Tag:Sam Bradford
Posted on: February 24, 2010 7:26 pm

Top 100 players with questionable medical grades

The Scouting Combine -- at least the workout portion of it -- has become the most overrated aspect of the NFL Draft process.

The Combine was originally designed to provide scouts with an efficient way to do medical testing of the 300+ best prospects in the draft. During the 90s, teams began to focus more and more attention on the results of the athletic drills, resulting in some of the biggest busts in league history, including the infamous Mike Mamula. With pre-combine facilities training prospects to excel in these drills -- and not football -- teams are now learning to revert their attention back to where it belongs -- on the film.

I posted a blog earlier about five players who I believe will struggle in certain aspects of the drills and/or measurement portion of the Combine. This wasn't meant to say these players will be busts in the NFL, but that they could see their stock slip a bit this week.

In reality, the players who are likeliest to fall significantly on draft day will be the ones who come up with medical or off-field concerns that are discovered there.

There are several potential Top 100 prospects whose final grades will hinge on their medical grades.

QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (shoulder)
OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa (thyroid condition)
OLB/DE Ricky Sapp, Clemson (knee)
QB Colt McCoy, Texas (shoulder)
TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma (knee)
RB Jahvid Best, Cal (concussions)
DE Corey Wootton, Northwestern (knee)
TE Rob Gronkowski, Arizona (back)
QB Tony Pike, Cincinnati (forearm)
ILB Sean Lee, Penn State (knee)
DE Greg Hardy, Mississippi (knees, foot)
OT Jason Fox, Miami (knee)

Posted on: February 22, 2010 2:13 pm

Tebow not throwing, huge opportunity for others

Over the past several days, we've seen Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and Dan LeFevour announce that they'll not be throwing at the Combine. Texas' Colt McCoy hopes to throw, but left himself wiggle room in case his recovering shoulder doesn't feel 100%.

Tebow, citing the fact that he's altered his throwing mechanics since the Senior Bowl, is not going to throw now.

Should these five -- arguably the top five quarterbacks in the draft -- all elect not to throw, it opens up a world of opportunity for Tony Pike, Zac Robinson, Sean Canfield and others to make a significant leap up the board. When "on" Robinson was as impressive as any during the Senior Bowl and the individual skills competition a few weeks ago. If you're looking for a darkhorse candidate to really leap up the board during the passing drills, he might be one to focus in on.

On another note, the decision to leave out worthy throwers like former Tennessee standout Jonathan Crompton could come back to bite scouts. Crompton, I'm sure, would accept a late invite to help make sure there were enough arms for the receiver, tight end and back receiving drills.

A few years ago, I watched former BYU star John Beck move himself into the top of the second round with a strong showing at the Combine. Last year, with Matt Stafford watching from the sidelines, I watched Mark Sanchez impress scouts with his competitive fire by participating, fizzle a bit during the workout and then leap up draft boards when he showed staggering improvement at the USC Pro Day roughly a month later.

Posted on: February 20, 2010 3:07 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2010 3:08 pm

Dan LeFevour Not Throwing at Combine

NFL scouts have grown all too familiar with the fact that many of the elite prospects each year choose not to participate in the drills at the Combine.

Typically, however, this is reserved to elite prospects -- surefire first round candidates. Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, considered the year's top two passer prospects, have already announced that they'll be waiting until their Pro Days to throw.

Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour has the production to warrant this type of hype. In fact, his statistics (15,853 total yards, 150 career touchdowns) while at Central Michigan are staggering.

Scouts, however, generally have placed him amongst the second tier of quarterbacks.
He is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's 6th-best quarterback and a 3rd round prospect,

That said, LeFeavour has publicly announced that he'll essentially be saying, "Thanks, but no thanks" to scouts when asked to throw in Indianapolis next week.

LeFevour announced his decision through an interview with Dan Mogollon at NFL Draft Bible.

“I’ll be doing (pretty much) everything except throwing at the combine,” LeFevour said.

In follow-up questions, LeFevour went on to add, “I will focus solely on throwing at Pro Day. Just getting focused with that…only having one thing to do on Pro Day and being able to work with my receivers up at school that are coming out. Putting everything I've got into that aspect of it.”

