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NFL Draft: Sam Bradford vs. Colt McCoy

Franklin RizzoContributor IDecember 27, 2016

All indications are that Sam Bradford is about to become the latest quarterback selected No. 1 overall in an NFL Draft. Obviously, that will make him the first QB selected in yet another draft.

Not so fast, says Mel Kiper. He rates Jimmy Clausen slightly higher and says he is more pro-ready, while Super Bowl-winning QB Trent Dilfer agrees. 

Dilfer believes that the Rams would be best off taking defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh first overall, then trading up from the 33rd pick to select Colt McCoy as their quarterback.
He thinks Jimmy Clausen is by far the best quarterback right now.

He thinks Sam Bradford faces a tough transition. He pegs McCoy as the player most likely to develop into the best quarterback from this draft. What does Dilfer know? Well, he's played the position in the NFL, won a Super Bowl as a starting QB, and he has studied the players in great detail and using film that the general public doesn't have access to.

From ESPN, Dilfer said he has watched every 2009 snap from all three quarterbacks -- two and three times in some cases -- using a template he developed with input from Mike Holmgren, Brian Billick, and others. Dilfer attributes Bradford's perceived rise to hype and misinformation from personnel people with agendas.

"In my opinion," Dilfer said of Bradford, "he is not even close to the best player in this draft." McCoy's competitiveness, leadership and athletic ability to extend plays will set him apart over time, Dilfer predicted. 

Now, we all can see the same thing and come away with different opinions. Scouts surely differed in their opinions in 1991 when Seattle chose Dan McGwire (Mark's brother) over Southern Miss's Brett Favre.
So did Raiders scouts that year when they selected Todd Marinovich ahead of Favre. 

Let me focus on two areas which demonstrate why I believe the Rams should not select Bradford number one overall.

First, let’s look back at some draft history regarding quarterbacks. While past results are not always an indication of results going forward, I believe lessons learned in the past can teach scouts and GMs a lot going forward. 

Here are the past 35 or so drafts, showing who the first QB taken was in each of them.

First QB: Bert Jones, #2 overall
QB’s selected after: Dan Fouts, 3rd round; Ron Jaworski, 2nd round
Was the first QB the best one when all was said and done? No , Fouts was.

First QB: Danny White
QB’s selected after: Crap. Was a terrible year for QBs.
Was the first QB the best one? Yes , and White was very underrated by Cowboy fans.

First: Steve Bartkowski, No. 1 overall

QBs selected after:
Steve Grogan, Round Five, Dan Pastorini, Round Seven
Was the first QB the best one? Close

First: Richard Todd, No. 6 overall
QBs selected after: Crap. Was a terrible year for QBs.
Was the first QB the best one? Yes, but nothing special

First: Steve Pisarkiewitz, No. 19 overall
QBs selected after: Tommy Kramer, Vince Ferragamo, Steve Deberg
Was the first QB the best one? Not even close

First: Doug Williams, No. 17 overall
QBs selected after: Matt Cavanaugh
Was the first QB the best one? Yes

First: Jack Thompson, No. 3 overall (by your Cincinnati Bengals)
QBs selected after: Phil Simms, Joe Montana, Chuck Fusina
Was the first QB the best one? No, historical blunder

First: Marc Wilson, No. 15 overall
QBs selected after: not great, but Mark Malone, Gary Hogeboom, David WoodleyWas the first QB the best one? No

First: Rich Campbell, No. 6 overall (Packers, whoops)
QBs selected after: Neil Lomax, second round
Was the first QB the best one? No

First: Gambling Art Schlicter, No. 4 overall (by Baltimore Colts, whoops)
QBs selected after: Jim McMahon
Was the first QB the best one? No

First: John Elway (by Baltimore Colts, but he wouldn’t play a down for them)
QBs selected after: Jim Kelly No. 14, Dan Marino No. 27
Was the first QB the best one? Yes & No  Elway was the right pick, but since he wouldn't play for them, they'd have been better off taking Marino, in hindsight.

First: Boomer Esiason, No. 38
QBs selected after: Steve Young, supl
Was the first QB the best one? I guess so because I don't know how the supplemental rule was in 1984 with the USFL

First: Randall Cunningham, No. 37
Supplemental pick: Bernie Kosar Taken late: Doug Flutie, Round 11
Was the first QB the best one? Yes

First: Jim Chris Everett, No. 3 overall
QBs taken after: Bubby Brister, Round Three, Mark Rypien, Round Six
Was the first QB the best one? Tough call with Rypien

First: Vinny Testacleverde, No. 1 overall
QBs taken after: Kelly Stouffer, Chris Miller, Jim Harbaugh, all Round One. Rich Gannon Round Four. Don Majikowski, Round 10 
Was the first QB the best one? Tough call with former MVP Gannon, although Vinnie had the longevity, Gannon's peak was better


