December 2, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Bradford Ranked No. 22 on “Jaws” Top QB List



This marks the second annual Jaws’ Quarterback Countdown List. ESPN NFL analysts Ron Jaworski assess the presumable starting quarterbacks from every NFL team ranking them from no. 32, all the way until he reaches the top of the leaderboard at no. 1.

Jaws breakdowns every single element that a capable QB should possess, such as mechanics, pocket awareness, accuracy, arm strength, leadership quality, win-and-loss record, mental make up, pre-snap reads, the whole nine yards. He even accounts for injuries and the misfortunes of franchises like poor draft history and ill-advised free agent pickups that could stunt the growth of a quarterback.

Here is the list of Jaws’ QB list thus far:

32. Matt Flynn/OAK (Might get beaten out by rookie QB Tyler Wilson)

31. Jake Locker/TEN

30. Kevin Kolb/BUF (First-round pick and 16th overall selection E.J. Manuel will get the nod)

29. Chad Henne/JAC (Not much of an upgrade over incumbent Blaine Gabbert, but indeed an upgrade)

28. Mark Sanchez/NYJ (HC Rex Ryan is hellbent on being right about Sanchez, but Geno Smith will see the field)

27. Christian Ponder/MIN

26. Brandon Weeden/CLE

25. Michael Vick/PHI

24. Ryan Tannehill/MIA

23. Carson Palmer/ARI

22. Sam Bradford/STL 

21. Josh Freeman/TB

20. Alex Smith/KC

19. Andy Dalton/CIN

18. Cam Newton/CAR

As you can see, Jaworski has Bradford ranked in the lower portion of the probable starting NFL quarterbacks, falling two spots down from no. 20 in his 2012 rankings. Here is what Jaws said of Bradford’s ranking:

A lack of efficiency in the red zone. Too many interceptions. And it’s a red zone game. You can’t be a high level quarterback if you can’t execute there. Bradford at times still struggles with basic blitz concepts that a player with his experience level should understand.

While I understand the argument against the blitz concepts to an extent, Jaws’ evaluations tell half of the story. Part of the “lack of efficiency in the redzone” came from defenses loading up the box to stop former Rams’ running back Steven Jackson. Though the Rams’ former bruiser only accounted for four touchdowns, they all came within 7 yards from the end zone. The running game of St. Louis has produced the fewest amount of touchdowns the last three seasons.

Another reason that correlates to Bradford redzone efficiency is the targeting of Brian Quick. St. Louis threw seven interceptions within the opponents 30 yard line, Bradford tossed 6 and Kellen Clemens threw one of his own in garbage time against the Patriots. Three of the seven interceptions came when targeting Quick. This could be because of his developing route-running and his area-of-the-field placement.

From a talent stand point, Bradford could easily become at top-10 quarterback this season with his newly acquired weapons at his disposal. Bradford should be rated above all the quarterbacks on this current list. The only QB that is difficult to argue against is Newton. Other than Freeman’s highly praised sophomore season when he threw 25 TDs to only 6 INTs, he has thrown for a total of 57 interceptions in three of four seasons, before Smith reclamation project with Jim Harbaugh, the bust label was waltzing around the former no. 1 overall pick, while Dalton has enjoyed reaching the playoffs in the last two seasons, he doesn’t possess the pure arm talent that like Bradford. Dalton’s arm strength is often questioned and challenged, but when you have A.J. Green, throwing it near his vicinity is all that is needed. In Dalton’s defense, winning cures all.

Bradford’s best receiving options in his career were Danny Amendola and Brandon Lloyd. Would you pick either of them over Green?

The former Heisman Trophy winner and 2010 Rookie of the Year will continue to have his naysayers and supporters, but even at this stage of his career, the jury is still out on Bradford. He now has weapons in Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, Quick and Stedman Bailey. We’ve known about these fresh acquisitions for some time now. It’s as plain as day that Bradford has the total package to become an elite quarterback, but now he has to show what he can do with elevated talent around him.

Next Rams Game View full schedule »
Saturday, Aug 2323 Aug8:00at Cleveland BrownsBuy Tickets

Tags: Alex Smith Andy Dalton Josh Freeman Sam Bradford St. Louis Rams

  • ricdram

    I’m ok with Sam being ranked 22nd. (” at this time ” ). By mid/late season he will have surpassed many of those QB ranked ahead of him. Top 8 to 12 is quite possible IF the OL holds up & his new weapons (Austin, Cook) play up to expectations. Additionally if those young RB make an impact Sam will take us to the Playoffs. The old slate has been wiped clean & the future looks great in
    St.Louis. Carry on . . .

  • SurfinUSA

    Jaworski and Brooks omitted the question of whether the Rams offensive line can protect Bradford this year. Will the addition of Jake Long keep Sam on his feet? If they can then Bradford can be a breakout star of the game. Also, Sam is using the same playbook as the previous year for the first time in the NFL. Let’s see if the combination of Jeff Fisher, Brian Shottenheimer and the rest of the coaching staff can mold the Rams into a game winning machine.