January 27, 2010

The (Sam) Bradford Files

Whether or not one thinks the Redskins should take a quarterback at the top of April's NFL Draft, or if so, whether or not Oklahoma's Sam Bradford should be that QB, one thing is certain ... the young man nicknamed "The Big Easy" is going to be a big part of the conversation around these parts for at least the next 85 days. 

Given he's the clear early front-runner as the Redskins pick (at #4 overall) in the annual mock draft avalanche ... figured it was time to start sizing him up.

Not having had the opportunity to see the man play much myself, like most of you I am going to have to rely on scouting reports, videos and whatever other information I can gather in forming my own opinion on Bradford. Thought the exercise in compiling such an overview might be a useful and/or helpful tool to some of you as well ...

Seemed appropriate to start with his own “official” site, sambradford.org.

Full Name : Sam Bradford
Birthday : November 8, 1987
Height : 6 foot 5
Weight : 213 lbs.
College : Oklahoma Sooners
High School : Putnam City North HS
Hometown : Oklahoma City, OK

I note that he appears to be an inch taller in his own mirror than in most of the mirrors used by those scouting him below. Could be a rounding thing.

Now out onto the info superhighway proper ...

For you numbers types, his college statistics (ESPN).


NFL Draft Dog
Walter Football
CBS Sports
New Era Scouting
Mocking the Draft
Draft Board Insider
Draft Ace

[As new/udated reports come out I will bump and update this entry.]

Some other links of interest that turned up (Google is an EOSE [Equal Opportunity Search Engine]):

- Video of ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay discussing the draft stocks of Bradford and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen:

- Blogger Jim Turner’s take on the Bradford-to-Washington possibility.

- A video overview of Bradford's freshman season:

What the hell ... if you’re anything like me, the one thing you really want to do is watch the man play with your own eyes.

These are highlight reels of course, so don’t expect to see too many strip/sacks or braindead interceptions. As long as you watch them with that in mind, though, seems to me you can get a pretty good feel for things like read/react time, ability to slide in the pocket, ability to make certain throws he’ll need on the NFL level, maybe even get a taste for his overall body language.

Youtubes you'll want to check out:

And finally (for today anyway), in case you haven’t read and seen enough hype, check out this NY Times piece from JAN 2009:

One N.F.L. scout, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to talk publicly about draft prospects, said Bradford was a “no-brainer” overall No. 1 pick and compared him to Troy Aikman, the first pick in the 1989 draft.

“When you’ve watched him at Oklahoma over the years, he sticks out like a sore thumb,” the scout said. “He’s not a nickel-dime, dink-and-dunk guy. He throws those deep balls as good as anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Bradford is ranked No. 1 by some draft experts, and there are only minor questions about him. Bradford, 21, has not quite filled in his 6-foot-4 frame — he is listed at 218 pounds — and Oklahoma’s offense has kept him from facing much pass-rush pressure. Still, the positives are considered impressive.

“He’s got the size, the arm, the feet and the release,” the scout said. “He makes good decisions. He seems like a really easy guy to evaluate.”

Even allowing for some hyperbole, that's a pretty notable assessment.

For the record before I let you go, my quick take:

Bradford's injury early in the 2009 college season ("the injury issue") would only really concern me if I thought new Redskins HC Mike Shanahan intended to start Bradford as a rookie. I can't imagine that would be the plan though, so I am comfortable enough with the Redskins medical assessment team to make an informed decision on whether or not they believe any medical concerns are long-term.

Dammit Jim, I'm a football fan, not a doctor.

As to the player himself ... truth is, videos and scouting report feast aside, I simply haven't seen him play enough to make a truly informed assessment. I will say, however, that from what I have seen, he's pretty damn accurate (been a while since I have seen Redskins receivers catching passes in full stride), makes quick decisions and releases, and "looks" like he has it going on upstairs.

If I have one overriding nagging concern it's that the man looks like he'd blow over in a stiff NFCE November wind. If the Redskins do end up drafting Bradford, I hope they plan to mainline a whole lot of protein into him.

Bottom line, I am long on record as believing you do whatever it takes to land a true "Franchise QB," and if you think you've found one, you don't hesitate to pull the trigger.

I know it's a big "if," but if Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan decide, after putting in a thousand times the amount and depth of research as I have, that Sam Bradford is that kind of player ... as of late January, I'll admit I'm intrigued enough by the guy not to run out of the room screaming.


Feel free discuss (or tell me why I'm wrong).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't we already have a super accurate QB on our roster who's spent the past two seasons being beefed up by our conditioning coaches? I'd rather give Colt Brennan a chance.