Rams Must Take Bradford … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

The 2010 NFL Draft is just two weeks and two days away. The St. Louis Rams are already on the clock with this year’s first choice.

They absolutely, positively, without a doubt must select QB Sam Bradford. For the Rams to do anything else would be a football folly of stupendous proportions. There is no other possible scenario for St. Louis. None.

The last time the Rams franchise selected a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft was 46 years ago. That year the Los Angeles Rams drafted Bill Munson with the seventh selection of the 1964 Draft.

No team in the NFL has gone longer without drafting a first-round quarterback. The next longest stretch without that choice in the opening round belongs to the New Orleans Saints, going back to 1981. The Chiefs are next on that list – but more on that later.

Last year the Rams went 1-15. They had two victories the year before, and three the season beyond that. That’s a 6-42 record in the past three seasons.

There’s only one positive that comes out of football that bad – the chance to draft the type of quarterback who has the skills to become one of the game’s best. When that opportunity presents itself, a team cannot let it pass. They must grab a quarterback who has the physical, mental and emotional tools to be “the man.” Bradford has all those qualities.

Nobody knows that better than Rams GM Billy Devaney. He was working for Bobby Beathard and the San Diego Chargers in 1998 when they had the second pick of that year’s Draft. The first choice belonged to Indianapolis and the Colts grabbed Peyton Manning.

The Chargers selected another QB – Ryan Leaf. In evaluations around the league, most scouts felt that Leaf had physical tools that matched those of Manning. What Manning possessed that was not part of Leaf were maturity, intelligence, savvy and work ethic. Leaf’s failure to have any type of NFL career came from what he lacked in his head and heart, not his arms and legs.

Devaney was part of that evaluation of Leaf, a teaching moment for everybody in the NFL. That experience put him in position where he knows where to look for the skeletons in a quarterback’s closet. He’s hip to poking in the places where one might find immaturity and stupidity in a college player.

Those are not there with Bradford. The NFL has looked under every red rock in Oklahoma and found no evidence of any problems. They haven’t discovered the hint of anything untoward. The only question mark on the scouting report is his right shoulder with the injuries and surgery; he showed everyone in the last month that his shoulder is fine.

Rather than continue the charade over the last two weeks of the draft, the Rams should roll down I-70 from their offices out in Earth City and visit the offices of Bradford’s agent, Tom Condon who is also in St. Louis. Start hammering out the contract; they have that right and ability. Burn the midnight oil to get a deal so when his name is called, it comes with a contract, and no holdouts and no bad headlines.

If the Rams do anything else but draft Bradford, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should void the action. The chance to grab an elite young quarterback at the start of his career cannot be ignored. The Rams have done so many times in the last 46 years. They must stop.

FIRST ROUND QUARTERBACKS ARE ALWAYS IN DEMAND

Back in 1964 when the Rams selected Utah State quarterback Bill Munson, it was a different kind of NFL, but one factor was the same as today: quarterbacks were still in demand. In the 10 drafts before the Rams grabbed Munson (1954-63), the first player selected in seven years was a quarterback. In the three other drafts, a quarterback was taken with the second choice.

In the previous 74 NFL Drafts, a quarterback was the first player selected 28 times, going back to 1944 with Angelo Bertelli out of Notre Dame, through last year’s Draft with Detroit’s selection of Matthew Stafford.

When given a chance, teams have always been willing to draft a quarterback in the first round. Among the 32 teams in the NFL right now, the Rams stretch of 46 years is the longest drought without a first-round quarterback. What about Jim Everett you say, who joined the Rams in 1986 out of Purdue? Everett was drafted by the Houston Oilers and when they couldn’t work out a contract, the quarterback was traded to the Rams.

The next longest first-round QB drought belongs to the New Orleans Saints. The last time they grabbed one was 29 years ago, selecting Dave Wilson out of Illinois in the 1989 Supplemental Draft.

That brings us to the Chiefs and Miami Dolphins. It’s been 27 years since either team drafted first round quarterbacks. The Chiefs grabbed Penn State’s Todd Blackledge (left) with the seventh pick of the 1983 first round, while the Dolphins drafted Dan Marino out of Pitt with the 27th selection. No question what team made the best decision in that quarterback-rich ’83 first round is there!

Among the league’s 32 teams, 21 used a first-rounder on a quarterback in the last decade, with 13 being taken in the last five drafts of the 2000s.

