Like most college quarterbacks with the hype of Sam Bradford , it's not a question of "if" he'll be drafted in the first round, more a question of "where".
Sure, the injuries Bradford sustained this season raise some minor questions about his durability and his immediate health, but are likely temporary hindrances in what appears to be a polished and refined NFL -ready game.
After declaring for the NFL Draft, we know for sure where Bradford will be before his name is called in April. Now it's time to start thinking about where he'll be after an NFL team calls his name.
Here's a look at the positives and negatives of Bradford's game as he prepares a transition to the professional stage, followed by a few teams that should be targeting him.
Statistically (short of the 2009 season), there are few quarterbacks that matchup with what Bradford did from 2007-2008. Over that span, he led an elite Oklahoma offense by throwing 86 touchdowns along with nearly 8,000 passing yards. Throw in his mere eight interceptions in each of those two seasons, and Bradford was a near lock to be the top pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Of course, it's not just all about stats with Bradford. He shows great range on all his passes, while having the accuracy and arm to make every necessary throw at the next level.
His already adequate height and frame will only get bigger and stronger, which will hopefully help him rid of any durability concerns.
The level of competition he faces was regularly at a borderline elite level, and Bradford routinely showed up in big games.
Outside of his natural feel for the game and his solid athleticism, Bradford also holds exceptional command in the huddle and is one of the more confident and decisive leaders on the field.
He isn't a project or the type of high-profile passer that will fade into an NFL career on the sidelines. As long as his health isn't a major question, he's bound to have a long, successful career in the NFL.
While Bradford does have everything visible to the naked eye that an NFL quarterback needs, he still hasn't been able to shake durability issues, and for good reason.
He was perfectly healthy in his first two seasons as a starter, so this really shouldn't be an issue, but he suffered two injuries during the 2009 season, and considering they have to do with his shoulders, it raises some question marks.
Add in the fact that these aren't necessarily "minor" injuries and that surgery was involved, and Bradford suddenly becomes a huge risk to a lot of NFL GM's.
On top of his injury problems, Bradford needs to prove to scouts and GM's that his stats weren't padded in a system that caters to quarterbacks. Bradford operated mostly out of a spread offense, which aids a quarterback's accuracy and doesn't always demand them to make tough reads or passes.
If Bradford can prove that he's healthy and that he can man an NFL offense with no great difficulty, he still has a good chance at being a top five pick, and isn't even out of the running for the top pick in the draft.
The real question, as stated before, is more about where he's going, rather than his ability to play or what round he'll be taken in.
Bradford is a first round talent and should be on the radar for any and all NFL teams that are either desperate for a passer or actively looking for an upgrade.
While the Oakland Raiders may not want to take the plunge on another quarterback in the first round, they are clearly an option, as they have a slew of backup quarterbacks who will be fighting for the starting job in 2010.
With Marc Bulger getting older and battling injuries and Keith Null and Kyle Boller being less than impressive, the St. Louis Rams have to be the favorite to steal Bradford off the board.
Of course, teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and Buffalo Bills should all be very interested in obtaining Bradford, while the Carolina Panthers could also figure into the mix.
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