ZaQ’s 2010 NFL Draft Grades

Everybody’s fresh off watching the popular “sporting event” without a winner… okay, it was a month ago… but since the fans need instant results, the draft grades column has become quite popular. I figured I’d try one of my own.

31 TEAMS: INCOMPLETE

My point being, the idea behind judging the success or failure of a team’s performance in a draft BEFORE ANY OF THESE PLAYERS PLAY A GAME is absurd. Let us take a moment to review this concept. A team of scouts, coaches, and the general manager spends thousands and thousands of hours evaluating these players throughout their entire NCAA football careers. Then, using these evaluations, they spend thousands of hours discussing how every single player would fit in their particular scheme. All of a sudden, some jackass that has watched a few college football games and read other people’s scouting reports writes a column judging their performance in the draft based on their subjective view of how they “drafted for value” or “filled their team needs”. Who the fuck are these people? Why do fans give a shit about what they write? If they slap your team across the face with the dreaded “D” grade, are you going to put any stock into this, or believe in the much more extensive work done by your team’s braintrust?

That being said, one braintrust (or lack thereof) in particular did an exceptionally shitty job this weekend; so shitty, in fact, that the following grade is more than fair…

ST. LOUIS RAMS: F

Maybe this is a bit unfair to the players the Rams drafted in rounds two through seven, but the top pick was so idiotic that there’s no way we look back in five years and give the Rams any other grade. I find it incredibly hard to believe that someone who has made a lifetime and career out of building football teams was behind this decision. There’s just no way. Let’s just take a quick look at the prospects of Sam Bradford as an NFL quarterback, using red flags to indicate an area of concern to anyone with knowledge of the league in the last decade and some common sense:

  • Here’s how a typical pass play occurred for the 2008 Oklahoma Sooners: Bradford takes a snap from shotgun, sits in the pocket for three to five seconds, finds a wide open receiver; success! What idiot saw these plays on film and thought, “this is what it takes to be an NFL quarterback?” You can NEVER count on getting even two seconds in the pocket in the NFL without getting harassed. The most important trait in a pro quarterback is the ability to complete passes when the pass rush closes in. In a related story, I would love to see three plays where Bradford gets early pressure and completes a pass. I’ve scoured YouTube to no success. Well, highlights aside, what happens when he does get pressured? Glad you asked…
  • Three starts in 2009, and in two, he suffered a long term injury in the first half. Remember, this is a guy who was hit so infrequently he hardly needed to play with a helmet in 2008, when he won the Heisman Trophy. I’m pretty sure there’s good a reason that, in my lifetime, no team has been stupid enough to take a QB in the first round that basically hasn’t played the year before. And this is a league with some dumb fucking general managers (see: Jones, Jerry).
  • I could have sworn that for the past few years, everyone agreed that you should never trust a quarterback’s success in a college spread offense. Given the ridiculous stats put up by QBs at Texas Tech, Hawaii, and (ahem) Oklahoma; it’s easy for a mediocre player to light the box score on fire. In fact, since the spread has become chic in NCAA ball, two QBs have graduated it to become the #1 overall pick: Alex Smith and Tim Couch. Ouch. And, in college, neither of those two had the offensive line, wide receivers, or defense that Bradford enjoyed. Not to mention his injury history.
  • The good qualities: He’s accurate, with a strong arm. Good thing, because he’ll need to be pinpoint on all the passes he’s going to have to throw away due to the massive pass rush he’s about to have shoved in his mouth with his crappy offensive line.

This concludes my exclusive, expert analysis on the 2010 draft. Or, if you just decided to skip down to the bottom, here’s the short version: Every team might have sucked, except the Rams, who definitely sucked.

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