Can Sam Bradford Play on the Big Stage?

By Rodney Coe
St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford
Joe Nicholson-US Presswire

Since drafting Sam Bradford with the first pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the St. Louis Rams have a 16-31 record. The question some are asking is: can Bradford be a winning QB in the NFL?

At the University of Oklahoma, Bradford was astonishing. In 2007, as a freshman, Bradford won the starting job. What did he do? He broke the school record for most passing yards in a half (363), and broke the NCAA touchdown record for a freshman. Bradford led the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship.

He topped that by winning the Heisman in his sophomore year, becoming only the second sophomore to accomplish this feat (Tim Tebow 2007). That year the Sooners played for the National championship, but lost to Tebow and the Florida Gators 24-14.

Bradford separated his shoulder in the first game of his junior year, then came back, only to separate it again. He had season ending shoulder surgery, and announced he was leaving Oklahoma and entering the draft. He finished his college career with 8,403 passing yards, 88 TD and only 16 INT.

But does a successful college career mean you will have success in the NFL? We have all seen great college quarterbacks never make it big in pro-football. Is Bradford one of them? Is there a glimpse of greatness in Bradford since being the first pick in 2010?

Yes. The Rams were 1-15 the year before Bradford arrived. In his rookie season, Bradford threw for 3,512 yards, 18 TD, but had 15 INT. His second season brought a nagging injury that caused him to miss six games, and cost head coach Steve Spagnuolo his job. The Rams finished a dismal 2-14, but Bradford still threw for 2,164 yards.

Last year brought a new head coach, Jeff Fisher, and a new beginning for Bradford. The Rams ended the year at 7-8-1, and 23rd in team offense behind a shaky offensive line. Bradford finished with 3,702 passing yards, 21 TD, and only 13 INT. Compare that to Joe Flacco, 3,817 yards, 22 TD, and 10 INT.

It’s obvious that with strengthening the offensive line and surrounding Bradford with some play-makers, he can lead the Rams as an NFL QB. Yes, Bradford can play on the big stage, and this year we may see him win even more.

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