Tag:Sam Bradford
Posted on: November 9, 2009 3:37 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 3:42 pm

Has QB Ponder played his last game for FSU?

Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder has been one of the few bright spots in an ugly season for Florida State. That bright spot was extinguished Saturday night, when Ponder suffered a separated right shoulder in trying to tackle Clemson defensive back DeAndre McDaniel. The injury, a grade three shoulder separation, that will require season-ending surgery, prompting speculation that the play -- which concluded Ponder's fourth interception of the night -- could be his final one for the Seminoles.

With the injury (and potential lost earnings) of Sam Bradford last year, as well as speculation that the league is looking to impose a rookie salary cap soon, scouts are anticipating underclassmen flocking early to the NFL this winter.

Despite this being only his second season as Florida State's starting quarterback, his improvement has been considerable. Numbers rarely tell the whole story, but consider that in 13 starts in 2008 Ponder completed 55.7% of his passes for 2007 yards and a 14-13 TD to INT ratio. In only 9 starts this season, Ponder completed 68.8% of his passes for 2,717 yards and a TD-INT ratio of 14-7.

Ponder, 6-3, 215 pounds, has the size, intelligence, arm strength, accuracy and mobility scouts are looking for in a potential franchise quarterback. Unlike many of the other highly touted quarterbacks across the country, Ponder's production has come via a pro-style offense. 

Scouts would like to see Ponder return for his senior campaign, as he remains raw. Highly drafted, but unpolished young quarterbacks have a significantly more difficultt time acclimating to the pros simply because there is very little time for second or third quarterbacks handling the ball in a typical NFL week of practice. To improve, he'll need to play -- and scouts don't feel he (or many of the other highly touted underclassmen QBs of the potential 2010 class) is ready.

Still, with undeniable physical tools, his academics in order (he already has his undergraduate degree) and now time on his hands to consider his future, Ponder is a name to keep in mind for the 2010 QB class.

Take into consideration his words, as told to the St. Petersburg Times before the Clemson game:
“Obviously after the season, I’ll take an evaluation (from the NFL) and see what happens and make a decision after that,’’ he said. “I see myself playing here next year, but we’ll see what they say and what happens. There’s a chance of either way.’’

Posted on: October 25, 2009 6:23 pm

Oklahoma: Bradford entering 2010 draft

The official website of the Oklahoma Sooners announced the news that NFL scouts had been expecting: Sam Bradford will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery and, assuming his rehabilitation goes as expected, will be entering the 2010 NFL Draft.

The injury -- a sprained AC joint of his right (throwing) shoulder -- initially occurred in Oklahoma's opening season loss to BYU, Bradford came back for a tune-up against Baylor, but only made it to the second offensive series for the Sooners before going down against the Texas pass rush.

The noted surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, will be performing the surgery on Wednesday. The expected rehabilitation is 4-6 months. With the draft approximately 7 months away, Bradford is hopeful to have enough time to work out for scouts prior to draft, whether at the Combine or in a personal Pro Day workout later.

Bradford had flirted with leaving after his record-breaking, Heisman Trophy winning redshirt sophomore season. With 4/5s of his offensive line moving on, as well as his top three receiving targets gone, Bradford had his work cut out for him, but showed the same impressive arm strength and lazer accuracy that had many scouts privately ranking Bradford as the elite passing prospect last year, over Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez.

Though questions about his recovery and long-term durability are sure to be concerns for scouts, Bradford's size, arm strength and accuracy make him a better NFL prospect than seniors Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Tony Pike and the rest of the 2010 class.

Bradford's final numbers at Oklahoma are impressive. He led the country in passing efficiency in his two starting seasons and leaves OU with 15 passing records, including career marks for yards (8,403) and touchdowns (88).

The link to the original story is here.

Posted on: October 3, 2009 10:39 pm

Oklahoma OT Williams among Slant considerations

As part of NFLDraftScout.com's weekly PDF, Draft Slant, I break down one player of the week, a Diamond in the Rough, and 8 other NFL prospects from the weekend's televised action.

One of the more enjoyable decisions I get to make as part of writing the ten player breakdowns is to determine just which senior prospect deserves Player of the Week honors.

The players I've highlighted thus far this season have been DTs Ndamokung Suh (Nebraska) and Arthur Jones (Syracuse), FS Taylor Mays (USC), ILB Brandon Spikes (Florida) and WR Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati).

I've recorded over a dozen games this weekend and have a decision ahead of me, as Oklahoma OT Trent Williams, LSU WR Brandon LaFell, Florida State CB Patrick Robinson, Boston College OC Matt Tennant, and South Florida DE George Selvie are among the prospects I'll be considering.

