RAMS canar1″>Success in the NFL is measured by the number of wins and losses, the number of Lombardi Trophies collected and stored at an organization. Every team that is built and hovers in the top echelon of the NFL on a yearly basis has one major thing in common – a difference maker at the quarterback position.
The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and the team success is tied directly to this position. Many teams like the Rams had fallen deep into the valley and have struggled to peak for several seasons. When a team has the opportunity to draft, trade, or recruit a difference maker at this position, they should take full advantage of that opportunity.
Generally teams draft high for the quarterback position, and hope they develop into a good quarterback. Others look to find a needle in a hay stack, or the diamond in the rough like New England Patriots future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. The top four quarterbacks in the NFL in my opinion are Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and the elder statesmen Brett Favre (not ranked in any order). There are two young up and coming shining stars in Sam Bradford (St. Louis) and Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay).
I felt drafting Sam Bradford was a no brainer pick when asked by the GM, Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback coach. He is the best quarterback I’ve seen in my tenure as a scout and NFL executive. Matt Ryan in Atlanta, Joe Flacco at Baltimore, Mark Sanchez with the Jets, and Matthew Stafford donning a Detroit jersey are very good young talent as well. Three years is the measuring time frame for development. I feel several of these young quarterbacks will be leading their teams to pinnacle of the NFL.
While there are several qualifications to become an NFL quarterback, one must first be a natural born leader. The player must be intelligent, poised, competitive, composed, and handle pressure with great skill set and work ethic on the field and in the classroom (film study).
Sports Illustrated developed a study that I use when evaluating the Quarterback position, called “NFL QB Bust Criteria.” The final analysis of this study found that there is a 44.2% bust rate among the quarterback position. The bust rate for the #1 overall pick is 60%. The study is called College Prediction of Future NFL Quarterbacks.
The numbers studied are 26-27-60. The first number represents the Wonderlic score. All prospects at the combine, all-star, and Bowl Games are given this test. A twelve minute timed test with 50 questions. A quarterback must score a (26) or higher. If the score is less than the projected, it doesn’t mean they can’t learn, but more work will be needed in preparation, and the reaction time in processing information might be delayed.
The second set of numbers (27) represent the number of collegiate starts and the last (60) is the quarterbacks career passing percentage. Quarterbacks coming out of college have a much higher chance to succeed when they match all or exceed these numbers.
I add Hand Size, Intangibles, System (shotgun, spread), Supporting Cast, Positive Coaching Staff, Ownership (patience don’t force coaches to throw player to the wolves) to complete my own formula.
Sam Bradford – 6042 height 236 weight 34 3/4 arm, 9 5/8 hand
36 Wonderlic test score (26)
31 Career wins as a starter (27)
67.64% Passing completion percentage (60)
Based off the Bust Criteria study, all indications point to a star being born in Oklahoma and delivered to the St. Louis Rams organization April 2010. Sam Bradford will bring this organization out of the dark valley and to the top of the NFC West soon, real soon. In my humble opinion, The Rams Organization, Coaches, Fans are watching the best quarterback in the NFC West and he is on track for the NFL Rookie of the Year.