23. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (24)

An Oklahoma grad, with Texas size expectations.  The Rams have had firm believe in Sam Bradford ever since they drafted him a few years ago.  Last season, I thought Bradford was ready to take the next step and move into the next tier of quarterbacks in the league.  He seemed destined for a very productive season when he tore his ACL in Week 7.  At the rate he was playing, he would have thrown for 3,856 yards, 32 touchdowns, and about 10 interceptions.  This all comes with a 60-63% completion percentage.  Those numbers are great and would’ve put him near the top of the league in both yards and touchdowns.  Unfortunately, his ACL ruined that chance and now Bradford is a 26 year old playing for a make or break season.  Sam Bradford comes in at #23 because:

1) Potential

Generally by the 3rd or 4th year of a quarterback’s starting career, it is easy to make a reasonable prediction for the career of the QB. In Bradford’s case, the only thing he has done is confuse analysts and the injury doesn’t help gauge his future.  My findings with Sam Bradford have led me to believe his best football is ahead of him and he will continue to progress moving forward.  Here’s the one problem: HE ONLY HAS ONE SEASON TO BREAKOUT AND STAY HEALTHY!

2) Injury

Every player gets hurt. Brady, Manning, and Rodgers have sat out large parts of one their team’s seasons.  The difference between one of those guys and Bradford is simple. They came back and stayed back on the field while Bradford and other NFL QBs have not and ended up in the AFL or CFL.  I feel like I’ve typed this a thousand times, you will never be great if you sit the bench for half the season.

3) Arm Strength

One thing I love about Sam Bradford is his big arm which allows him to make many plays.  The problem is that he sometimes put it into his receiver’s hands.  This comes as a result of decision-making and accuracy combining with the confidence in his arm.  It is almost like Bradford just thinks, I’m strong and I can get it there.  Once this mentality turns into a more conservative and intelligent approach, he may just be primed for a top 15 spot.

One phrase to describe what Sam Bradford has to do in 2014:

Stay healthy and win some games.

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