Sunday, October 25, 2009

So long, Sam

No more speculation:
Sam Bradford will have season-ending shoulder surgery and expects to enter the NFL draft in April.
I can't say I'm surprised (I basically predicted this last week), but I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping Bradford's desire to have one more shot at a national title would bring him back to Oklahoma for his senior year, but alas.

This isn't all bad for Bob Stoops and the Sooners, though. The offense can no longer sit around wondering when Bradford will come back and rescue them, and the coaching staff can move forward knowing that Landry Jones -- a pretty talented QB -- will be the starter for the next three seasons. Ryan Broyles is having a breakout year as a freshman, DeMarco Murray is only a junior and the offensive line will return mostly intact (Trent Williams is a big loss, but the line as a whole should be fine).

The defense will actually be a little bit more of a rebuilding project after losing Ryan Reynolds, Auston English, Keenan Clayton and Gerald McCoy (a junior who's almost certain to leave as a consensus top-10 pick), but there's plenty of talent on that side of the ball, too. Assuming a reasonable amount of development from Jones over the next five weeks, this team still should be ranked in the preseason top 15 and get about even odds (along with Colt McCoy-less Texas) to win the Big 12 South.

As for Bradford, I'm no doctor, but I can't believe that a sprained joint (and a re-aggravation of an earlier injury) would be enough to remove him from the top of most teams' draft boards. I heard Todd McShay of ESPN say earlier today that the injury would "definitely drop him out of the top 10," to which I say: "Whhaaaaat???"

The only QB in the same stratosphere in terms of talent is Jimmy Clausen (assuming he enters the draft as a junior), and while he's having an outstanding season, I wouldn't take him ahead of Bradford. The difference in accuracy is just a little too much to ignore.

And has McShay actually watched a draft in the last 20 years? Quarterbacks are ALWAYS picked ahead of comparable players at other positions because of their cost/value and their potential impact on a team. With teams like Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Tennessee and Washington in horrific condition and in desperate need of a quarterback, you're telling me all those teams (and about six more) are gonna pass on Sam freakin' Bradford? That seems hard to believe when you're talking about a guy who has been compared to some of the all-time greats and really just needs to learn how to take a hit.

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