For weeks it has been reported that the St. Louis Rams will draft quarterback Sam Bradford with the number one NFL draft pick. The St. Louis Rams are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, but is Sam Bradford the answer? Is Sam Bradford even the best quarterback in the 2010 NFL Draft?
The NFL 2010 Draft quarterbacks have been talked about for the last two years. Even going into draft day last year, blogs and analysts began speculating about the first quarterback to be drafted in 2010. Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Jimmy Clausen have all been rumored at one time or another to be the prized quarterback of the 2010 Draft. Yet as we close in on draft day, Sam Bradford is the consensus top pick. It is in my opinion that Sam Bradford is not #1 draft pick quality, nor is he even the best quarterback in the draft.
Looking at the top NCAA quarterback prospects, here is how I rank the top quarterbacks of the 2010 NFL Draft.
1 – Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame. Before you go ballistic and bombard me with hate mail, keep in mind that I hate Notre Dame. It pains me to say it, but I love his upside much more than the other usual suspects. Unfortunately Jimmy Clausen has two things working against him that will prevent the St. Louis Rams from making the right pick.
Two, the thing you read over and over again with Clausen is upside. Most analysts don’t expect Clausen to be ready to step in on day one and lead an NFL team. Clausen will need at least one season backing up a veteran. That is a problem at number one. Nobody wants to commit number one money to a project. The best is yet to come with Clausen and that is killing him from being the overall first quarterback taken in the draft.
I loved Clausen this year. I think of all of the top quarterbacks in the draft, he improved much more from 2008 to 2009. Notre Dame lost because of their poor defense, not Clausen. Clausen was very clutch in his time at Notre Dame and that is an intangible that can’t be measured at a combine. I think Clausen’s winning ways carry over into the NFL.
2 – Colt McCoy, Texas. It is amazing how one bad game has taken Colt McCoy from being the consensus top pick to dropping deep in the second round on some boards. McCoy did struggle in the Big 12 title game and did get hurt in the national title game, but Peyton Manning also struggled in his senior season.
I like McCoy a lot and I think he is going to be an absolute steal for someone. Unlike Clausen, I do think McCoy is ready to play in the NFL on opening day. Do I think he will be as successful in his rookie year as guys like Matt Ryan or Mark Sanchez? No, but I think he is someone that people will scratch their heads about in four years as to how he dropped so low. McCoy had a great 2008 season and I think too many people are forgetting about it and putting too much significance on the Nebraska game.
3 – Sam Bradford, Oklahoma. Bradford has had a pretty storied NCAA career at Oklahoma. There is however a certain intangible that is missing in Sam Bradford. Sam Bradford is not a winner. He lost in the Fiesta Bowl in 2008 and he lost in the 2009 BCS title game to Florida. There is upside with Bradford but I don’t know if I see him as anything more than a late first-round, early second-round pick. Add on top of that the kid has been proven to be incredibly fragile and you have a very high risk high reward situation with your first draft pick. While nobody is ever a guaranteed lock in the NFL, I have some serious reservations about Bradford. It astounds me as to how he has locked in that number one quarterback and overall number one top draft slot.
4 – John Skelton, Fordham. Yes, that John Skelton. I like this kid a whole lot. At 6’5” 241 he rivals Sam Bradford in stature. There have already been rumblings about Skelton moving up in the first round of the NFL Draft. Skelton was passing machine at Fordham. Unlike Sam Bradford, Skelton was a winner at Fordham. He has a really big arm and has great accuracy. Quite frankly, he may be the most accurate quarterback in the top five. He has the potential to be a real steal for some team in this year’s draft.
So there you have it. If you are were looking for Tim Tebow in my top five quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, you won’t find him here. I think he will be a wasted pick that won’t start more than a handful of games in the NFL. Regardless, I don’t think there is anyone that you can say is a solid number one draft pick. In my opinion, that quarterback definitely isn’t Sam Bradford.
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