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  1. #1
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    Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice
    Feb. 27, 2010
    By Pete Prisco
    CBSSports.com Senior Writer
    Tell Pete your opinion!

    INDIANAPOLIS -- When was the last Super Bowl you came away from thinking that a defensive tackle decided the game?

    Now you know why the St. Louis Rams have no choice but to take a quarterback with the first overall pick in the April draft.

    That quarterback should be Oklahoma's Sam Bradford.

    Forget the charade, Rams. Forget the two top defensive tackles. As good as Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy are as players, that position doesn't come close to being as important as quarterback.

    You don't win championships with defensive tackles.

    You win with great passers.

    The Rams were 1-15 last season. Their offense was horrible. The passing game was the problem. They were 28th in passing and had just two pass plays of 40-plus yards, the lowest number in the league.

    Starting quarterback Marc Bulger, who missed time with injuries, is talking retirement and the Rams might not want him back if he doesn't.

    When Rams general manager Billy Devaney met with the media here at the combine, he said the Rams have pretty much narrowed their possibilities with the top pick -- provided there is no trade -- to four players, the two defensive tackles, Bradford and Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

    "We know this," Devaney said. "It if comes down to that right now, there are four guys that will be given consideration."

    There is still a lot of work left to do before decision day. We have the combine, pro days and two months of evaluation.

    And then there's the most important part of all: Is Bradford's surgically repaired shoulder as good as new?

    Bradford suffered a shoulder injury while being tackled in a game last September against BYU. He came back for a game, but the reinjured the shoulder against Texas. That's when his season ended.

    Bradford had surgery in October, performed by esteemed surgeon Dr. James Andrews, but he's not all the way back to where he can throw. So he isn't throwing here at the combine, but will instead wait for his Pro Day workout in Norman on March 25.

    "We'll get with the doctors, our medical people, as soon as we get back to St. Louis," Devaney said. "That'll be a big decision, and a lot will go into that. We'll probably have more than one opinion on that. We want to get as accurate and thorough information we can, so we'll find out after this process is over. Yeah, that's why we're putting it on the doctors. You hope so. You'll get obviously all the tests, but we've got to see him throw.

    "I think his [pro] date is the 25th of March and in my mind we may go in again right before the draft and see a couple weeks later what his status is. Is it improving? Is it the same? Has he regressed? We need to find out and be as sure as possible. There's no sure things, but yeah, a position like that absolutely we need to be sure."

    Bradford said Saturday that his arm is about 85 percent right now.

    "I think Dr. Andrews is extremely happy with it," Bradford said. "He says I'm ahead of schedule right now, the velocity I'm putting on the ball, some of the throws I'm able to make right now. I feel like with another month's work, by the time my pro day gets here, I'll be able to make all the throws I was able to make before, with probably some more arm strength I had before I got hurt."

    Drew Brees had shoulder surgery four years ago and then won a Super Bowl earlier this month. With modern medicine, the shoulder shouldn't be a problem. But until Rams doctors give hum the OK, they won't know for sure.

    Bradford's talent says he should be the first player picked, and were it not for the shoulder it would be an easy choice. It was interesting that he was given the No. 1 jersey here among quarterbacks.

    "It's alphabetic and mine happens to be the first name," Bradford said. "So it's nice."

    No. 1 in April is what he wants. And based on what some scouts are saying, he should be the guy.

    "He's the most accurate passer I've seen come into the draft in the past 10 years," one NFC personnel director said.

    Bradford had completion percentages of 69.5 and 67.9 in his two full seasons as quarterback at OU. Those numbers are really impressive, especially since he played in an up-tempo passing offense. He was adept at hitting receivers on the run and threw 50 touchdown passes in 2008.

    Bradford has added 12 pounds of weight to his 6-foot-4 frame, which puts him at 236 pounds. That should help him better handle the pounding in the pocket in the NFL.

    "He's a tall guy, he just needed to add some weight," Devaney said. "They didn't think he was a problem. They just thought as he matures and keeps working he'll be fine eventually. One of the things he did need for a tall guy -- he needed to put some pounds on."

    Taking a quarterback high is sometimes a risky proposition. We've seen a lot of busts. Devaney was in San Diego when the Chargers had Ryan Leaf go bust, so he has seen it up close and personal.

    But Devaney need not worry. Bradford won't bust. He's not a knucklehead like Leaf. He's a good, levelheaded kid who happens to be the best quarterback in this draft and will follow in the recent footsteps of Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez and start as a rookie -- and have success.

    Suh is a great player, the top in this draft. But with the value placed on the quarterback and the way the game is played now, the Rams can't afford to take him.

    If they want a ring, they need to draft the guy with the golden wing.

    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
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  2. #2
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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    If his arm is ok, throw him in the fire and start him, give him a TE and draft Defense.FA a RB, and we're on our way.

  3. #3
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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by dave626 View Post
    If his arm is ok, throw him in the fire and start him, give him a TE and draft Defense.FA a RB, and we're on our way.
    Dont throw him in the fire. Let him sit and absorb the information of the offense, and the speed of the game.

  4. #4
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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    If we do get him, do not AND I MEAN DO NOT pull a Lions on him like what they did to Stafford.

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
    Dont throw him in the fire. Let him sit and absorb the information of the offense, and the speed of the game.
    The "good" people of St. Louis will never tolerate a first round pick sitting around absorbing stuff. If we plan on doing that with a QB, pick one in the later rounds.

