By Roger Hensley


QUESTION: Rams fans have been quite vocal about their discontent with starting QB Marc Bulger this offseason. Perhaps a new coaching staff, new system (and new offensive tackle?) will lead to an improved performance by Bulger this season. Regardless, the Rams need to begin planning for their future at QB. When you get past the top two QBs in this draft ó Georgiaís Matt Stafford and USCís Mark Sanchez ó is there anyone you see out there that could be nabbed in the second or third round that maybe one day could develop into a difference maker?

One could argue that not even Stafford or Sanchez are difference makers. This is a weak quarterback class. Then again, quarterbacks have been known to come out of nowhere.

Three potential quarterbacks might tempt the Rams on the first day. If K-Stateís Josh Freeman is on the board in the second round, he could force them to consider a move earlier than planned.
But chances are that wonít happen. Instead look for a QB in the middle rounds. Tom Brandstater from Fresno State or Rhett Bomar from Sam Houston State. Brandstater is the more likely choice because Bomar has some negatives off the field.

Iíll go with Tom Brandstater of Fresno State. Iím no draftnik, but Brandstater has size covered (6-5, 222), and heís smart. At Fresno State he showed the ability to make throws downfield, and was very accurate on the short-intermediate passes. Heís one of those QBs who takes charge of the huddle and the offense, so strong leadership potential is there. The scouts say he doesnít have quick feet, so escaping pressure could be an issue. But definitely worth a look if he slips to, say the third round.

Nate Jones of Ball State is intriguing. He has size (6-2, 226), a big arm and apparently a good feel for the game. He could probably be had in the fourth or fifth round.

Draftniks are in love with Rhett Bomar. The kid has big-time skills. Circumstances landed him at Sam Houston State, which seemed to drop him out of first-day consideration. Of the second-tier guys, he would seem to have the most potential to develop into a legitimate long-term project. I imagine heíll be gone before the Rams get done filling other needs, but he will be one of the wild cards of this draft.

Itís sounding like Kansas Stateís Josh Freeman is the clear-cut No. 3 quarterback in this draft but it appears that he could slip into the first round. At 6-6, 240, heís huge with an arm to match his size. He decided to leave college early due to a favorable review by the NFLís college advisory committee. Based on what Iíve read, he is considered a project, so heíll have time to develop behind a more established quarterback.