With quarterback Sam Bradford coming off a torn ACL, there is some speculation that the Rams may need to take a quarterback at some point in the draft to be an insurance policy if Bradford doesn’t perform well.
The Rams can either take a quarterback in the draft and use a valuable pick to pickup a backup, or the Rams could end up signing a player in the free agent market.
Les Snead and Jeff Fisher have voiced that Bradford will be the starter moving forward, but what the Rams need is that quality backup as Bradford is beginning to earn the “injury prone label missing 15 of the past 48 games.
Dnt be mistaken, backup quarterback Kellen Clemens did a nice job filling in for Bradford this season, but the Rams had to completely change their offense, and let’s face it, not much got done through the air with Clemens at the helm. The Rams need a guy in which the offense doesn’t miss much of a beat from one guy to the next.
The first option for the Rams would be to grab a solid backup in free agency. Set to hit the free agent market this season are quarterbacks Josh Freeman, Michael Vick, and Josh McCown. All three have been backups this season, and all would be ready and prepared to step in at a moments notice and take over.
The Rams offense would hardly miss a beat if the Rams were to sign of those three guys, not to mention Jeff Fisher has done well with veteran quarterbacks with the biggest example being former Titans quarterback Kerry Collins.
This puts a veteran guy behind Bradford, similar to Clemens, but having a higher skill set, while also having a mentor or go to guy for Sam. This option isn’t as popular around Rams Nation opposed to the next option of drafting quarterback in the upcoming draft.
If the Rams draft a quarterback, it more than likely wouldn’t be until the later rounds leaving them with A.J. McCarron of Alabama, Zach Mettenberger of LSU, or Aaron Murray of Georgia.
Doing this would allow a young quarterback to sit behind Bradford while learning the game and being developed to possibly be Bradford’s successor if he fails to perform.
The downside of doing this brings the chances of the dangerous fan peer pressure to start the young quarterback when things start to look bad. Similar situations have happened with Tim Tebow, Kirk Cousins, and Case Keenum.
The starter doesn’t perform well, therefore the fans want to know what the young guy sitting on the bench can do. Most of the time that leads to disaster for a team.
Drafting a quarterback could end up hurting Bradford’s confidence with the fear of being replaced whereas adding a veteran guy in free agency would look more like adding a backup quarterback.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III dealt with that pressure this season, and it obviously affected his game in a negative way.
The Rams shouldn’t be totally against drafting a quarterback, but they should error on the side of caution. Drafting a quarterback could end up hurting the quarterback that they want to succeed.
Not only that, but the Rams have other needs to fill in the draft other than backup quarterback, such as in the offensive line and the secondary. The only way the Rams should take a quarterback is if they acquire extra picks by trading away the number two overall selection. Draft picks are just too valuable to be using on a player that the team never plans to start.
The Rams have some decisions to make at the quarterback position this offseason. The Rams won’t be replacing Bradford anytime soon, but the guy sitting on the bench behind Bradford is just as important.