On Thursday Night, April 22 2010 at 6:30pm Central Time, the St. Louis Rams will be “on the clock” as they draft first in the 2010 NFL Draft. Numerous of draft experts ranging from ESPN, to NFL Network, to Sport Columnist have predicted whom the Rams will take. We’ve heard that they are going to pick either Quarterback Sam Bradford, or Defense Tackle Ndamukong Suh. Either one of these players would help the Rams immensely. The team finished with the worst record in the NFL last year at 1-15. They need help at Quarterback, after releasing long time starter Marc Bulger. They also need help on Defense, as last year they ranked in the bottom in every defensive category.
The down side of drafting first, however, is that one of these two is going to make guaranteed 20-30million dollars. Yes, they are going to make more money, at 22, than you or I will see in our life times. And this is before they even play a down for their team. This anomaly of why a rookie can make this much money before even playing a down in the NFL is one of the reasons why the NFL will be on strike this time next year, but we’ll get into that at another time. So, who would I take if I was the head of the St. Louis Rams draft board?
Well, let’s take a look at each of these kids; because at when you look at it they are just kids who have freakish talent. The proverbial number 1 pick on mock draft boards is Sam Bradford from Oklahoma. He’s won a Heisman Trophy, as College Football’s best player in 2008. In that year he led the Sooners to a Big 12 Conference Title, and a BCS National Title Game. Bradford completed 67 % of his throws with 4,720 yards passing and 50 touchdown passes. 2008 was not a fluke as the year before (2007) he threw for 36 touchdowns at 69% accuracy.However, an injury plagued 2009 looked to hurt his draft stock. Bradford broke his collar bone on two different occasions. In the opening game against BYU, Bradford was driven into the turf thus ending his chances at another Heisman. Rushing back to play the Longhorns, Bradford fell once again onto the collar bone, breaking it and ending his 2009 season.
The injury put doubt in his position as the best player coming into this draft. Bradford decided to skip the NFL Draft Combine; where prospects head to Indianapolis to impress scouts and improve their draft position. Instead scouts went to watch Bradford test his shoulder at the University of Oklahoma. Here, Bradford threw 50 times for scouts; showing that his surgically repaired throwing shoulder was just fine.
So, would I take Bradford as my franchise quarterback with the number 1 pick? Quite the risky pick here; as a bad offensive line could ruin Bradford’s first couple of years in the league, making him run for his life every time he says, “hut.”
Ask a Texas Longhorns fan about what they remember from the Big 12 Title game last December. Some will say they remember Hunter Lawrence kicking the game winning field goal to send the Horns to the National Title Game. Some will say that they remember Colt McCoy throwing the ball out of bounds as the game clock hit all zeros. But, some will say they remember that big #93 from Nebraska putting Colt on his back almost every offensive play. That #93 is the monster named Suh.
His full name is Ndamukong Suh-pronounced Na-dam-u-kong Su-is listed at 6 feet 4 inches tall and weights 300 pounds. His break out game came against the Horns; as he kept the Cornhuskers in the Big 12 title game. If not for that Hunter Lawrence field goal to win the game, Suh would have led his Cornhuskers to one of the biggest upsets in College Football history.
Suh started slow while at the University of Nebraska. His first year, 2006, he had 3 sacks with 19 total tackles. 2007 wasn’t anything different from the previous year, as low sack and tackle numbers defined the season. However, the numbers and the legend of Suh started to grow in 2008. That year he broke out with 76 total tackles, 7 sacks, and 2 interceptions. Suh decided to stay his final year, not just to perfect his skills as a football player, no, this was to finish his degree in Engineering. 2009 saw Suh not just graduate, but finish with his best year on the football field, dominating opposing team’s offensive lines. Career highs in tackles, and sacks, not to mention his dominating performance against Texas jumped Suh all the way up to potential 1st pick overall.
So would I take Ndamunkong Suh as my number 1 pick? A safer pick here with Suh, as he plays a position that won’t ruin your team if he doesn’t live up to the potential. However, if Bradford is the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady then you’re stuck with a fan base killing you for not taking him.
The million dollar question we asked above, who would I take with the number 1 pick? Well, after what has been presented above; my answer is Ndamunkong Suh. He’s big, he’s fast, and he’s not as risky as Bradford. If Suh doesn’t develop into the next Hall of Fame player and turns out to be just another player, well then your team isn’t ruined. With Bradford, if he tanks or gets injured then your team is sunk for either that year, or the next couple of years (see Browns, Cleveland.) However, if I really was leading the Rams draft I would trade the pick and save myself and the team that large salary. Then go and pick either: Colt McCoy, Tony Pike, or Tim Tebow as my rookie Quarterback.
Who would you take if you had the number 1 pick? Leave a comment bellow and be sure to watch the NFL Draft live Thursday Night on ESPN at 6:30pm to see what the St. Louis Rams do with that Number 1 pick.By T.J. McAloon