2010 NFL Draft Final Showdown: Sam Bradford vs. Jimmy Clausen

Kevin RobertsSenior Writer IApril 22, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Head coach Charlie Weis of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish gives a play to quarterback Jimmy Clausen #7 during a game against the USC Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 34-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There's no ink on a contract between Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams. St. Louis wants nothing to do with Ben Roethlisberger. And despite rumors to the contrary, it doesn't appear that the top pick in the 2010 NFL Draft is up for sale.

That gives us less than three hours to pitch the final argument: Who should the Rams really take at the top spot?

Logical thinking should have the Rams bypassing Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy and drafting a franchise passer in the first-round, giving its city and organization a new identity.

Then again, very little about the NFL Draft supports or relies on logic. Nevertheless, the question should remain: Out of Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, who should the Rams claim as their golden boy?


Sam Bradford

Why they have to take him: Bradford has done a lot to turn away the negative talk about his 2009 shoulder injuries, as he had a stellar Pro Day, and is at full health entering the NFL Draft.

He's displayed fine technique and decision-making at an elite level throughout his career, while putting up disgusting numbers against tough competition.

Truly, it it weren't for the injury, it's very arguable that Bradford would be the undisputed top pick this year. Then again, throw in his accuracy, quick release, and strong leadership skills, and he just might be the top prospect, anyway.

Why they shouldn't: Bradford has a lot of experience and elite production under his belt, but what we saw in 2009 could possibly be more than just two freak injuries.

Bradford went down on a relatively light hit for one of his injuries, showing potential durability and toughness issues. This may not be a huge red-light for every team, but considering he'll be dancing behind a horrible St. Louis offensive line if he's the top pick, this is a huge issue.

The other concern is his ability to pick-up a Pro Style offense quickly and effectively, after operating in a spread offense for his entire college career. None of his flaws are enough to keep him from being at least the second quarterback drafted tonight, but they could be enough to raise concern for the Rams.


Jimmy Clausen

Why they have to take him: First, if there is an offer from Cleveland on the table, they might be able to give up the top pick, receive further compensation, and still be able to land Clausen, who is still arguably just as good (if not better) than Bradford.

Aside from that, there remains the obvious. Clausen is a very fluid quarterback who has improved his decision-making and leadership dramatically oer the past year, and has also displayed toughness and a strong passion for the game against solid competition.

Clausen has also already worked in a Pro Style offense, and already had dealt with NFL-type reads and terminology. He moves like a pro, and can make throws that we don't normally see Bradford make.

In a sense, he has that Brett Favre-esque mojo in him, and he has a type of confidence (although confused with cockiness) that few players have at the position. Through and through, the guy is a flat-out gamer.

And while Clausen isn't particularly fast, he's very active and decisive in the pocket, while also possessing solid decision-making on roll-out passes. He's built mentally and physically to survive behind a bad offensive line, and already knows what it's like to rise from the ashes on a losing squad.

Why they shouldn't: He could potentially be too immature to be a bonafide field general, and if he doesn't play it right, could turn off his teammates in a blink of an eye.

While Clausen has great experience in a Pro Style system and with pro coaches, there's a slight possibility we've already seen the best out of him. And while he may be a solid leader and competitor, he may not ultimately have what it takes to lead a team into the fire and be a consistent playoff contender.

Of course, if you ask him that, he'll tell you you're dead wrong.

He also can get a bit lazy with footwork and decision-making, and the true test will be if he really works at taking the next step in the NFL at being a better teammate, leader, and student of the game.

He talks the talk, but can he walk the walk? That's the real question.

So, what's the pick? Enter NFL Soup's LIVE NFL Draft Chat to discuss.

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