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Muscle Sport Magazine

Sam Bradford, Although the Obvious #1, Still a Gamble for the St. Louis Rams

When you finish the season 1-15, any addition will be viewed as an improvement. Especially when you have a quarterback depth chart that reads A.J. Feeley, Keith Null and Mike Reilly. The general consensus says that if there is a clear-cut number one overall pick out there and he just happens to be a quarterback, it’s a no-brainer. But it isn’t always as simple as that.

There is also those who say to trade down and stock up on mid-round picks. Back in 1997, Bill Parcells was running the Jets, who owned the first pick courtesy of a one-win campaign courtesy of Rich Kotite. There was no slam dunk name out there because Peyton Manning decided to stay at Tennessee. The Tuna moved down twice and eventually drafted linebacker James Farrior. The Rams, who moved all the way up, picked OL Orlando Pace.

Would the Rams have been better off trading down and letting Feeley take his lumps? Looking at the board, both Detroit (#2) and Tampa Bay (#3) chose signal-callers in the first round a year ago, and Washington (#4) and Kansas City (#5) are set with Donovan McNabb and Matt Cassel. So realistically, the closest team looking for a franchise quarterback would have been Seattle at number six, and the few teams following them wouldn’t mind an upgrade.

Because the Rams didn’t negotiate a contract with Bradford before the draft, in all likelihood they explored some trade opportunities. The biggest question mark surrounding the Oklahoma product is his health and ability to withstand the physical aspect of playing in the NFL. Bradford injured his throwing shoulder in last year’s season opener versus BYU and had AC joint surgery in October, ending his college career on the sidelines after winning the Heisman Trophy a year earlier.

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Is Bradford going to be that franchise quarterback the Rams can build around? With an offense line that had Mark Bulger running for his life last season, they hopefully can keep him upright long enough to find that out. When asked if he though that being the first pick was possible after getting hurt, Bradford humbly replied, “No, I didn’t.” He himself had doubts crossing his mind, so it is not out of the question to point them out and debate whether he will live up to the hype.

Sure, Bradford was the so-called ‘safe’ pick for the Rams. No one will bash them if he turns out to be a bust and the organization will not have to keep hearing ‘I told you so’ years from now. But if they could have swung a deal to move down and pick up a 2011 first round pick from a team desperate for a big splash, they could have ended up with someone such as tackle Russell Okung and two high selections a year from now.

C’mon…do you think the Rams will really win more than four games this year even if everything breaks right for them?

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2010 NFL DRAFT TOP 10 SELECTIONS

1 – St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma

2 – Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska

3 – Tampa Bay Bucs – Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma

4 – Washington Redskins – Trent Williams, T Oklahoma

5 – Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Berry, S Tennessee

6 – Seattle Seahawks – Russell Okung, T Oklahoma State

7 – Cleveand Brown – Joe Haden, CB Florida

8 – Oakland Raiders – Rolando McClain, LB Alabama

9 – Buffalo Bills – CJ Spiller, RB Clemson

10 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Tyson Aluala, DE California

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