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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Advice rolls in for Rams on No. 1 pick

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    02/28/2010


    INDIANAPOLIS —Now that the center of the pro football universe has descended on this place for the NFL scouting combine, it's hard to find anyone within a six-block radius of Lucas Oil Stadium who isn't eager, willing or able to offer the Rams a little helpful or slightly misguided advice about how to use that rather valuable No.1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

    In coffee shops and hotel lobbies, greasy-spoon diners and five-star steak houses, on windy street corners and comfy stadium luxury boxes and just about every other place where more than one NFL executive, coach, TV talking head or ink-stained sportswriter might gather to dish rumors and dispense information, it doesn't take long to gather an opinion about who the Rams will, or should, draft.

    In a nutshell, it is a two-man race to the Radio City Music Hall center stage with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on April 22nd. It's either Nebraska's all-world defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's strong-armed, but surgically uncertain quarterback Sam Bradford, and it is a furious and intriguing debate that won't be decided before the Rams football trinity of team vice president Kevin Demoff, general manager Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo return to St. Louis on Tuesday evening.

    There's a lot of late momentum building here for the Rams to take Bradford instead of Suh, but it's for all the wrong reasons.

    I keep hearing some very smart football people swear that the Rams have no choice but to draft Bradford because they failed to take Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez the last two seasons.

    Really?

    That scares me because that sort of misguided logic violates one of the most sacred rules of smart drafting. As Giants general manager Jerry Reece said Saturday, "You should always try to avoid reaching for your needs in the draft."

    If after exhaustive research, scouring through a million miles of game footage, a half-million miles of practice footage, a thousand interviews with everyone from the kid's high school shop teacher to the assistant locker-room attendant, Spags, Devaney and Demoff come away convinced by reports from their scouting department that Bradford is the smarter pick than Suh, then they ought to go for him.

    But please don't do this because it's a matter of need, or worse yet, it's a business decision based on some silliness that you can't invest $12 million on a defensive tackle. It has to be because everyone is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Bradford is in fact a better player than Suh.

    Here's what I rarely heard from the NFL folks who touted Bradford over the past few days: I never heard one of them say they were absolutely, positively certain that you draft Bradford because he's a can't-miss stud passer who will become the next Dan Marino, Joe Montana or Peyton Manning. Most of them said he was going to be a "good" quarterback. Some of them said he was going to be a "very good" quarterback.
    Well, I don't want "good" or even "very good" with the first overall pick in the draft.

    That's what they said about Alex Smith, and it's taken him how long to develop into a starting quarterback that might amount to something for the San Francisco *****?

    Do the Rams have three, four or five seasons to wait on the first overall pick to become a star?

    No, they don't, because if that happens, Spags, Devaney and Demoff won't be around when he does.

    When it comes to first-round picks, I want great almost immediately, or at the very least a strong beacon of potential greatness in that first season. And in a year when the NFL draft class is particularly strong at so many other positions, I don't understand why it is a smart move to draft a quarterback who barely played at all last season and is coming off of surgery and hasn't been cleared by anyone's medical staff or played in a pro-style offense in two years of college ball when the alternative is a monster defensive tackle who every NFL personnel department has listed as a once-in-a-generation beast (Suh).

    The Bradford supporters are basing most of their love of him on game tapes from two seasons ago. They said the Rams need a quarterback in the worst way, so draft Bradford. Well, that, boys and girls, is exactly how you draft a quarterback in the worst way, reaching for need instead of taking the best player available regardless of position.

    The Rams haven't made a decision yet on their first-round choice because they don't have all the information they need in front of them. They already have completed more than 90 percent of their evaluations of the defensive linemen and it's clear that Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy are at the top of their draft board. Now comes the harder work of evaluating the top QBs, both of whom are coming off major injuries and won't be able to throw for anyone for a month.

    Let's face it, the draft is a grandly inexact science, and it can get some men raises and others fired. Let's just look at how hard it is to pick a passer in the first round.

    "Knowing the history of it, it isn't any better than 50-50," Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "There is a lot of risk taking any player in the top 5 or top 10 because you have to pay them so much. I don't know of any team that can really afford their first-round pick to not be successful, whether it's a quarterback or an offensive tackle. You need that guy to be successful for you. ... It's high risk, no doubt."

    Going back to 1998, 33 quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round, and based on nothing more substantial than good, old-fashioned common sense, the best you can come up with are 10 or 12 of those draft picks who have turned out to be — or are pointing towards being — franchise-type quarterbacks.

    Here are the can't miss franchise types who have been picked since '98:

    Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers.

    Everyone else falls into various categories that make you understand how dicey the process is and why Sam Bradford is not an automatic savior. Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman are the best of the rest. Put them in the category of fascinating kids with ascending careers. In the showing-flashes-of-potential category, we have Vince Young and Jay Cutler. In the enigma category we have Michael Vick. And then there is this large collection of QBs, who at the very best can be classified as ordinary, and on the far end, are out and out flops.

    JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell, Byron Leftwich, Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman, Matt Leinart, J.P. Losman, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Patrick Ramsey, Chad Pennington, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper, Cade McNown, Ryan Leaf.

    You could say the same thing about any position in the first round, particularly defensive tackle, too. But for me, it's way too early in the process to be proclaiming anything with certainty about Sam Bradford just yet. Way too early.


  2. #2
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    This is definitely a subject that will be talked about a lot in the coming weeks.

    My view is that if Suh is definitely better, you take him. But i think if Bradford and Suh are tied, the team will take Bradford

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    This is definitely a subject that will be talked about a lot in the coming weeks.