    Our first round this year needs to be a home run from the start of the season. If Bradford isn't going to be that guy, don't pay him $70+ million.

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Hmmm putting in Bradford from day one with a potential weak shoulder = out for season.

    Last year both Bulger and Boller wen't down...... I would not risc that on a new player from day one.

    If we take him (and I am still hoping we take one of the DT's), then he should sit and learn. That would also give our young WR's time to get better so that he at least have some kind of weapons when he gets in there.

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    it didn't help san fran win a championship when they drafted smith no 1 so drafting bradford doesn't mean we will

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by ramstiles View Post
    it didn't help san fran win a championship when they drafted smith no 1 so drafting bradford doesn't mean we will
    thats true but when you have won 6 games in three seasons you have to take that shot,drafting defensive linemen every year with the top few picks is not going to get this team to a super bowl, and I know you need to stop the other team but you still have to score points and that is something this team is horrible at and Bradford could be the guy to start to fix that.

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    For me, part of the consideration has to be how well we're REALLY likely to do this season and whether we're playing a long or short-term game here.

    I don't know how next year's draft compares to this but I know the likes of Suh don't come along often. Yes, we clearly need a QB, but if you look at this draft as part of a two-three year programme, rather than a single draft in itself, i think we need to be looking at the bigger picture rather than the simple 'which position is more important, QB or DT?'.

    The likelihood is we won't be going to the Superbowl next season. So should we build for this season and bring in the QB or build as part of a bigger programme? Are the QBs available in next year's draft likely to be any worse than what's available this year? Are the DTs?

    I'm not 100% sure a QB is what the Rams focus should be on THIS year, unless we're talking about Clausen or Bradford being a real stud. If there's someone coming through in the next year or so then I think we're better taking the BPA now and waiting for that man in the future - rather than simply taking the short-term option of a QB now.

    We've got so many holes that I think we either try and make a big trade for more picks or we take Suh / McCoy. Fill lots of needs or take the BPA. Don't just take the position.

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by ramstiles View Post
    it didn't help san fran win a championship when they drafted smith no 1 so drafting bradford doesn't mean we will
    First of all, Alex Smith and Sam Bradford are two totally different players with different styles, attributes, and strengths.

    Sam Bradford is 10x the QB Smith will ever be.






    As for sitting Bradford in his rookie season, I don't think it's a bad idea. But, he should still get playing time. Like what Spag's said in an interview, they should do it like how the Eagles did it with McNabb.

    Let him play a few series every game, and then by week 10, name him the starter since he will be more used to the speed of the game, and would have a feel of NFL defenses without having to play significantly and having a chance to get injured, or sacked too much.

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    thats true but when you have won 6 games in three seasons you have to take that shot,drafting defensive linemen every year with the top few picks is not going to get this team to a super bowl, and I know you need to stop the other team but you still have to score points and that is something this team is horrible at and Bradford could be the guy to start to fix that.
    Everything we did prior to last season needs to be forgotten, as that was under a different program with different players and different priorities. We're purging the roster of most of those guys who contributed to the first two seasons of debacle.

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    thats true but when you have won 6 games in three seasons you have to take that shot,drafting defensive linemen every year with the top few picks is not going to get this team to a super bowl, and I know you need to stop the other team but you still have to score points and that is something this team is horrible at and Bradford could be the guy to start to fix that.
    If bradford turns out to be a franchise QB then it would be wise to select him I'm not sure he will My opinion is its better to have a great DT (suh) than a average QB

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    First of all, Alex Smith and Sam Bradford are two totally different players with different styles, attributes, and strengths.

    Sam Bradford is 10x the QB Smith will ever be.
    He might be a better QB than smith but I'm not sure he is a franchise QB I would be happier if we draft suh.

  14. #14
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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    I'm starting to wonder what's the big knock on Bradford besides his durability? Makes all the throws, works hard, intelligent, great guy in the locker, calling Bradford average is calling a rookiee Manning (who did less in college) average. Only thing Manning has working for him more than Bradford coming out of college is he worked out of a pro style offense and his arm might be a tad stronger. In this case thats a bad argument because Bradford took half his snaps in training camp from under center and around 30 percent of his snaps in games from under center and can throw all the intermediate routes "on a rope" as they say. I doubt he forgot to drop back that fast and Im sure hes been refining it during his downtime.

    So realistically, the only real knocks on Bradford is durability. Just watch the game tape people, just watch the tape..

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    Re: Prisco: If Rams want to win, Bradford is easy -- and only -- choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    I'm starting to wonder what's the big knock on Bradford besides his durability? Makes all the throws, works hard, intelligent, great guy in the locker, calling Bradford average is calling a rookiee Manning (who did less in college) average. Only thing Manning has working for him more than Bradford coming out of college is he worked out of a pro style offense and his arm might be a tad stronger. In this case thats a bad argument because Bradford took half his snaps in training camp from under center and around 30 percent of his snaps in games from under center and can throw all the intermediate routes "on a rope" as they say. I doubt he forgot to drop back that fast and Im sure hes been refining it during his downtime.

    So realistically, the only real knocks on Bradford is durability. Just watch the game tape people, just watch the tape..
    Great points. Also, Bradford has also bulked up 15lbs. since his injury, so it looks like he is a much stronger player now.

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