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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The 2010 Quarterback Class

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Page 2 of 3

Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

The Good: Sam Bradford is a hell of a quarterback. He won the Heisman trophy last year, beating out both the number one overall pick in the draft, Matt Stafford, and the Chosen One, Tim Tebow. It wasn't a fluke, either, as Bradford's numbers were almost literally too good to believe. 

Bradford doesn't have the rocket arm of a guy like Clausen, but he is probably the most accurate passer in the draft. When he was healthy, Bradford was a production monster, putting throw after throw on the money. He has good size at 6'4", with room to bulk up a bit more. His decision-making and awareness of the game around him are top-notch. 

The Bad: Bradford is out for the season, and if there's one thing you don't want to hear about a guy whose arm strength was already just adequate, it's the words shoulder surgery. Even when he was healthy, Bradford rarely made those throws that just make your mouth drop open. He's played a fair amount under center in his career, but will require more time to adjust to a pro-set offense from the spread. 

The Bottom Line: It's really simple with Bradford: in all likelihood, he just isn't healthy enough to take with a top five pick. There are just too many questions surrounding his shoulder. If it were some other sort of injury, the long-term upside would certainly outweigh the short-term risk, but when you're talking about a shoulder, the equation changes. Bradford could still very well end up with a good career in the NFL, but I just don't see him going near the top of the draft. (Of course, if the Rams don't go QB in the first round and Bradford is around later, that's a different situation entirely.) 

Jake Locker, Washington

The Good: Locker is this year's helium guy; he came into the year a big, physical quarterback with questionable accuracy and pocket awareness, but has shown big improvement in both areas and has moved steadily up the ranks of potential QBs for 2010. 

Locker has excellent size and is built more sturdily than either Clausen or Bradford, and is more of a threat to use his legs to make a play as well. He has solid mechanics and makes most of the throws a pro quarterback needs to already. He calls a good game, and is a strong leader. Has nice touch on his short throws. 

The Bad: Despite his size, Locker has only average arm strength. He doesn't fit the ball into small windows as well as someone like Clausen due to a little less zip. Throwing downfield and outside the numbers are both areas where Locket struggles a bit, and while he's made a ton of progress, he still forces throws at times when the play just isn't there. 

The Bottom Line: In a perfect world, Locker would probably return for his senior year and continue to establish himself as a truly elite QB. With the spectre of a possible rookie pay scale being established soon, though, there are several players who may come out a year earlier than they might otherwise, and Locker is high among them. He's big, strong, and does a nice job of extending plays by moving his feet, but still isn't really an elite passer. 

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