Here’s the most recent first-round quarterback drafted by each NFL team:

AFC

Team Quarterback Draft

Spot

Baltimore Joe Flacco 2008

18

Buffalo J.P. Losman 2004

22

Cincinnati Carson Palmer 2003

1

Cleveland Brady Quinn 2007

22

Denver Jay Cutler 2006

11

Houston David Carr 2002

1

Indianapolis Peyton Manning 1998

1

Jacksonville Byron Leftwich 2003

7

CHIEFS Todd Blackledge 1983

7

Miami Dan Marino 1983

27

New England Drew Bledsoe 1993

1

New York Jets Mark Sanchez 2009

5

Oakland JaMarcus Russell 2007

1

Pittsburgh Ben Roethlisberger 2004

11

San Diego Eli Manning 2004

1

Tennessee Vince Young 2006

3

NFC

Team Quarterback Draft

Spot

Arizona Matt Leinart 2006

10

Atlanta Matt Ryan 2008

3

Carolina Kerry Collins 1995

9

Chicago Rex Grossman 2003

22

Dallas Troy Aikman/Steve Walsh 1989

1/Sup

Detroit Matthew Stafford 2009

1

Green Bay Aaron Rodgers 2005

24

Minnesota Daunte Culpepper 1999

11

New Orleans Dave Wilson 1981

Sup

New York Giants Philip Rivers 2004

4

Philadelphia Donovan McNabb 1999

2

St. Louis Bill Munson 1964

7

San Francisco Alex Smith 2005

1

Seattle Rick Mirer 1993

2

Tampa Bay Josh Freeman 2009

17

Washington Jason Campbell 2005

25

 LEAGUE PERSONNEL UPDATE FOR MONDAY, APRIL 5

  • LIONS – acquired G Rob Sims in a trade with the Seahawks; acquired a seventh-round draft choice (#213) from the Seahawks in a trade.
  • PACKERS – RFA OL Jason Spitz signed tender.
  • RAMS – released QB Marc Bulger.
  • SEAHAWKS – acquired DE Robert Henderson from the Lions in a trade; acquired a fifth-round draft choice (#133) from the Lions in a trade.
  • SAINTS – RFA DL Anthony Hargrove signed tender.
  • TEXANS – signed K Neil Rackers (Cardinals).

23 Responses to “Rams Must Take Bradford … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • April 6, 2010  - ThunderChief says:

    Interesting to note the Rams cutting Bulger the day after McNabb is dealt. Why wouldn’t the Rams trade for Jason Campbell and not select Bradford? If the rumors are vaguely true, the Skins would only want a 4th or 5th round pick in return which is cheap for a guy that’s thrown for 3500 yards in a season.

    I’d do that and draft the DT my head coach wants and if he couldn’t make it work, find someone who could. Bottom line, with all the movement taking place of late, the Rams drafting Bradford may not be the sure thing most think it to be.


  • April 6, 2010  - KC#9 says:

    I can answer why the Rams won’t trade for Campbell. It’s because he’s not very good. In the long run Bradford will be much better. Draft him, put him out there from day one, and let him learn. They aren’t going to the playoffs this year no matter who they have at QB.


  • April 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    On the other hand, if Bradford, et al, is not a QB the Rams think are the answer for them, why not shop around for a guy already in the NFL? Don’t care for Campbell (since I do not give a hoot about StL anyway), there are others available with NFL experience. They could go for a guy to “manage” the game until they get the right guy. Isn’t that sort of what we did with Cassel except big buck was also involved? Heck, how about they look at Brodie? After all we are not going to play the rams for a few years.


  • April 6, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Interesting point, ThunderChief. I agree…sort of. I do think the Rams will take Bradford. And that’s a good move for them. But…they could also take Suh at #1, and still probably get Colt McCoy at the top of round two. Worthy of consideration, I would think. Or as you say, trade for a “decent” QB…which I think Campbell could be. They guy hasn’t really been given a fair chance in the league. But, I don’t think any team will give up anything for a QB that we all know will be cut.

    And can you even imagine what will happen if the Rams do NOT take Bradford? Wow. There would be several teams falling all over themselves trying to trade up to get him. And if Bradford fell all the way to us at #5? I would be praying for Pioli to pull the trigger on him. Phuck it. Chances like that don’t come too often…and sometimes, you have to TAKE that chance.

    Also interesting to note…how many of those guys on Bob’s chart never did jack in the NFL.


  • April 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    PS. With the Rams record, they are not a QB away from the superbowl. So why not a veteran QB and fill another position like OL/DL who could be a building block for the future, again what we are doing?


  • April 6, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Cassel to the Rams…and we swap first rounders.

    How about that?


  • April 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    Is a change at QB the answer for the Chiefs? Have to ask Weis. Cassel to Rams and swap means we give up a starting QB and get one player in return, hardly seems to our benefit. Besides what if Pioli used it to “reach” for a building block, remember Jackson? How about your trade and Pioli decides we need a OG for the OL or NT for the 3-4? Scared yet??


  • April 6, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    All I can say to that is:

    Look at the talent available in last year’s draft. Now, look at the talent available in this year’s draft. It’s like night and day almost.

    I was just joking about trading Cassel. He has one more year to prove he’s the man for the job. It will be very interesting to see if he can step up and do it.

    I still think we should draft Eric Berry, if he’s there. Or if by some miracle we can trade down a little…I’d love to see us take Weatherspoon. That kid is going to be special in this league…and I wouldn’t even care if Pioli “reached” for him at #5.


