Even though Bradford had two shoulder surgeries, he will still receive consideration as the top pick in the draft.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Strengths: Bradford is an efficient and reliable passer who is extremely accurate on all of his throws. He sets up quickly in the pocket, is patient and shows poise beyond his years. He has an above average arm, a quick release, spins a tight spiral and can make all the throws at the professional level. He effectively reads over a defense, quickly diagnoses where to go with the ball and makes good decisions. He completes a high percentage of his passes in the short field, displays timing with his receivers, leads them over the middle and places the ball where only his target can make the reception. He goes through his progressions fluidly, is able to buy time with his feet to give his receivers time to break free, and delivers a catchable pass that receivers can easily handle. He’s an intelligent quarterback who possesses high character and the leadership qualities to be a successful starting signal caller at the next level.
Weaknesses: He has a prototypical frame, but lacks the overall bulk and strength to withstand a professional pounding. He doesn’t feel the rush consistently and is prone to taking big hits. He primarily worked out of the shotgun and will have to adjust to taking more snaps under center. He demonstrates leadership qualities on the field, but in the locker room he’s quiet and reserved, and he’s timid towards the media.
Steuber Says: If Bradford entered the draft a year ago after his breakout (redshirt) sophomore campaign, Georgia’s Matthew Stafford and USC’s Mark Sanchez would have taken a backseat to him as he would be the franchise quarterback of the Detroit Lions. Just a year later - after two surgeries to his throwing shoulder - Bradford is considered a medical enigma and enters the 2010 draft with the unsettling injury-prone label. Bradford injured his shoulder in the opening game of the 2009 season against BYU and only played in three of Oklahoma’s 13 games. After his initial injury against BYU, Bradford returned three weeks later and posted his usual stat line (389 YDS, 1 TD) in the Sooners 33 – 7 victory over Baylor. But a week later against Texas, he reinjured his shoulder and was lost for the rest of the year. Even though there are a lot of questions and concerns about Bradford’s shoulder, the fact is if he throws well during his Pro Day in April, and shows the same accuracy and strength on his throws that he displayed while starring for Oklahoma, there’s no question that he will be the first quarterback selected in the draft. He may even be the No. 1 overall pick if all of his medical evaluations come back clean, because even though Ndamukong Suh is the clear-cut No. 1 prospect in the draft, the St. Louis Rams have a much bigger need at quarterback than they do at defensive tackle. When healthy, Bradford has the overall intangibles and ability that translate into being a star quarterback in the NFL.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.