Why Sam Bradford Will Be a Bust in the NFL

Chris CiprianoCorrespondent IIMay 21, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  Quarterback Sam Bradford of the Oklahoma Sooners holds up a St. Louis Rams jersey as he stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Bradford was picked numer 1 overall by the Rams during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NFL Draft is the ultimate crap-shoot.

No matter how much scouting is done, there are bound to be busts.

From the first pick to the last pick, there is no guarantee that any player will live up to expectations.

Now earlier, I touched on which players from the 2010 NFL Draft I thought would be busts , but I left one player out.

I did this because this player is bigger than the rest. He has the most expectations of any other player in the draft. He was the number one overall pick. He is Sam Bradford, and he will be a bust in the NFL.

Now I’m not saying he will be on the JaMarcus Russell or Tim Couch level, but yet he won’t be on the Payton Manning level either. I see him more alike to David Carr or Alex Smith.

He simply has too many questions marks and too many things have to go right for him to be an elite NFL quarterback.

The first and most worrisome concern about Bradford is his durability. He hurt his throwing shoulder twice last season and needed surgery on it after he re-injured it.

Dr. James Andrews, who operated on Bradford, said his shoulder will be fine, but really what is he supposed to say? If he says he may be more vulnerable to further injury or it may never be as strong he will cost Bradford millions.

Even if it is fine, I’m sure Bradford will think twice before stepping up in the pocket to deliver that throw knowing his shoulder will be exposed to a possible injury.

Another concern is how we will transition from the spread offense he ran while at Oklahoma. Bradford rarely had to read defenses and coverage’s and seldom went through more than read on each throw. And when he did go to his secondary reads his primary strength, his accuracy, dipped dramatically.

We have seen plenty of quarterbacks excel in the spread at Oklahoma and then go on to do nothing in the NFL (Jason White, Josh Huepel).  White even won a Heisman like Bradford, and granted Bradford has an edge in psychical tools, but history isn’t on his side.

I also have worries about the situation he is going into.  While at Oklahoma, he was surrounded by NFL talent at all positions. In St. Louis, he is going to a team that has won six games in the past three seasons combined.

In college his offensive line was tremendous. He rarely faced pressure in face and he could stay back in the pocket and wait for his receivers to get open. He won’t have that luxury in St. Louis.

The Rams offensive line leaves a lot to be desired. They surrendered 44 sacks last season. Bradford doesn’t have a good feel for pressure and I fear when he faces a NFL pass rush he’ll panic and he never showed much ability to throw on the run and make plays with his feet. I’m afraid this could turn into a David Carr situation, where Bradford gets sacked so much his psyche is messed with.

Speaking of David Carr, at least he had Andre Johnson to throw to for a few years. Bradford doesn’t have anyone close to that. The Rams projected starting receivers right now are Donnie Avery and Brandon Gibson, who have 135 catches and 9 touchdowns between them for their careers .

You could argue that he had better receivers at Oklahoma where he threw to Jermaine Gresham (first rounder), Malcolm Kelly (second rounder), and Juaquin Iglesias (third round).

The final concern I have about Bradford is his throwing motion. He doesn’t posses a classic throwing motion and at times at times he drops down to a three quarters release.

Mike Mayock, of the NFL Network, described his motion as if he were “pushing” the ball. Now, he can succeed with this throwing motion, but it’s not ideal.

He has the potential to be a franchise quarterback, but there are far too many question marks and things that have to go right for him to be successful in the NFL.

When it’s all said and done Sam Bradford will go down as the latest bust from the ultimate crap-shoot, the NFL Draft.


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