Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Apr 2010

Redskins Acquire Adam Carriker

And hey, Adam Schefter's Twitter continues to explode with news! The Redskins have acquired defensive tackle Adam Carriker from the Rams. The former first-round pick has struggled with injuries as a pro. No word yet on what the Redskins gave up.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 20 Apr 2010

84 comments, Last at 23 Apr 2010, 12:25pm by Rich Conley

Comments

1
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:26pm

I keep thinking that if I were the Rams, I'd send a 4th to Washington for Campbell and then draft Suh. Doug Farrar compared him to Kevin Greene, that would make him one of the best five defensive tackles to play the game, a franchise altering player. They could then take an offensive tackle with their second rounder, where there should be several good options at that spot, or trade it for the widely assumed bevy of picks they might get for the first pick on the second day. They'd be a much more competitive team next year.

N.B. This poster is fully aware of the views held on Campbell by a certain other poster who turns up on these pages. I think he's below average, but he's been badly coached and has had little to work with and could be a solid starter if given help.

2
by jimbohead :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:42pm

So, if StL picks Suh, where does Bradford land? Do the Lions pick Okung in that scenario? If they take McCoy, does TB pick Berry? This could be a signal that all those mocks that are contingent on StL picking Bradford are incredibly wrong. Like, Kansas losing in the second round type wrong.

12
by Dean :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:40pm

"all those mocks ... are incredibly wrong"

And this would make it different than any other year how?

27
by jimbohead :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:47pm

well, degree of wrongness really. My impression is that the good mockers can generally get pretty accurate with picks 1-10 (with obvious craziness like DHB at #7 not quite working out), with truly poor accuracy once you get past pick 20. But b/c of the nature of the top few teams, if Bradford doesn't go at 1, he probably won't go till #7 at least (cleveland).

29
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:52pm

No way in hell Bradford makes it past #4, even if the Rams don't take him (which they absolutely will - paying #1 overall money to a DT prospect, even an astonishing one, is insane). Shanahan loves him.

39
by Sifter :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:42am

I think Cleveland would come a-knocking very quickly throwing around their 5 round 1-3 picks trying to snaffle Bradford before he fell to the 'skins. And Tampa would be the obvious trading partner, they are hanging out for one of the elite DTs at #3 and if both of them were gone they would be very keen to move out. Then they can take whoever's there at 7 - Berry, Okung/Trent Williams, Derrick Morgan. All would be useful to Tampa.

So that way I can't see how the top 3 isn't Bradford + 2DTs, in whatever order.

60
by The Ninjalectual :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 1:48pm

So basically the Redskins set things up to where Okung will not be available to them at #4. Awesome. How on earth does this make any sense?

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

11
by Dean :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:36pm

How is a one-dimensional sack-specialist LB/DE hybrid who can't play the run comparable to one of the top 5 DTs to ever play the game? I don't get your analogy.

As for the Rams pick, Bradford is really the only option. I have expressed my skepticism of Bradford many times, and my criticism of walterfootball.com many times in the past few weeks. However, Walter may be an oaf in his wordchoice, but I agree with his assessment that the Rams choosing Suh at this point in their rebuilding project is comparable to Seattle choosing Cortez Kennedy 20 years ago. Even if Suh plays at a Hall of Fame level, it generates neither wins nor ticket sales for the Rams organization.

As for Jason Campbell, the biggest knock on him seems to be the same knock that drove Mark Bulger out of STL. He's a nice guy, but not a fiery, rah-rah style leader. Too passive. If the Rams wanted "that guy," they'd have kept Bulger.

Really, the only option STL has are to take Bradford and hope he pans out, or trade down and take the d-bag from ND and hope he pans out. Sadly for STL, I wouldn't bet on either player. But given the choice, I'd keep the pick and take Bradford.

14
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:47pm

He meant that Suh is comparable to Greene, not that Carriker is comparable to Greene. Also, Carriker is Suh's size now, he plays at over 300 in the NFL, so he's hardly a DE weight anymore and he played the nose for St. Louis in 2007.

Choosing a quarterback instead of an offensive lineman would be suicide. Marc Bulger was a perfectly competent quarterback until he was injured behind the awful St. Louis offensive line (over and over and over again). Picking Bradford would be silly.

I assume that this move is preparation for St. Louis at least considering taking Suh and drafting a quarterback in the 2nd or 3rd round.

16
by Dean :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:52pm

"He meant that Suh is comparable to Greene"

I'm aware of that. Again - how is Suh comparable to a one-dimensional DE/LB hybrid who didn't play the run?

And if you want franchise suicide, than you choose an OL with the top spot for the second year in a row. Right now, the Rams have the makings of a solid, if unspectaclar OL. Their OL gave up 14 sacks in the first 9 games. Then Jason Smith got hurt, and everything snowballed from there into a giant implosion.

If STL drafts Suh, it will be in preparation for the franchise leaving town.

30
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:58pm

I think he actually meant Mean Joe Greene. [edit: as he acknowledges himself below]

With you on the insanity of taking a top 5 OL two years in a row - only left tackles are worth that kind of money, and you can only start one of them.

15
by t.d. :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:48pm

Campbell is quite a few years younger, without having played several years getting battered behind a bad line (he's had that experience for one year). Campbell stinks, but he's preferable to a washed up Bulger. Further, I'd liken Suh to Haynesworth, who is a linchpin for his team's defense, minus the character issues.