First: Chris Chandler, third round (was first QB, bad year)

QB’s taken after: crap. Horrible year for QBs.
Was the first QB the best one? By default

First: Troy Aikman, No. 1 overall. Clearly the best QB.
Was the first QB the best one? Yes

First: Jeff George No. 1 overall
Next: Andre Ware No. 7 overall
QBs taken after: Neil O’Donnell, Round Three
Was the first QB the best one? No

First: Dan McGwire No. 16 overall
Next: Todd Marinovich, No. 24
QBs taken after: Brett Favre, No. 33
Was the first QB the best one? No, historical huge blunder

First: David Klingler No. 6 overall
QBs taken after: Tommy Maddox, Jeff Blake, Brad Johnson in Round Nine
Was the first QB the best one? No, verified bust

First: Drew Bledsoe No. 1 overall
QBs taken after: Rick Mirer No. 2 overall, Mark Brunell, Round Five(Packers), Trent Green Round Eight
Was the first QB the best one? Yes

First: Heath Shuler No. 3 overall (ouch)
QBs taken after: Trent Dilfer, Gus Frerotte
Undrafted: Kurt Warner
Was the first QB the best one? No, certified huge bust

First: Steve McNair No. 3 overall
After: Kerry Collins No. 5 overall, Kordell Stewart No. 60 overall, Rob Johnson, Round Four
Was the first QB the best one? Yes

First: Tony Banks
After: Crap, this is one of the worst class of QBs in NFL history.
Was the first QB the best one? NA, I can't certify Banks even though nobody else was better, just a horrible class of QB's.

First: Jim Druckenmiller No. 26 overall
After: Jake Plummer No. 42, Koy Detmer, Round Seven
Was the first QB the best one? No

First: Peyton Manning No. 1 overall
Next: Ryan Leaf No. 2 overall
After Leaf: Chuck Batch, Round Two; Brian Griese, Round Three; Matt Hasselbeck, Round Six (Packers)
Was the first QB the best one? Yes!

First: Tim Couch No. 1 overall (Browns)
Next: Donovan McNabb No. 2 overall
Next: Akili Smith No. 3 overall (your Cincinnati Bengals)
After Couch & Akili: Culpepper No. 11 overall, Aaron Brooks, Round 4 (Packers)
Was the first QB the best one? No, although he was better than Akili Smith

First: Chad Pennington No. 18 overall
Next: Giovanni Carmazzi, 49ers, Chris Redman, Ravens, Tee Martin, Steelers, Mark Bulger, Saints, Spergon Wynn, Browns,
After: Tom Brady, Patriots, Round Six
Was the first QB the best one? No, even though Pennington has had a nice career, but Brady to New England fueled this rivalry to new heights

First: Michael Vick No. 1 overall
After: Drew Brees, Round Two
Was the first QB the best one? No, even though Vick was electric and led Atlanta to some playoffs

First: David Carr No. 1 overall
Next: Joey Harrington No. 3 overall, Patrick Ramsey, Round One
After: David Garrard, Round Four
Was the first QB the best one? No, colossal bust at No. 1, although nobody great afterward.

First: Carson Palmer No. 1 overall (bingo, although he’s not the same after the knee)
Next: Leftwich, No. 7, Boller & Grossman, Round 1 also
After: Tony Romo, undrafted >  
Was the first QB the best one? Yes, although Romo is now better

First: Eli Manning No. 1 overall
Next: Philip Rivers No. 4, Roethlisberger No. 11
After: JP Losman No. 22, Matt Schaub, Round  Three, Jim Sorgi, Round Six
Was the first QB the best one? Won a Super Bowl, but Rivers is better, and Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls, so I'd say no.

First: Alex Smith No. 1 overall
After: Aaron Rodgers No. 24 overall
Next: Jason Campbell No. 25 overall
After: Charlie Frye, Andrew Walter, David Greene, Kyle Orton, Stefon LeFors, Dan Orlovsky, Adrian McPherson, Derek Anderson, Matt Cassell
Was the first QB the best one? No, but Smith still has a chance to become really good 

First: Vince Young No. 3 overall
Next: Matt Leinart No. 10, Jay Cutler No. 11 
Was the first QB the best one? Has been benched, but revitalized. I'd say No because if they redrafted these QBs, Cutler would go highest

First: JaMarcus Russell No. 1 overall
Next: Brady Quinn No. 22 overall
After: Kevin Kolb No. 36, John Beck No. 40, Drew Stanton No. 43, Trent Edwards No. 92
Was the first QB the best one? No, another all-time classic bust at #1

First: Matt Ryan No. 3 overall
Next: Joe Flacco No. 18
After: Brian Brohm No. 56, Chad Henne No. 57 
Was the first QB the best one? Too soon to declare, but looks good so far

First: Matt Stafford No. 1 overall
After: Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman
Was the first QB the best one? Too soon to declare, but looks promising so far

4-year starter, 53 games
Passer Rating: 158.25
Comp %: 70.2
Yards: 13,253
TDs: 112
Ints: 45
Rushing: 1589 yards, 20 TDs
In 2008, led the Longhorns in rushing with 576 yards, 10 TD rushes, and threw for 34 TD’s with an NCAA record 77.6 completion percentage.

