Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Bradford out for the year, set for the NFL?

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford could miss the rest of the 2009 season. The news broke today that he may decide to have surgery on his injured shoulder and won't feature for the Sooners again this year. How would that affect his draft stock? Bradford has the option to return for another year in the college ranks, an option Todd McShay feels he should seriously consider in the video above. I can understand that line of thought because scouts wanted to see Bradford playing behind a new offensive line and without his main receiving weapon - tight end Jermaine Gresham.

However, I personally think (like Gresham) he'll head for the NFL despite missing most of this season. The simple fact is, he's already risked great damage to his draft stock by returning at all this year. If he returns in 2010 and re-injures that shoulder, his stock will be in tatters. If the position now is - he's only a mid-first round instead of top five, rest assured his stock will be even lower if the shoulder becomes an issue again.

By taking surgery now, he has plenty of time to rehab the injury and be at his best for the combine work outs next year and various pro-day workouts. It's a deep class at quarterback, but one which Bradford could top. His focus has to be, "what do I need to do to be ready for the NFL?" and "how can I prove to the scouts my shoulder is OK?"

This could also be a lesson for two underclassmen touted as potential top picks in 2010. Jake Locker and Jimmy Clausen will look at Mark Sanchez starting in the NFL with a huge contract and they'll see Sam Bradford with his injured shoulder and a potential loss of earnings. If they're looking for excuses to enter the league, this could be it.

Should Bradford return to Oklahoma? Should he head for the NFL? Is he a possible option for the Seahawks as a long term successor to Matt Hasselbeck? Let me know in the comments section below or email


Anonymous said...

Tough luck for Bradford. His greatest asset is his accuracy, which is very important in the NFL. Should he drop to a spot where the Seahawks could take him, I would be thrilled. Being able to sit him for a year or two, without the preasures of being a rookie starter would help him too. Plus, he could add strength and muscle to his frame. He has a BIG decision to make. I guess his decision might come down to what the other underclassmen do. If Locker and Clausen come out, he might benefit from staying. If one or both stay, he should probably come out.


Patrick said...

I think Bradford should declare.

To start, Think about all the teams that could POSSIBLY be in need of a QB. I'm not saying all of these will draft one, but, these are the teams that I have seen grabbing a QB in at least one mock draft:


Sure, several may decide they like what they have (Broncos, Vikings, Panthers). Others will probably go through Free Agency (Vick may be a hot commodity come this offseason). Several of the teams listed will probably also have new coaches and the general rule is new coaches like new QBs. I could easily see 3 QBs taken in the top 10.

This is a league filled with copycats. Although they've leveled off a bit, the rookie combination of Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez was seen as brilliance in the first 3 games. Imagine how many teams would love to imitate that?

As for Bradford, I believe scouts will rank him higher than fellow QBs like Snead, Tebow, and McCoy even with this injury. I think Clausen will emerge as the #1 and Bradford will be #3 behind Jake Locker at #2.

Before this injury, I was ready for the Seahawks to do whatever it took to grab a new QB. Bradford stood out to me, because he seemed like he could really be great in the NFL. Tim Tebow is stll by far my #1 choice, however, I will admit Bradford seemed safer, with perhaps an even bigger upside. When I thought Denver's pick would be top 5, I was hoping for sure that we would grab him. However, now we know Denver's pick will certainly not be top 10. We also know that Bradford is hurt, and I don't think I see him going 1st overall. If Clausen and Locker declare, I would certainly see them and Bradford as the "Elite QBs" of the draft.

So let's say Bradford's available when Seattle's on the clock. Do we take him? Personally, I think we should. Chances are, we get a pick between 6-15. If Bradford is in this range, I really feel like he would be a steal. Like the poster said above, let him rest behind Hasselbeck. Give him time and build up our OL and RB position. Put him in the best possible scenario to succeed. Think about Matt Ryan in Atlanta? Putting him in a team with Michael Turner certainly helped. Now, he is just about an elite QB.

Rob Staton said...

Bradford has big potential, but there are a lot of risks that come with it. He's very accurate, which is the first thing you look for. The second is arm strength, which is passable for me. It isn't elite, but it's not an issue. Now, the problems are his release is a bit low for a guy as tall as he is. If he can adjust it a bit - and Kyle thinks he has done - it stops being a problem. Another issues, as we've seen, is his ability to take a hit. He could do with adding some bulk to with stand the hits - some specific weight training. He could do a lot worse than team up with an experienced veteran QB to do some work together when in rehab for the injury (only after he's declared, of course).

If he can get tougher and tweak his mechanics, there's no reason why he can't have a good career. Everyone always says, 'he wont be Peyton Manning'... but not even Eli is Peyton Manning. There's no reason why he can't be Phil Rivers-good, that's about as much as you can hope for from a top QB these days and Rivers has had a good career to date.

Bradford's an intelligent guy with a good attitude. Even despite the injuries, he could still go #1. Don't rule it out if he can prove the shoulder is healed and perform well in pro-days.