The St. Louis Rams drafted quarterback Sam Bradford with the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and quite frankly he hasn’t lived up to the expectations. Through his first four seasons in the league, he hasn’t had one breakthrough year that he has been able to push aside all of his doubters. There have been some points throughout the past four years that have shown bright spots to his game, but the consistency aspect hasn’t been there.
The question becomes for the Rams, can Sam Bradford turn into the franchise quarterback that they drafted him to be?
Unfortunately for the Rams, Bradford is coming off of a torn ACL that he suffered in the middle of last season. Torn ACL’s aren’t as damaging as they used to be, but it still brings up some major question marks about his career moving forward. Will he be able to play with as much confidence as he has in the past? Will this injury damage his career as far as physical ability goes?
Overall, these questions cannot be answered until Bradford either proves them right or wrong. He did show at times last year that he has the potential to be something special, but the consistency needs to show up now. His accuracy and arm strength have both improved, and he also has improved in his decision-making as well. Those are the three areas that he struggled with in his first three NFL seasons.
Bradford played in just seven regular season games this past season with the Rams before tearing his ACL. In those seven games, he threw for 1,687 yards and 14 touchdowns, while only throwing four interceptions. He has been fairly turnover prone throughout his first few years, but showed the ability to take care of the football last year before the injury. That in and of itself gives the Rams hope that this is the year that he will take the bull by the horns and figure things out.
One thing that was very positive for the Rams this past season, was that Bradford’s quarterback rating jumped up quite a bit. In 2012, his it was at 82.6, but this past season it moved up to 90.9, That number was by far the highest that it has ever been in his NFL career thus far.
All that being said, the answer to this question is a very difficult one to come to. Bradford has shown the flashes of being a very special quarterback, but quite simply hasn’t been able to show that each week. His health is a big question mark, but if he’s able to come back at full strength, he is likely primed for a big season with the Rams. Don’t be surprised to see Bradford make his mark this coming season, and prove that the Rams made the right choice by drafting him at number one overall.