2010 NFL Draft Debates: Jimmy Clausen vs. Sam Bradford

Caleb M.@MouthoftheQuackAnalyst IFebruary 24, 2010

DALLAS - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners on the sidelines after an injury during play against the Texas Longhorns at Cotton Bowl on October 17, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

So I'm starting a new project in line with the draft entitled "2010 NFL Draft Debates." In this, I'll take the two best prospects from each position, compare the two, and decide who's better.

I'll be examining the strengths and weaknesses, stats, size, the whole nine yards in deciding who's better.

I start with quarterbacks, and thus the first debate is Jimmy Clausen vs. Sam Bradford.


Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame, 6'2", 223 lbs)

What really separates him from the rest of the class is his success in Notre Dame's west coast offense. Tim Tebow, Tony Pike, and others enjoy the spread offense...not Clausen.

Clausen excelled in the west coast, being as versatile as he is.

I mean really...watch this video . He can scramble like Vince Young and throw on the run like Drew Brees.

His two biggest strengths would have to be his speed and accuracy.

That guy knows how to move. And most importantly, knows when to move.

Clausen's 40 time isn't the most impressive at 4.76, but compared to Sam Bradford (4.79), Colt McCoy (4.68), and even Tim Tebow (4.82), he looks pretty good.

As for his accuracy...again, watch the video.

When in the pocket, he can pick out the right receiver all the time and almost never does the receiver have to slow down or turnaround to grab it.

His stats speak for themselves (289-425, 28 TDs, 4 INTs). His 68 percent completion rating is fifth best in the nation.

With his combined west coast offense skills, speed, and accuracy, I think he'll be a great success in the NFL with one of the following teams:

Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans

Comparable To: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Projected Pick: Buffalo Bills (pick nine)


Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 6'4", 223 lbs)

After winning the Heisman as a sophomore in 2008 (328-483, 50 TDs, 8 INTs), he was again a preseason contender.  

The only reason Bradford won't be taken at No. 1, in my opinion, is his injury. It's still debatable whether Tampa Bay should go after a quarterback or go after Suh (though we all know the answer)...but it would've been clear had Bradford not been injured.

Some teams might hesitate because of his injury, but anyone desperate for a quarterback will bite.

Check out some of Bradford's highlights.  

Bradford excels at "controlling the offense," and has a certain presence that reminds me of Peyton Manning

His two biggest strengths have to be his accuracy and pocket presence.

Bradford said in an interview with Dan Patrick that his shoulder injury shouldn't be reoccurring, and that he could throw 50 yards right now. Expects him to be ready for team workouts wherever he goes.

I don't think the injury should worry teams away, but the fact that he didn't play all year won't be ignored...that's not to mention he's not competing in the combine. That right there will possibly hurt his draft stock.

Comparing Clausen's accuracy (68 percent), to Bradford's in '08 (67.9 percent)...Clausen has the edge. However, who knows how far Bradford would have grown, as Clausen went from 60.9 percent in 2008 to 68 percent in 2009.

As for his pocket presence...look at the highlights again. In a few spots you can pick out his Peyton-like qualities. 

His pocket presence is huge, and he imitates the playcalling at the line that Manning does. The audibles he uses almost always confuse the defense, and it works out most of the time. 

He will be targeted by anybody in need of a quarterback, but especially by these five teams:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns.

Comparable To: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

Projected Pick: Seattle Seahawks (pick six)

Bradford is the better pick. The two compare to the Super Bowl XIV quarterbacks, and I think they can both be successful in the NFL. However, Bradford's pocket presence and his Heisman trophy make him the clear winner. 

Debate Winner: Sam Bradford


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