LeFevour's decision is surprising. He had been solid at the Senior Bowl and during the made-for-TV Individual Competition drills a few weeks ago, building some buzz for himself.

Throwing to his own receivers in his own setting will likely lead to LeFevour throwing more impressively during his Pro Day, but if teams are turned off by his decision, the move could significantly backfire.

A link to the entire audio is here.

Posted on: February 15, 2010 8:03 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2010 1:34 pm

Colt McCoy will attempt to throw at Combine

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy has been throwing 40-50 passes a day in an attempt to be ready to throw at the NFL Scouting Combine next week, he told media on hand Monday to see him presented with the Davey O'Brien award as the nation's top quarterback.

“I see the doctors every week,” McCoy said. “I go through the rehab process every day. I’m healing much quicker than normal.”

McCoy was checked by renowned surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, after sustaining the injury in the National Championship game. It was determined that he would not need surgery. However, since this is the second time McCoy has been sidelined with a nerve injury in his shoulder, scouts are concerned that this will be a recurring problem in the future. He suffered a pinched nerve in his neck as a freshman that knocked him out of the loss to Kansas State and limited him two weeks later against Texas A&M.

McCoy's ability to throw for scouts had been in question since the fifth play of the national championship game when he absorbed a big hit from Alabama defensive end Brandon Deaderick. While not in great pain at the time of the injury, McCoy compained that his arm felt "dead" and Texas did not allow him to return to the field. 

His career 70.3% completion percentage and NCAA-record 45 career wins are numbers scouts like. On the field, they like his moxie, mobility and short to intermediate range accuracy.

McCoy is currently rated as the 3rd best quarterback available in the 2010 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com, behind juniors Sam Bradford (Oklahoma) and Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame). If he can prove his health, McCoy is likely to be selected in the second round. 

Posted on: February 13, 2010 5:31 pm

Don't Expect Holmgren to draft a QB in 1st round

Cleveland Browns fans may want the team to consider Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen or one of the other top quarterbacks in the 2010 draft, but if history is an indication, Mike Holmgren will instead either stand pat or make a trade for a veteran.

Should Holmgren elect to go with his current quarterbacks, Brady Quinn is the clear favorite to win the job. His mobility and short to intermediate accuracy makes him a much better fit in the West Coast Offense than the slow-footed, long passing prowess exhibited by Derek Anderson. Ratliff has flashed potential and was traded for at the request of Eric Mangini, but has yet to appear in a regular season NFL game despite Cleveland's struggles at the quarterback position last year.

According to league sources, the expectation, however, is that the Browns won't be relying on Quinn, Anderson and Ratliff.

Holmgren's success in Green Bay and Seattle, of course, came with Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck - neither of whom his team drafted. Over Holmgren's 23 years in the NFL, he has never been apart of a team that has invested anything higher than a 3rd round pick in a rookie quarterback.

Holmgren and his handpicked general manager, Tom Heckert, will look over the Seattle and Philadelphia rosters closely. With the Seahawks expected to undergo significant roster turnover, Matt Hasselbeck might be available. The Eagles have vehemently denied that Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb are on the block, but the reality is, both are for the right price. Holmgren, despite being team president, has publicly stated that Heckert will have final say on personnel matters.

That makes a deal for one of the two Eagle passers all the more likely.

Posted on: February 3, 2010 8:01 pm

Sam Bradford recovering; throwing "ropes"

Former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is in Miami taking in the various sights, sounds and interviews (including one of mine -- more on that later) prior to the Super Bowl, but all anyone wants to know from the former Heisman winner is how his right shoulder feels.

As Bradford told SI.com's Dan Patrick, "Pretty good, the shoulder feels great. I throw three days a week and doctor says it looks great. I am ahead of schedule."

He elaborated on the his routine moments later.  “We’re on a throwing program and my last throwing session consisted of 50 balls at 30 yards,” Bradford said.

