Why The Rams Should Draft Sam Bradford
I understand the “take best player available” theory, I really do. It’s just that I disagree with it in St. Louis’ case this year. Now, before I continue, my argument assumes Bradford’s shoulder has been fully cleared by Dr. James Andrews and will soon be 100 percent. But if so, I really don’t see an argument the other way here. I mean, it’s simple: quarterback is the single most important position in all of sports. And it’s not even close.
Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy certainly look like sure things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. I mean, McCoy only put up 225 lbs 23 times! And the leaning opinion right now has him slightly above Suh, who had more than a third of his sacks last year come in one game. But in all seriousness, I’m not here to criticize either defensive tackle. Each look nearly certain to have bright careers in the pros. But so what? Let’s say one becomes the greatest DT in the history of the NFL – I’d still rather a top-12 current QB in the league than that. There’s a reason the franchise tag for defensive tackles right now is $7,003,000 (only tight end, safety and kickers are lower) compared to quarterbacks’ $16,405,000. I guess ideally St. Louis would be drafting third this year, so they would spend a little less and wouldn’t be worried about being criticized for “reaching,” but is that any better than making a player yet to take a snap in the league the highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL?
I actually don’t watch much college football and have no opinion of Bradford. I’m totally agnostic. However, if there’s a chance he can truly be a franchise quarterback, which clearly seems to be the case (since this is such a crapshoot, the end result is actually beside the point I’m trying to make), then the Rams’ decision is easy. After all, either defensive tackle could be a bust too, or even if they turn out to be a very solid, maybe even Pro Bowl caliber talent, that still doesn’t change the fact St. Louis will be a below average football team until the QB position is upgraded by a wide margin. Maybe that’s possible through free agency (pretty rare), but this is a team that hasn’t drafted a QB in round one since 1967 – and it shows, as there might not be a franchise with a worse outlook at the NFL’s most important position.
The Rams should draft Bradford and not even think twice about it.