Friday, January 22, 2010

If Sam Bradford is Washington-bound...

Tackle-or-quarterback argument aside, let's take a look at Oklahoma junior QB Sam Bradford. Why? Better ask draft experts Mel Kiper and/or Todd McShay.

Kiper's first mock draft (updated 1/20):
  1. Rams- Ndamukong Suh
  2. Lions- Gerald McCoy
  3. Bucs- Eric Berry
  4. Skins- Sam Bradford
McShay's first mock draft (updated 12/15)
  1. Rams- Ndamukong Suh
  2. Bucs- Eric Berry
  3. Browns- Derrick Morgan
  4. Lions- Gerald McCoy
  5. Chiefs- Russell Okung
  6. Raiders- Carlos Dunlap
  7. Skins- Sam Bradford
At 6'4,'' 215ish lbs., Bradford has the size. With 31 starts, after missing all but 3 games his junior season, he arguably has the experience. And with a freshman TD record, a BCS Championship game appearance, and a Heisman trophy, he certainly has the credentials.

So what's the concern?

Bradford was injury-prone during his productive, yet short college career: a concussion his freshman year and a third-degree AC joint (throwing shoulder) sprain in September - his junior year - that he re-injured forcing him to undergo season-ending surgery.

Washington gave up the fourth most sacks in 2009. With Samuels and Randy Thomas's future in doubt, and no foreseeable immediate improvements if a QB is selected fourth in April's draft, who's to say Bradford can withstand the same punishment Campbell endured in 2009?

And even if Bradford manages to stay upright behind conceivably Washington's weakest unit, does he still possess NFL-caliber arm strength following major (throwing) shoulder surgery?

Renown Dr. James Andrews performed Bradford's surgery in late October and announced the procedure went "just as we expected." Coincidentally, Andrews happens to be the Redskins team doctor and reported the recovery usually takes anywhere from 4-6 months, just in time for April's draft and Shanny/Allen's first pick.

Would Sam Bradford, reportedly one-sixteenth Cherokee, make a good Redskin? Scouts Inc.'s take:
Quick feet. Consistently sidesteps the rush. Not overly elusive but displays enough quickness, agility and speed to turn the corner and pick up the first down when nothing available. Throws accurately on the run to both sides. Does not need to pull up while throwing on the run. Pocket presence is good at times but not consistent enough at this point. Gets too comfortable at times and trusts his protection too much. There are certain plays on which he feels the rush coming and avoids it, but others when he holds onto the ball too long and clearly doesn't feel pocket collapsing around him. He is capable of avoiding the rush at a high level in the NFL but needs to show ability to adjust to less protection after being spoiled in college.
Improvement over Campbell? Fourth overall pick? You be the judge.

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