Friday, April 23, 2010

NFL Draft 2010: St. Louis Rams Pick Sam Bradford

Sam Bradford heard his name called as the first pick in the NFL draft, collected a new St. Louis Rams jersey with his surname on the back and took the obligatory pictures with commissioner Roger Goodell. The Rams, desperate for a revival, were undoubtedly convinced. Although St. Louis general manager Billy Devaney wouldn't publicly declare that Bradford was the pick before the draft — even on Thursday, hours before the prime-time event — the team gave the quarterback the heads up. And for weeks, draft analysts projected Sam Bradford as No. 1.

The Rams – who finished a league-worst 1-15 in 2009 and have just six wins in the last three years - were sold. They're prepared to guarantee Bradford upwards of $50 million, and then hand him the keys to a franchise that has definitely fallen on hard times. For Sam Bradford, who stands 6-4 and weighs 236 pounds, it's likely he will take over as the starting quarterback immediately, and he will become the face of the Rams. 

Sam Bradford completed 67% of his throws over two-plus seasons at Oklahoma, and his 88-16 touchdown-interception ratio is certainly impressive. He has a big-enough arm, has demonstrated that it's healthy, and as long as he can learn to take better care of his body and avoid the kind of hits that knocked him out of the lineup last year, Sam Bradford should be just fine at the next level.

"That's pretty cool because I know the Big 12 has been getting a lot of slack lately, People for some reason didn't think that we played much football in the Big 12 and sure didn't think we played much defense, so for two defensive tackles to go in the first three picks is a credit to the Big 12." said Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner.

"That was really cool, I actually still have the Heisman ballot from when they read that off. So I'll be able to add that to the collection and be able to look at it years from now." Sam Bradford added at the backstage.

Still, with the Rams not engaging in serious contract talks with Sam Bradford's agent, Tom Condon, to seal a deal before the draft, the quarterback was only so assured. NFL veterans who have been down this path before, Sam Bradford said, warned him to never rest assured about the selection until it happened. And he listened to that advice.

The predraft highlight? Sam Bradford took the 17-member entourage, which included his parents and grandparents, to the Top of the Rock, an observation deck at the top of Rockefeller Plaza. "It's probably one of my favorite things to do," he said. "You get up there and you can see clear across all of New York City".

With that formality handled, the Rams will get a man eager to get on the field again. The motivation of proving that he's a worthy selection and can make the NFL transition is boosted by the incentive to make his comeback complete from the shoulder injury.
"I'm ready," Sam Bradford said who dressed in a tan suit with a sky-blue shirt accented with a green tie, Sam Bradford sure looked and sounded like a man prepared to face all the pressure and challenges that await. 
Does he expect to start on Week 1 as a rookie?

"I can't answer that," he said, chuckling. "I haven't been presented a playbook yet. But I'm going to do everything I can to get on the field as soon as possible."

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