Time and time again, Jeff Fisher and Les Snead have voiced their support for Sam Bradford, and time and time again, the media tries to find a replacement. There had been rumors that the Rams were interested in Johnny Manziel, but those rumors were shot down by Snead and Fisher. So no, Johnny Manziel would not become Johnny Ram-ziel.
That left the plan that most fans expected, the plan to draft A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray, or Zach Mettenberger. Had the Rams had a fifth round pick, maybe they would have gone through with that plan, but as traded away their fifth round pick to draft Lamarcus Joyner and didn’t trade back into the fifth round, the quarterbacks fell off the board one by one, and the Rams were left with last pick of the litter; Garrett Gilbert.
Gilbert started his career at Texas where he had a disastrous career. His first game under center was against the 2009 Alabama Crimson Tide in the national championship game in which he committed five turnovers and lost. The next season he lead the Longhorns to their first losing record since 1998. Finally after an injury plagued 2011, Gilbert transferred to SMU where he gained confidence and finished off his college career on a good note.
Gilbert has good accuracy which he showed at his pro day completing 87 out of 88 passes. He also has ideal size being 6’4, has good arm strength, and has the ability to escape pressure in the pocket. What makes him perfect for the Rams is that he succeeded in an offense SMU that featured a lot of short passes.
Gilbert will most likely take over the “Austin Davis” role on the Rams roster in which he becomes a long-term project that most likely will never see the field in the regular season, which is exactly what the Rams want.
Sure, it would have been nice to draft a McCarron, Murray, or Mettenberger who have some starting potential, but the Rams already have a solid backup on their roster with Shaun Hill. The fact that they drafted Gilbert and not on of those guys above, shows their confidence in Bradford.
If Bradford would have gone out and struggled next season with one of those guys sitting behind him, fans would have been calling for Bradford’s head and petitioning for Bradford to take a seat on the bench.
With Gilbert, there is no chance of that happening as this guy is a third string quarterback practice squad guy, and if he reaches his ceiling, he could be a solid back-up later in his career. The Rams are set on Bradford which is why Gilbert makes the perfect sense for them.
The Rams will develop Gilbert and if everything works out the way it’s planned, Gilbert will be their backup quarterback moving forward, if not, the Rams are right back where they started, searching for a young backup quarterback to put behind Bradford.