• 2006 Valero Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP
• 2008 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP
• 2008 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press
• 2008 Walter Camp Award by the Walter Camp Foundation
• 2008 First-team All-America by the Walter Camp Foundation, FWAA, and Sports Illustrated
• 2008 Archie Griffin Award
• 2008 Co-Sporting News Player of the Year
• 2008 Heisman Memorial Trophy Runner-up
• 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP
• 2009 First-team All-American by Associated Press, AFCA, FWAA, Walter Camp Foundation,,
• 2009 First-team All-Big 12
• 2009 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press
• 2009 NCAA Quarterback of the Year
• 2009 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
• 2009 Davey O'Brien Award
• 2009 Chic Harley Award
• 2009 Maxwell Award
• 2009 Walter Camp Award by the Walter Camp Foundation
• 2009 Sporting News College Athlete of the Year
• 2009 AT&T ESPN All-America Player of the Year

3-year starter, 30 games
Passer Rating: 175.6
Comp %: 67.6
Yards: 8,403
TDs: 88
Ints: 16
Rushing:49 career yards, 5 TDs

• 2007 Sporting News Freshman of the Year
• 2007 Second-team All-American by Sporting News
• 2007 Honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Weekly, College Football News, and Sports Illustrated
• 2007 All-Big 12 honorable mention by the league's coaches
• 2007 All-Big 12 Academic Team
• 2008 Second-team Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine
• 2008 All-Big 12 Academic Team
• 2008 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year as named by the league's coaches, who also selected him to the All-Big 12 first team
• 2008 First-team All-American by CBS Sports,, ESPN, Associated Press and Sporting News
• 2008 Davey O'Brien Award winner
• 2008 Heisman Trophy winner
• 2008 Associated Press College Football Player of the Year
• 2008 Sammy Baugh Trophy
• 2008 co-Sporting News Player of the Year
• 2008 Harley Award
• 2008 Touchdown Club of Columbus Quarterback of the Year

2 Direct HEAD-to-HEAD Games  
2007 :
Bradford : 21-32, 244 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Ints, 7.6 yds per attempt, 160.6 passer rating
McCoy : 19-26, 324 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int, 12.5 yds per attempt, 195.4 passer rating, Sooners win 28-21

2008 :
Bradford : 28-39, 387 yards, 5 TDs, 2 Ints, 9.9 yds per attempt, 187.2 passer rating, 0 yards rushing
McCoy : 28-35, 277 yards, 1 TD, 0 Ints, 7.9 yds per attempt, 155.9 passer rating, 31 yards rushing
Longhorns win 45-35

2009 :
Bradford was out injured, no H2H matchup. Texas wins ugly game. 

2-Game H2H Cumulative:
Bradford : 49-71, 631 yards, 8.8 yards per attempt, 8 TDs, 2 Ints, 1-1 record
McCoy : 47-61, 601 yards, 9.8 yards per attempt, 3 TDs, 1 Int, 1-1 record (3-1 career vs. OU; beat OU in 2006 & 2009)

Now, what does all of this mean? It really means nothing going forward.

But looking back at QB history, and Colt & Sam’s history playing together in the same conference in the same era, and head to head. There’s not much separating them.

Both have been fantastic passing QBs, while McCoy also has some good running ability and instincts, ala an Aaron Rodgers. Both are accurate, and both have a history of winning.

The biggest difference is the two inches in their height. And take a look at that 30-year QB history I provided. There’s no correlation between two inches determining who succeeds and who doesn’t. In fact, the Seattle GM chose Dan McGwire ahead of Brett Favre for only one reason: he was taller.

Some say Sam’s arm is stronger. It probably is. Sure, in 1979 Jack Thompson had a stonger arm than Joe Montana and Phil Sims did. So what? Thompson was taken first. Who here has heard of Jack Thompson?

And how’s Bradford’s shoulder going to hold up the next time he gets sacked? The last two hits he took, his shoulder popped out. St Louis plays on turf too, not softer natural grass.

I agree with Trent Dilfer: The Rams should draft nDominator Suh at No. 1 because he’s the best player available, and then trade up into the 20’s and select Colt McCoy. That would be a phenomenal duo for the Rams and would set them back on track to winning more games in St Louis.

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