Monday, March 22, 2010

Rams Would Be Crazy to Draft Sam Bradford With Top Pick

It's recently come out that the St. Louis Rams are thinking of using the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft on Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford. Up until only a few weeks ago, it looked like Ndamukong Suh was the consensus best player available, but with far too much time to think about it, everyone seems to be changing their opinion.

But what exactly has Bradford done for his stock to be rising so quickly? He didn't throw at the combine, and still isn't at 100 percent, so why in the world is he even in the conversation to become the No. 1 selection?

Well, like I said, it's simply that people have had far too much time to think about this. The Rams will need a quarterback, but to reach on a guy like Bradford is a decision that can set a franchise back 10 years, if not longer.

The pay for rookies has gotten incredibly out of control, and rookie quarterbacks are especially overpaid as we've seen with Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez last season.

Stafford, last year's No. 1 pick, received just over $40 million in guarantees, so picking Bradford will mean the Rams will have to fork over between $45-50 million in guarantees to Bradford -- a guy who missed his senior season and, in my opinion, wasn't even the clear-cut best quarterback while he was playing.

Is he really worth that type of risk? For $45-50 million, if he's anything less than a perennial Pro Bowler he's an absolute failure. That's a lot to put on a kid coming into a franchise in disarray like the Rams.

Suh, on the other hand, is as close to a sure-thing as the draft has seen in a long time. He absolutely dominated in college, even becoming the first AP College Player of the Year on the defensive side of the ball.

Not only that, but he doesn't have the red flags that were associated with other guys who dominated at the collegiate level and ultimately became busts.

The Raiders knew that JaMarcus Russell lacked a work ethic, the Packers knew Tony Mandarich was a little crazy, the Chargers knew Ryan Leaf had the maturity of a six-year old, and it just goes on and on.

Bradford doesn't have any red flags to that degree, but missing his entire senior season is certainly enough to cause a whole lot of concern for the Rams and, if I were making the decision, scare me off completely.

For the Rams, Suh is the clear choice. He's an absolute monster and, unlike Bradford, he will be able to start immediately. Bradford will need a year or two to sit and learn, all the while wasting the Rams' money.

St. Louis would be wise to take Suh, then look at a guy like Tony Pike in the third or fourth round. He might be the best quarterback prospect in this year's draft, but he just didn't have the luxury of playing at a media-darling university like Oklahoma or Notre Dame.

Even if they don't like Pike, Jake Locker is far and away a better prospect than anyone in the draft this year and, since the Rams will most likely have the No. 1 overall pick again next season, they can get their quarterback next year and pay a guy who might be worth it.

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