Truckloads of expectations come along with being the No. 1 overall draft pick. In the case of quarterback Sam Bradford, those trucks were Brinks trucks also carrying gargantuan sums of cash money as he was the last of the pre-rookie salary cap class with an insane amount of guaranteed dollars. While he hasn’t exactly lived up to the lofty goals set forth for him just yet, he hasn’t exactly failed to reach them either.
There is no doubt that fans of the St. Louis Rams would like to have seen more from their signal caller as he now enters his fourth year in the league. Still, Bradford has the potential to put all of the doubters on mute as the team has provided him with a serious helping of weapons (Tavon Austin, Jared Cook) and insulated him better (Jake Long) than any time during his career heading into 2013.
Trying to replace a franchise quarterback, especially one that was selected No. 1 overall, is a much more difficult task than most fans would lead you to believe. While St. Louis could have snagged Robert Griffin III just last offseason in the draft as the holders of the second overall selection, they chose instead to deal that pick for a heap of draft choices that are just now getting started in the league.
That shows a supreme confidence in a quarterback. Passing on the next biggest thing is always a risky proposition, but clearly the Rams felt like Bradford was just getting started in his career as he is still just 25 years-old. If that isn’t the definition of irreplaceable, I’m not sure what is.
So fans may boo and call for the backup from time to time during the course of an NFL season, but the reality is that the starter is the only player they want in the game. That is especially true in Bradford’s case as the Rams recently re-signed veteran journeyman Kellen Clemens for one more season and carry only developmental hopeful Austin Davis as their other QB. Go ahead; tell me you would rather see one of those two throwing passes over Bradford.
Trying to manage more than one week without Bradford would be a nightmare for the Rams. There is no way the team would consistently win football games without him under center, and that’s why he earns the title as the Rams’ most irreplaceable player in 2013.