  • April 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    Mad Chief, I have decided I do not care who Pioli drafts or if he reaches like last year. I want at least 4 starters, that is right 4 kids out of college who are better than the guys who played whatever position last year. I want STARTING players not guys who have to learn how to play. I want no more backups or special teamers who sit on the bench for half a season. The first real game in Sept, they start because they are better than the guys who played in 09. We have the coaches now we need the guys to coach and I want 4 of those types NOW, in 2010.


  • April 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    Got to spew some bile, all tv media talking about McNabb, keep showing Kolb playing against the Chiefs and the Chiefs running around like they are a chinese fire drill. Gosh, did the defense look worse than bad in that game. So, oh so, tired of the Chiefs being the dummy team in highlights. Sorry but this is better than throwing up.


  • April 6, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Lofty goal, el cid. Four opening day starters? That’s a great draft for any team. Actually, I’d settle for three…Safety, Linebacker, and Nose Tackle.

    I also think that Center is our biggest need on the O-line right now…so I hope they draft someone there to learn from Casey this year. I’m still not buying this “the Chiefs draft Bulaga” business, that many of the “experts” are selling these days. Moving Albert would be a mistake, I think. Plug in Casey and Lilja, and leave it alone. It won’t be great by any means…but it should be servicable. All that “musical chairs” on the line last year was probably the biggest problem they had. Let these guys play together. And hopefully, maybe even Brown can make some sort of contribution this year. The kid has the size…but you can’t learn if you’re not on the field.

    As bad as our Offense was last year (again)…our Defense was worse. Again. So, I’m hoping for some good D help in the draft. Give Crennel some players to work with. Stuffing the run still remains our biggest weakness.


  • April 6, 2010  - colby says:

    Jason Campbell actually is getting a lot better. He’s had a new OC almost every year of his career AND he has improved his comp%, yards, and TDs EVERY year of his career. He just keeps getting better yet continues to be undervalued. I like Cassel, but if we needed a QB, I’d trade for the guy in a heartbeat if all I had to give up was a 4th or a 5th.


  • April 6, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    I agree, Colby. Campbell hasn’t had much to work with so far in his career. Not to mention the fact that the Redskins have been openly trying to replace him, pretty much since he got there. Way to build a young man’s confidence, huh? With the right coaching, I think Campbell could be a pretty good QB.


  • April 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    Mad Chief, you want a S, NT, and LB, I will buy that and add one OL or WR and, wait for it….. I get my 4 starters.

    As for Casey, doubt there is much there. Just Niswanger is so sub standard. Remember when Grunhart replaced Webster, not a lot of “mentoring” going on, Tim go in there and got beat on until he got capable and improved fromthere.

    NO trades for draft picks, not this year. Lots of talent from colleges and the Chiefs could use 2 or 3 more picks (dreaming, not possible). Just how did giving up a 7th this year work out with that TE Pioli needed in 09?? Nothing for nothing.


  • April 6, 2010  - Mark says:

    We’ll likely see plenty of Campbell. As a Raider.


  • April 6, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Here’s a trade rumor.
    I here the Dallas Cowgirls want a good Left Tackle so badly that they are going to try and trade up with Roy Williams the wide receiver and their third round pick to swap with a team if they will. What do you guys think?


  • April 6, 2010  - jimbo says:

    Danny W.
    I’m no expert on trades & such. Are the Cowboys going to swap their 1st rd. pick as well?. If they are, it does’nt make any sense to me for the Cowboys to trade a darn good receiver & a 3rd round pick for a quality left tackle. This years draft has plenty of quality LT. Just not many great LT.


  • April 6, 2010  - Stiv says:

    The only problem with the Cowboys using Williams as bait is the simple fact that the guy is a long way from being a #1 receiver. But who knows?

    If the Rams are anything other than Raider stupid they will take Bradford and be glad they have the opportunity to get the kid, then they can go about solidifying their line to protect him. If they do they should be set for 10 to 15 years.


  • April 6, 2010  - el cid says:

    NFL channel says the McNabb deal puts Pioli in the catbird seat. Apparently he can trade with several teams who might need a QB. Got no idea if it is correct. Still no mock drafts seem very good to me.


  • April 6, 2010  - SG says:

    “catbird seat.”

    What teams would be possible trade partners for our pick at #5? What player would they want to get?


  • April 6, 2010  - Mad Chief says:

    Yeah…I don’t get it, either. Seems to me, with Seattle trading for Whitehurst a couple of weeks ago…that Seattle, not KC, would be in prime position for a trade…if a team is wanting to slide in front of Cleveland for Claussen.


  • April 6, 2010  - Mark says:

    Berry would be the target, and Philly would be the team, in a trade from #5.


  • April 6, 2010  - Danny W says:

    Dallas is wanting a premier left tackle to protect Romo. Yes a swap of first picks in the draft a third round and you get Williams. I also heard Jerry Jones loves Dez Bryant. He wont fall that far to them.

    I here Buffalo does want to grab Clausen and is worried about the Seahawks grabbing him.

    Suh may just be there at our pick and there are untold teams that want that guy. With us eager to trade down for an extra second it could happen.

    I here the Eagles would really like to have Eric Berry, they just got a really high second round pick.




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