, 257 pounds with an NFL arm

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