Something struck me today when posting in another thread about the first overall pick this april and the impact either Bradford or Suh could have on the players around them. I made the case that both players have the potential to significantly impact the players around them in the long term, whilst Suh probably has the advantage of being able to do so almost from the first day of practise.
I started to wonder why that is and I think it comes down to something deeper than the well-stated grooming period for rookie QBs. Our situation is quite particular because of who we have on defense. We may well return all of our starters at every position except for Defensive End. (Obviously Bradley Fletcher will be plugged in at corner in an attempt to stop some of the bleeding from the position last season. For the purposes of this discussion, he doesn't count because he's already on the roster.) Whilst I would not be entirely comfortable with this (we'll need a DE ASAP if Little doesn't return) I am much more comfortable with returning our starters on defense than on offense.
In my opinion, a player like Suh can make these already established starters a whole lot better. It's a given that the play of the linebackers flanking Lauriniatis, which was heavily criticised last season, stands to see exponential levels of improvement with a better pass rush. And I say this completely aware that the incumbent starters may return to their positions in the first unit. We're not exactly missing a Defensive Tackle in particular, but we are lacking a pass rush in the worst way. Suh will go a long way to providing that, putting Chris Long, and everybody else up front for that matter, in a better position to make plays.
I can't say I can see the same thing on the offense. Despite our best efforts, our OL is still a mess. Jason Smith, Jason Brown and Jacob Bell are the building blocks and it looks like Alex Barron might be back. For argument's sake, I'll say that only two of the five positions are secure. I'm not convinced Bell won't have to fight to keep his job. We are devoid of a second runningback and our receiving corps is still under question. Lord knows who our starting Tight End will be.
My point is this: the immediate potential Sam Bradford could show as a member of the St. Louis Rams is mooted by the players around him, or the lack thereof. Not all needs can be filled in one offseason and if Bradford were the pick, I wouldn't expect him to start this season anyway. It just seems to me like the supporting cast on defense is much stronger than what we have on the other side of the ball.
I'm completely undecided as to who should be our pick. I was a huge advocate of Suh when the season ended but the arguments in favour of a QB are equally as strong. If we draft Bradford, it's going to be a good day to be a Detroit Lions fan. They got their guy last season. They have one of the best WR's to come along in a very long time. They're building on defense and they now stake claim to the very best defender in this draft. With this in mind, it might be high time that we drafted a QB, got the monkey off of our backs and we finally moved on to other positions of need.
Re: Impact Players
Good point. Im still leaning towards taking Suh first over Bradford but will not be disappointed either way. It is easy to say Suh will make a big impact alot quicker because the defense is the better side of the ball right now, but I think it comes down to filling a void. A big whole, which has also been the focal point of many discussions and disagreements is QB. Every time I tell myself, "Hope they take Suh", I cant help but wonder who will be playing under center next year.
In other words, whether we take Suh or Bradford next month, the question is which choice will consequently leave the team with a bigger glaring need still needing to be filled?
Re: Impact Players
i think they are gonna get more weapons for Bradford if they sign him anyway..and whose to say that what we already have at WR cant become better when they have another year under their belts like they will have next season and somebody like Bradford throwing to them.
whoever they decide to pick between Bradford and Suh i will be fine with...between the two who i would personally choose seems to change from week to week..i trust the brains trust at Rams park tho to make the best pick for us..that may not be the best player but it will be whose best for us im sure.