    My view is that if Suh is definitely better, you take him. But i think if Bradford and Suh are tied, the team will take Bradford
    I think the rams will reach IMO they Know that Suh is better but they need a QB so a QB the rams will draft. They will talk themselves into believing Bradford is better know matter what they see from Suh or they see from Bradford. The only way they want take him now is if the Dr’s don’t sign off on him.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    I think the rams will reach IMO they Know that Suh is better but they need a QB so a QB the rams will draft. They will talk themselves into believing Bradford is better know matter what they see from Suh or they see from Bradford. The only way they want take him now is if the Dr’s don’t sign off on him.

    I feel the exact same way. If his shoulder is alright they will try to convince themselves into believing he will over shadow Suh.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Unless the Rams are trading down, there is no way you take Bradford. Like Burwell stated he is good but not #1, not to mention the injury. Imagine that we draft Bradford pay him #1 money & with the suspect line we have he gets mauled like Bulger has for the past couple of years. The Rams don't need him, there are plenty of QB's in the draft to pick from. I would rather find a diamond in the rough who is a football film junkie and can grow into a stellar QB. Draft Suh & have him terrorizing the NFC West for years to come. The Nfc West is weak & all teams need a QB So let them take there pick, lets take the beast who will destroy them physically & mentally.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    So here's a question...just to throw out there.

    How much longer do we put off drafting a quarterback? I hear alot of people saying just take Jake Locker next year....but do we know he won't have an injury? Do we know we will even be high enough to draft him instead of someone else doing it?

    How long do you wait?

    It makes me nervous not taking a quarterback at some point this year...and I don't mean someone we just plan on projecting for a few years before ultimately releasing. It's weird, because I hear people say: "There are no franchise quarterbacks in the draft" but at the same time say "There are plenty of quarterbacks we can choose from in round 2."

    Ok....which one is it? And Which quarterback? Why?

    As for Suh...he looks great, should be really good right.

    What if he's not? Why has no one explained away his numbers? People seem eager to explain away Bradford's numbers or Clausen's numbers, but Suh's numbers are enshrined, untouchable.

    Honestly, I don't know who we should draft 1st overall...

    But I do know I don't want to wait another year or two to get a quarterback that is expected to start.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    So here's a question...just to throw out there.

    How much longer do we put off drafting a quarterback? I hear alot of people saying just take Jake Locker next year....but do we know he won't have an injury? Do we know we will even be high enough to draft him instead of someone else doing it?

    How long do you wait?

    It makes me nervous not taking a quarterback at some point this year...and I don't mean someone we just plan on projecting for a few years before ultimately releasing. It's weird, because I hear people say: "There are no franchise quarterbacks in the draft" but at the same time say "There are plenty of quarterbacks we can choose from in round 2."

    Ok....which one is it? And Which quarterback? Why?

    As for Suh...he looks great, should be really good right.

    What if he's not? Why has no one explained away his numbers? People seem eager to explain away Bradford's numbers or Clausen's numbers, but Suh's numbers are enshrined, untouchable.

    Honestly, I don't know who we should draft 1st overall...

    But I do know I don't want to wait another year or two to get a quarterback that is expected to start.
    well i think we will draft a QB this year, just not necessarily in the first round. i doubt we go through the first three rounds without getting one QB

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Ok, so if we wait until he second or even third round, do we get a QB that will become our Franchise quarterback or just someone to be second string? I'm not sure...from everything I hear it sounds more likely that the quarterbacks in later rounds will just be clipboard holders.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Keep in mind some of the elite QB's have been taken after the 1st round, Brady & Montana are a few that come to mind. On top of that IMHO most QB's taken #1 overall go down in flames & are true bust which is the last thing I want to see. And yes I'm aware of some that have panned out.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    But *most* late round quarterbacks never do anything more than play when the starter goes down...we already have *three* such quarterbacks.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    If the scouting dept does there homework & DeSpags is as good as we think, then I have confidence they can find a diamond in the rough in the later rounds.

  12. #12
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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    But *most* late round quarterbacks never do anything more than play when the starter goes down...we already have *three* such quarterbacks.
    If we take a back in the draft, he will not fit into that mold.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    I agree that you should never reach for a need pick. Suh is a dominating force and the best overall player. The one question I have is, "How much do you weigh on the position"? DT's do not when Superbowls, but I think it's fair to say that a franchise QB can. There is ~a 70% chance that this draft will have a franchise QB. There is ~a 35% chance that there will be more than 1. Sooo, the evaluation process is so crucial right now. Bradford or Clausen? It's 50/50, unless someone else is the better prospect. Personally I like Bradford this year, but my gut instinct says pick Suh and wait for the much better crop of Qbs next year.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Great article. Someone finally putting forth a rational discussion.

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    Re: Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG-BLUE View Post
    Unless the Rams are trading down, there is no way you take Bradford. Like Burwell stated he is good but not #1, not to mention the injury. Imagine that we draft Bradford pay him #1 money & with the suspect line we have he gets mauled like Bulger has for the past couple of years. The Rams don't need him, there are plenty of QB's in the draft to pick from. I would rather find a diamond in the rough who is a football film junkie and can grow into a stellar QB. Draft Suh & have him terrorizing the NFC West for years to come. The Nfc West is weak & all teams need a QB So let them take there pick, lets take the beast who will destroy them physically & mentally.
    Thank You Big-Blue!

    Thats what I've been saying! If the Rams front office wants Bradford trade down to the Bucs and try to get him there. If Washington moves to #2 and takes Bradford the Rams can come out and say they got the guy they wanted all the time.

    I still want SUH!

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