Thus far, Williams' size, athleticism and upper body strength have been impressive. He's a bit heavier around the middle than scouts would like for a traditional left tackle. He's been susceptible to counter-moves inside by Miami's quicker defensive linemen -- the same struggles that BYU took advantage of in Week One to pressure (and ultimately knock out) Sam Bradford...

Posted on: September 26, 2009 4:10 pm

Bradford-Andrews meeting sounds big, means little

Much will be made of the fact that Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is set to meet with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews during the Sooners off-week. Alarmists will argue that this means Bradford had some type of setback after throwing in practice last week.

Sources close to the program, however, have confirmed that Bradford's visit has more to do his insurance policy protecting the Heisman winner from a career-threatening injury. The insurance company, like Bradford, Oklahoma coaches, and NFL scouts, simply want the most trusted opinion in the business to look over Bradford's shoulder before any further decisions are made about his return to the field.

Bradford's father, Kent, is an insurance agent, so one can trust that his son is well prepared. Multi-million dollar policies have become the norm for high-profile players.

Bradford had expressed hope that he could be ready for next weekend's showdown with the University of Miami. With Dr. Andrews' consent, he'd almost certainly be cleared by the OU doctors to do so.

Posted on: September 6, 2009 12:53 pm

Snead's chance to pass Bradford starts at 3:30 ET

The unfortunate shoulder injury to Sam Bradford will put some doubt into the minds of those that have previously characterized him as the likely #1 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Protected by one of the greatest offensive lines I've ever seen (considering NFL talent, starting experience, and scheme) Bradford rarely was knocked down in 2008 and earned the Heisman Trophy and a berth in the National Championship game. With four-fifths of his 2008 offensive line now gone, however, one could see that Bradford will have a tougher time staying upright in 2009. Should he return healthy and go on to enjoy a great 2009 campaign, his stock could improve, as he'll answer the questions about his toughness and ability to showcase that stunning downfield accuracy with defenders in his face (my two greatest concerns about his NFL prospects).

Meanwhile, Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead, ranked by NFLDraftScout.com as the second best quarterback of the 2011 class, has a chance to catch or perhaps even pass Bradford while the Heisman winner is out. Snead, like Bradford, will be missing valuable components along his offensive line this season, most notably offensive tackle Michael Oher.

Snead hasn't yet proven to be quite as accurate as Bradford -- and I firmly believe accuracy is the most important characteristic in grading quarterback prospects. He has proven, however, to have above average accuracy for his time in this offense and certainly possesses the rest of the skills necessary towards emerging as a potential early first round prospect.

There are elements to Snead's game that remind me of last April's first overall pick, Matthew Stafford. Like Stafford, Snead can fall in love with his own arm strength and will force passes into coverage. These can result in costly interceptions, of course. They also, however, give him opportunities to make some dazzling throws. Pro Bowl-like throws.

Watch him today against Memphis (ESPN, 3:30 EST) to see if Snead can take advantage of Bradford's injury to lessen the gap between the two prospects most scouts feel could challenge this year's senior class to be the first quarterback selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Posted on: September 5, 2009 8:44 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2009 9:09 pm

Sam Bradford Out -- Sprained AC Joint in RT Shldr

Reigning Heisman winner Sam Bradford was knocked out of the opener against BYU and will not return.

The hit, a legal one, came from BYU linebacker Coleby Clawson with seconds to go in the first half. It was eerily similar to the one absorbed by Tom Brady from Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth left Bradford on the ground in pain. Bradford stepped into the throw, was grabbed, lifted and driven into the ground. Bradford was then helped to the sideline, where he was immediately placed on the training table, checked out, and moments later walked, obviously favoring his right (throwing) arm, into the locker room as his teammates celebrated Oklahoma kicking the go-ahead field goal. The #3 Sooners lead the #20 Cougars 10-7 at the half.

According to reports, Bradford suffered a sprain to the AC joint in his right shoulder, which, of course, is his throwing arm. X-rays were negative. Typically, a sprain of this nature requires a few weeks of recovery time. These injuries are graded on a 1-6 scale. Sprains graded as a level one or two are usually treated with ice, rest and pain medication and typically requires 2-6 weeks before the normal, pain-free range of motion returns. More severe injuries often require surgery and 6-12 months of recovery time. Again, however, the initial report is that Bradford's x-rays were negative.

Bradford has returned to the field. His right shoulder is heavily taped and being iced.
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