Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 22.
#22. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
2013 will be Sam Bradford’s 4th year as the Rams’ starting quarterback. After a shoulder injury caused him to miss a majority of games during the 2009 season at Oklahoma, a year after he had won the Heisman Trophy, St. Louis still made him the number one pick in the 2010 draft.
Bradford has showed flashes of greatness in his first three years in St. Louis, but has never truly evolved into a starter at the caliber of other young starts such as Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Robert Griffin III. This season, however, could be different for Bradford and the Rams, who will continue to improve under Jeff Fisher.
St. Louis also brought in weapons via the draft at the receiver position in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, who should compensate nicely for the loss of Danny Amendola. Jake Long will be protecting Bradford’s blind side, so the offense can be expected to make strides on offense. Bradford can be the centerpiece this year for a Rams team that can contend for the postseason.
Physical traits and athleticism
At 6-4, 224 pounds, Bradford has excellent size and height for the position. He is mainly a pocket quarterback and does not use his legs to generate plays, but he is able to occasionally pick up a first down running. Grade: 6.5/10
Bradford’s arm is average among quarterbacks in terms of strength, but he can accurately make most passes required of him. He uses a release that does not require exceptional arm strength, one that may slightly limit his arm ability (three-quarter release), but is capable of making any throw. Grade: 7.5/10
The Rams’ starter is exceptionally accurate with a quick release on short to intermediate throws. He has great balance inside of the pocket and steps into his throws efficiently, but sometimes is inaccurate when throwing under pressure. He does have quick feet and moves away from pass rushers effectively to create throwing lanes and to give himself an easier throw. Grade: 7.5/10
Bradford often audibles at the line of scrimmage, which means that he takes the time to read the defense, something that’s almost required out of quarterbacks in today’s NFL. Bradford is a smart player, part of the reason he has been able to produce well enough over the last three years despite the obvious lack of offensive playmakers. His decision-making can improve, and Jeff Fisher can and will help him improve. Grade: 7/10
Bradford is a competitive player who will fight for his team at any cost. However, he does his best to keep himself out of harm’s way. He is a leader of the Rams’ squad and is seeking success. He has all the mental tools to do so. Grade: 7/10
Sam Bradford is a smart player who uses his physical build effectively. With the new weapons he has, the Rams’ offense can blossom this year, led by Bradford. His development will be key to St. Louis’s success. Overall Grade: 35.5/50