Why I Rate Clausen Higher Than Bradford

I have been doing mock drafts since December and I can’t wait for Thursday night.  The draft is so close you can begin to feel the excitement of the anticipation of when your team is on the clock.

The Rams have been on the clock since January and are set on Sam Bradford to be their pick…many believe. Billy Devaney, the Rams’ GM has stated that evaluations are still going on and they haven’t decided on who they’ll take yet.

To many, Sam Bradford is the clear-cut choice for the Rams, but there’s that little bit of doubt in the back of my mind. That little voice in the back of my brain, which consists of 40% sex, 40% NFL Draft, 9% of what I’ve learned at college the past 3 and 3/4 years, and 1% telling me to do homework/apply for jobs (don’t worry, I have an interview on Wednesday). That voice is telling me that I should trust what I see and not what all the talking heads are saying: Sam Bradford is the clear-cut number one pick for the Rams.

By now, however, it’s practically a foregone conclusion that Sam Bradford will be the Rams’ pick. Yet, I will continue to think that Jimmy Clausen, QB from Notre Dame, will be the better NFL QB.

I recently received an email from a reader who asked me to explain why I had Clausen in front of Bradford on my Value Board. Well, here’s my reasons for why Clausen is the better choice:

1) He’s not coming off of shoulder surgery
2) He’s been in a pro style offense
3) He was behind an absolutely terrible offensive line at ND, so it makes sense that he can be very good behind an NFL O-line
4) Clausen had a great completion percentage (68%) in a pro style offense
5) He’s proven he can be a crunch time QB.
6) He may not be as accurate as Bradford (who is SUPER accurate by the way), but Clausen has the stronger arm
7) Name the last Big XII QB to be successful in the NFL…Vince Young? You gotta do better than that. Besides VY, who I barely count as a decent NFL QB, is more of a bust than anything since he was the number 3 pick in 2006. You’d have to go back to 1995 and Kordell Stewart to find the last Big XII QB who was a decent starting NFL QB. I’m not even looking for a “good” NFL QB, I’m looking for the last “decent” one from the Big XII and there are none since Stewart.

Now, I’m not saying Bradford can’t succeed because he’s coming from the Big XII, but I’m saying that the conference just doesn’t produce NFL QBs and Bradford will have to get acclimated to the NFL game and that’ll take time. Clausen’s more ready and will be able to be way ahead of the curve. I truly believe though, that Bradford’s highest potential comparison is Peyton Manning, because he’s THAT accurate, but being accurate is just one attribute of a good NFL QB.

If the Rams can protect Bradford (unlike Marc Bulger), give him great receivers like Kurt Warner had, I have no doubt that Bradford can be great. I just think that Clausen, all things being equal, will be better.

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