Sam Bradford: The New Face of the Cleveland Browns?
It seems like Sam Bradford, the 6'4", 230-pound Heisman Trophy winner, is gaining a lot of extra attention from the Cleveland Browns coaching staff.
"He's a big kid, he's accurate, he won a lot of football games, he is a leader," Brown's General Manager Tom Heckert said during the NFL Combine just a few weeks ago, "That pretty much sums it up. He has all the tools to put it together. Everyone wants to say he's a franchise, but until he does it you never know."
Those last words are exactly what the Browns' fans are afraid of.
Three years after drafting former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn as their "franchise quarterback," he failed to put up the numbers, (and, more importantly, the wins) to keep him on the team.
This offseason he was traded away to the Denver Broncos for FB Peyton Hillis, a sixth round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and a conditional late-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
A first-round pick for two sixth-round picks and a fullback?
I feel for you Browns fans.
So how can you blame them for lashing back when they hear rumors of new Browns President Mike Holmgren and GM Heckert planning to trade up in the 2010 NFL Draft for another "franchise quarterback?"
If it wasn't for the injury Bradford sustained last year during a game against Texas on Oklahoma's second drive, no one would be questioning it.
Bradford is still recovering from a reconstructed shoulder that caused him to miss most of the 2009 season.
Some fans question whether Bradford will be ready to play in the NFL after sustaining the injury.
To those fans: there was a little guy from Purdue named Drew Brees who many believed was washed up after having his arm almost torn off with San Diego, but I hear he has done some nice things since then.
At the Combine Bradford stated that he's "85 percent" and plans to "put on a great show" at his pro day March 25.
According to reports, the Rams are thinking about taking him with the number one pick.
So how would the Browns' move up in the draft?
Possibly a blockbuster trade of the ten-picks they own in the first five-rounds.
"If we were to package 10 of them and move up, we could do all sorts of stuff," Team President Mike Holmgren said. "If you believe the young man is the guy, you take him. You're not scared off by the fact it hasn't worked out in the past."
If they can't get the first pick, there are other possibilities for the Browns, including defensive tackles Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma and Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, and safety Eric Berry of Tennessee.
When asked, Bradford had this to say about the injury and his rehab.
"It checked out really well (in Indianapolis) when I went through the team physicals, no one found anything they weren't expecting to find." Bradford told reporters near the end of the Combine.
"I'm in a great rehab program right now, my throwing sessions are really starting to pick up in intensity. My last throwing session consisted of over 100 throws. My arm feels great after I throw; it hasn't started to get sore yet. It feels great and I'm really happy with where it's at."
That might lighten the anxiety of many teams who have an interest in the Heisman winner, but until he starts putting up wins for whatever team he gets drafted by, he's nothing more then a gamble.
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