Rams should look to Bradford


Jordan Larimore

With the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams should select Sam Bradford, quarterback, Oklahoma University. Here’s why.

Steven Jackson was the last player the Rams drafted at a skill position in the first round. The “Greatest Show On Turf” is dead. Since taking Jackson in the first round of the 2004 draft, the Rams have taken chances on an offensive lineman who still holds more than he blocks, a cornerback who can’t keep up with most teams’ slot receivers, two injury-prone but moderately effective defensive linemen and an offensive tackle who actually hasn’t disappointed, yet.

It’s time to take a risk.

Quarterbacks like Sam Bradford who come with the potential to truly change a franchise from day one are very rare. Bradford is this year’s Matt Ryan. Plenty of Atlanta Falcons’ fans were outraged when they selected him third overall out of Boston College in the 2008 draft instead of say, Glenn Dorsey, Vernon Gholston or Darren McFadden. Since Ryan was selected, the Falcons are 20-12 with a playoff berth in Ryan’s rookie campaign.

The Rams announced recently that they cut the man who’d been behind center for them since the days of Kurt Warner, former quarterback Marc Bulger, clearing the way for the start of the Bradford era.

Now I am every bit as bitter as most Rams’ fans about the team’s performance, or lack thereof, in the last five years or so. But how some of my sad colleagues wanted to stick with Bulger and continue to put low-risk but certainly less than high-impact talent around him, I don’t understand. This is not to say Bradford is the answer to the Rams’, and in fact my own, prayers. There is much to be done in St. Louis. Some of Bulger’s backers said “If we can’t protect him, what makes you think we’ll be able to protect Bradford?” They may not.

But the point is, Bradford is a beginning rather than an answer. He is a quarterback of the future. Bulger’s problems in St. Louis were not due to a lack of ability, the Rams surrounded him with miserable protection on the offensive line, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce got old and were replaced with the likes of Shaun McDonald and Ricky Proehl.

It wasn’t entirely Bulger’s fault that his time here had to come to an end, but the Rams just simply can’t afford to pass up on Bradford at this point. With him they can begin to build back into a respectable team in the NFL.