Even with the encouraging news, Bradford does not anticipate being ready to throw for scouts at the Combine. Like many of the top-rated quarterbacks of recent years, especially those coming off injury, Bradford is expected to wait until Oklahoma's Pro Day (late March, early April).

Bradford is a compelling prospect for many reasons.

When healthy, he's shown the accuracy of an All-Pro. He has plenty of arm strength, size, underrated mobility and the leadership skills teams are looking for in a franchise quarterback. Of course, he'll have to make the transition out of a spread offense and isn't likely to ever again play behind as dominant of an offensive line as he had during his Heisman trophy winning 2008 season. When's he's been pressured up the middle, Bradford's accuracy has waned. With a long lanky frame, scouts worry that he'll struggle to handle the pounding of an NFL season.

NFLDraftScout.com (and I specifically) current rank Bradford as the second quarterback in the 2010 class behind Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen. This is primarily based on the fact that I feel Clausen is more ready to jump into the NFL due to his tutelage under Charlie Weis and that he's comparatively healthy.

If Bradford can prove his health, he's the No. 1 quarterback in 2010 in my mind... at it isn't close. He has the rarer skill set and the higher upside. Until I've seen him healthy, however, Clausen remains slightly ahead of him on my board (even though, Clausen, himself is recovering from foot surgery).

As to our interview... Bradford was kind enough to answer ten questions for me via email today. His enlightening, and at times surprising answers will be available as part of our quarterback profiles section in the Lindy's NFL Draft Preview magazine to hit newstands in early March. 

(I'll bet you'll be stunned at who his favorite player growing up was!)

The link to Bradford interview with Dan Patrick can be heard by following this link.

Posted on: January 7, 2010 7:40 pm

Clausen/Bradford surgeries opened door for Snead

Ole Miss junior quarterback Jevan Snead surprised many with his decision to leave school after a junior season marred by inconsistency.

However, considering the rehabilitations from surgery of top-rated juniors Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford and the underwhelming seniors prospects at the position, the decision isn't nearly as surprising. Just last year we saw with former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez what one impressive workout can do to a quarterback's draft stock.

The difference, of course, is that Sanchez appeared to improve as his junior season went on and was dominant in the biggest game of his life -- the Rose Bowl against Penn State.

Snead, on the other hand, seemed to struggle amid the heightened scrutiny of his junior season and played poorly (even before getting knocked out of the game) against Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. His 20 interceptions were the most in the SEC this season and nearly twice as many as he threw last year (13).

His struggles in 2009 cannot entirely be blamed upon him, as the loss of left tackle Michael Oher and wide receiver Mike Wallace to the NFL last April certainly lessened Ole Miss' offensive talent. Perhaps anticipating the loss of another talented lineman in OG John Jerry, WR Shay Hodge and Mr. Everything Dexter McCluster also pushed Snead out the door.

Snead, 6-3, 220 pounds, has all of the physical traits scouts are looking for in a potential Pro Bowl quarterback. As such, in a draft lacking "sure things" at the quarterback position, his natural talent is enough to pique the interests of scouts and result in a high (2nd-3rd) round selection.

  And yet, while the decision will result in millions for Snead in the short term, it remains a poor choice, in my -- and more importantly -- in NFL scouts' opinions.

Posted on: January 5, 2010 12:36 am

Clausen to have surgery; won't throw at Combine

Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen will undergoe surgery Tuesday to repair two torn ligaments in his right foot.

He is expected to be sidelined for 8-12 weeks and rather than rush the rehabilitation and throw at the Combine, he'll attempt to work out for scouts in early April, according to a report by ESPN.  Assuming the time-table in the report is accurate and that Clausen heals as expected, he's left with little wiggle-room to throw before the draft, approximately 15 weeks away.

Any concern about Clausen's health could prove significant. The former Irish star's primary competition to be the first quarterback selected, Oklahoma junior Sam Bradford, is both bigger and more accurate. Scouts feel Clausen is more ready to make the jump to the NFL due to his experience in Charlie Weis' pro-style offense, but also pointed to his health as a reason why he could go higher on draft day than Bradford. Without the advantage of greater health, the momentum might switch to Bradford, who most scouts feel has the higher upside.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com