Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jim Plunkett 2.0 edition. It's now a lost cause...

So, I read a blurb indicating that something on the order of 99% of the 140 published Mock drafts have Sam Bradford going #1 overall to the Rams. Whilst the draft is not a democracy, many of these mocks are written by reliable snoops who are acquiring insider words and leaks. They accord with what the "prescriptive experts" believe the Rams should do.

The only real chance for the Rams avoiding--what I consider to be--a mistake is for Tom Condon to bust the deal. If he demands a 20% premium over Matt Stafford's contract, and some say he will do precisely this, the Rams may pass. We need to remember the Rams are a football team with cash-flow problems in the middle of a franchise sale. It may be very difficult for the Rams to pony-up that grip full of scratch.

So why am I against this selection. I have stated why I am against this selection many times. I will do so again:
  1. Our offensive line is worth shit. We gave up 44 sacks last season and we were one of the most run dominated teams in the league. We threw for only about 175 yards per game. The best pass-protecting team in the league is the Colts. They surrendered only 13 sacks and they are one of the most pass dominated teams in the league. The worst pass protecting team in the league is the Packers. They surrendered 51 sacks--just 4 more than we did. They are a pass-dominated offense. Arguably, we have the worst pass protecting offensive line in the league.
  2. Sam Bradford is a QB with a track record of injuries. Look at the Heisman photos which show him hoisting his prize with a cast on his left hand. Witness the photos of the giant ice pack on his shoulder. Witness the many interviews and and inquiries done with his doctor: James R. Andrews.
  3. You put them both together and you have bad karma. This is the making of the Jim Plunkett 2.0 story.
Why the comparison with Plunkett? There are many.
  1. When Plunkett was drafted in 1971, he was acclaimed as one of the best and most accurate passers in NCAA history. So too is it with Sam Bradford.
  2. Everyone marveled at Plunkett's beautiful throwing mechanics, and his pretty spirals. So too is it with Sam Bradford.
  3. Plunkett was a Heisman trophy winner. So too is it with Sam Bradford.
  4. Plunkett came from a program not renown for producing NFL quarterbacks. So too is it with Sam Bradford.
  5. Plunkett was selected #1 over-all in the NFL Draft by a team with a horrid offensive line. We won't know until April 22, 2010, but it sure looks like it is going to turn out that way for Bradford.
  6. To the best of my knowledge, Sam Bradford will be just the second major name NFL QB of Native American stock. Guess who the first was? Jim Plunkett.
  7. Plunkett started out extremely well with the Patriots, even winning the rookie of the year. He was soon cut down by one terrible injury after another. He was traded to the destitute 49ers, where things got worse. He was claimed off waivers by the Raiders. After two years rest, he took his position behind one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history. He detonated, and the Raiders won the Super Bowl.
We won't know for some time, but I have a sinking feeling that this is the way the Sam Bradford story may yet turn out. As the man said in Aliens, "I have a bad feeling about this drop."

If our GM Billy Devaney were anything shy of delusional about the current status of our offensive line, I might have a bit more hope. If we had more than a single #2 receiver, I might have a bit more hope. If we had a good Spread-oriented offensive coordinator, not Shurmer, I might have more hope. If we would fire Shurmer and hire Mike Leach, I might have more hope.

None of this appears to be the case. As far as I can tell, we are going to march into 2010 in the following manner:
  1. Draft Bradford #1 overall
  2. Give him a $60 million over 4 year black-hole contract.
  3. Continue with Pat Shurmer, and stick with the West Coast Offense.
  4. Not sign Bobby Williams or Flozell Adams.
  5. Leave the O-line upgrade up to Hank Fraley... oh bouy...
  6. Maybe draft a receiver or two. Probably nobody you've heard of.
  7. Not make the deal for Brandon Marshall
I have a bad feeling about this drop.