Dynasty Database: Sam Bradford
To get you prepared for the 2012 season each week we'll be profiling a player who we think will be a great value come draft time, especially if you are in a dynasty/keeper league. Enjoy!
It wasn't long ago that Samuel Jacob Bradford was touted as the next great NFL quarterback. The scouting reports, like this one from from Walter Football (one of my favorite websites for pigskin analysis) claimed Bradford had "Peyton Manning-like accuracy" and talked about his experience in a pro style system. So what happened? After being named the NFL's offensive rookie of the year in 2010, a high ankle sprain and limited offensive weapons derailed the Rams 2011 season and had people doubting the Oklahoma product for the first time since pee-wee football. Luckily with the injury behind him and some help on the offensive side of the ball, Bradford is one of the best late round values at the quarterback position heading into the 2012 season.
Besides Bradford, the Rams had injuries on both sides of the ball that contributed to their dismal 2-14 season. According to this piece from Football Outsiders no team was hit harder by injuries than St. Louis. Danny "Wes Welker Lite" Amendola broke his arm in Week One and was done for the season. Amendola isn't Andre Johnson but lets not forget in 2010 he did lead the NFL in all-purpose yards with 2,364. Then starting left tackle Rodger Saffold went down with a pectoral muscle injury in November. Here is a rundown of all the team's early season injuries.
The Rams decided they needed to help Bradford so they took App. St WR Brian Quick and Cincinnati RB Austin Pead in the 2nd round then snagged Wake Forest WR Chris Givens in the 4th round. Add these two to a receiving corp that includes second year players Austin Pettis and Greg Salas and SOMEBODY has to emerge to play alongside Amendola. I still think Danario Alexander can become a beast and Steven Jackson had the 2nd best yards per carry average of his career. They also improved their offensive line by bringing in former Packers center Scott Wells.
The knocks against Bradford are A. he can't stay healthy B. the Rams have the 5th hardest schedule in the league in 2012 C. he still doesn't have a dominate stud to throw to. All of this may be true but with only two years in the NFL the guy is still learning and it's clear his upside is way higher than guys like Cassel, Palmer, or Flynn. Why not take a chance at the end of your draft?
Bradford has a great chance to rebound in 2012. He's healthy, the organization has surrounded him with some better talent, and the NFC West isn't exactly the toughest division in sports. I see Sam Bradford as a decent QB2 in all leagues and a must draft in two QB leagues. He's a great bye week pickup but don't complain if he's off the market at that point. Look for Bradford to surprise some people this season and reward those who make a wise investment.
Fearless Prediction: 3,600 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, 16 interceptions