ST. LOUIS (FootballStL) -- It’s impossible to know how the Rams feel about Sam Bradford right now long-term. It really is. Probably more for the fact they don’t know what they think either. Jeff Fisher even admitted to being “shell shocked” the other day when confirming the season-ending injury.
But even the most optimistic views of Bradford – those who say you shouldn’t count him out and still give him a chance to be the guy down the road again – have to be taken with a grain of salt. The Rams just have to be looking at other possibilities.
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Even once the dust settles and management wraps its head around the fact #8 did indeed tear that same ACL in the same knee again and it wants to stand by him, they’re still going to have to come up with a legitimate Plan B. You can’t go into 2015 with a journeyman 34-year old followed by a couple young untested kids whose ceilings in the NFL are extremely limited.
Translation: The Rams need to locate, acquire and start to develop at QB of the future. They need to do this regardless of what they plan to do with Bradford down the road.
At this stage in the season there’s not a whole lot they can do on that front. Sure, they could go out and acquire a Mark Sanchez or a David Garrard to compete with Shaun Hill this season. But that’s just getting by in 2014. That’s not taking steps towards solving the problem in 2015 and beyond.
They’re going to need to make the QB position a priority in the 2015 NFL Draft. That doesn’t necessarily mean you take one in the 1st round. It doesn’t necessarily mean you take one in the 2nd either. But you would have to imagine GM Les Snead and his chief lieutenants will look long and hard at identifying a quarterback they feel has tremendous value somewhere in the top three rounds.
The college football season hasn’t even started yet so you have to take any list with a grain of salt. However, it looks like there’s going to be some premier talent available next April (or May) if the Rams choose to go that route. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Florida State’s Jameis Winston and UCLA’s Brett Hundley all look like they’ll have 1st round grades for next year.
Their styles run the gamut. Mariota has the best combination of passing and running ability. While his arm is tremendous (61 TDs and just 10 INTs through 2 college seasons) he still can beat you with his feet if he wants to. Winston is more of the great athlete while Hundley is a classic pocket passer.
Who knows what will happen? The Rams – despite losing Sam Bradford – don’t plan on picking in the top 5 or even the top 10 again so it’s very possible they won’t be able to select any of those guys if they have as good of seasons as many expect them to have. They could be looking at guys like Connor Cook from Michigan State, Bryce Petty from Baylor or even Sean Mannion from Oregon State.
A lot can and will happen between now and next year. But it would be very wise for the Rams scouting department to look long and hard at all of the top quarterbacks this upcoming collegiate season.