17
by Dean :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:55pm

Don't misunderstand, I completely agree that Suh is the highest rated prospect in the draft and projects to be an impact player in the NFL.

However, the Rams would still be fools to pick him when they need a QB.

If, by your own admission, Campbell stinks, then why do you trade for him? That's lunacy. At that point, you still have a hole at the single most important position on the field. Bradford represents really their only potential solution to that hole.

They can get a DT later along the way. Even if they have to wait a year. The QB is simply too important a position to not address.

33
by t.d. :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 6:25pm

I think picking the wrong quarterback is far more damaging to a franchise than taking a premium player at another position. I also think that Suh is more of a pass rusher than people who dismiss him as 'just a tackle' are acknowledging. Pass rushers are worthy of being taken at #1. Bradford has very limited experience behind anything short of a great offensive line, and the only times he's gotten hit at all, he's gotten hurt. Bad idea.

45
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:50am

That just strikes me as a very cowardly way to run a franchise. He might be a bust, so we’re not even going to try? No thanks.

And even if Suh becomes the rare guy who is a dominant run stopper and pass rusher from the DT spot, and even if he defies the odds, never gets hurt, and has a Hall of Fame career, it does not make him the wise pick. It makes him Cortez Kennedy redux. As great as Kennedy was, NO DEFENSIVE TACKLE (with the possible one-time exception for the late, great Reggie White) can single-handedly turn around a franchise that is starting over from scratch.

That’s the elephant in the room, and all the wishful thinking in the world can’t make it go away.

66
by t.d. :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:51pm

So they should take the guy who's going to be a bust because it's the brave thing to do? Are you high? Bradford was considered undersized before he had his shoulder blown up twice on tackles the only season he faced any pressure from opposing defenses. Good way to ensure the Rams suck for a solid decade.

73
by Dean :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 10:13am

"So they should take the guy who's going to be a bust "

Says who? You? I'm sure the Rams have you on speed dial right next to me.

If the Rams belive the guy will be a bust, of course they don't take him. If they are 100% sold, then it's equally easy.

When it's somewhere in between, that's when it becomes more difficult, and that's where we are now. And the quarterback position is so important that you have to take him, period.

Whether they take Bradfor or not, Devaney and Spagnulo's jobs are tied to his success. If they take Suh, and Bradford becomes a star, it doesn't matter what Suh does, Devaney and Spags get fired. Likewise, if they take Bradford and he fails, it still doesn't matter what Suh does.

QB is simply that much more important than DT.

78
by Brendan Scolari :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 1:01pm

"If they take Suh, and Bradford becomes a star, it doesn't matter what Suh does, Devaney and Spags get fired."

That's just not true. If Suh is the next Richard Seymour (or better) and the Rams become consistent playoff contenders it won't matter a bit what Bradford does.

79
by Dean :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 1:16pm

I disagree. No matter how good Suh becomes, Spags and Devaney are both "the guy who passed on Sam Bradford."

Of course, it sure looks like it's all academic anyway, and in a few hours they'll both be "the guy who took Bradford" for better or for worse.

71
by DeltaWhiskey :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 3:37am
74
by Dean :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 10:15am

White played all 4 spots on the line.

72
by Jerry :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 4:04am

Reggie White was a DE (as DeltaWhiskey mentions).

Joe Greene, on the other hand, was a DT, and people from the '70s Steelers say that he was the cornerstone of the team. Of course, they went 1-13 his rookie year, and had a couple more losing season before they turned things around in 1972. No single player is going to single-handedly turn around a franchise without sufficient talent around him.

75
by Eddo :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 12:18pm

Using Joe Greene as a comparison is not right. In that era, the passing game was much less effective and important, which in turn made interior lineman that much more important. Hence why RBs were the dominant players in the league in the 70s.

35
by jackgibbs :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 8:32pm

the problem is if you get the wrong quarterback it messes you up for years. it's a lot easier to declare a lineman a bust and cut bait (like oh say adam carriker) after a few years than it is a quarterback. when do you give up on david carr ryan leaf tim couch alex smith jamarcus russell? and while you're not giving up on them because you owe them a bagillion dollars, and the fans are pissed and not buying tickets, you're passing on the passing on potentially better prospects in the following years. the best part about taking suh is that he's much more likely not to be a bust, and while he might not be as glamorous, he will make the team better, while you fix the myriad other problems facing a team with the first overall pick.

I see what you're saying that they have to take bradford for the fans, but taking him and him blowing would hurt image/ticket sales twice much as any pain not drafting him would have. quarterback IS the most important position on the field, but only when it's the RIGHT quarterback. Crappy quarterbacks are all alike, every great quarterback is great in his own way

42
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:27am

"the best part about taking suh is that he's much more likely not to be a bust"

Here is the fundamental flaw in the arguement. There is nothing about Suh that makes him any less likely to be a bust than any other player.

What do Robert Gallery and Chris Long have in common? Both were "can't miss." Both were "the safest pick in the entire draft." Both turned into "just another guy."

So to say that Suh is somehow magically less likely to be a bust is foolish.

As for Bradford, we don't KNOW he's going to be crappy. I'm not sold on him, nor are most of the other folks around here. On the other hand, scounts - the guys who get paid to do this stuff - believe that he's the best bet around. It's like playing blackjack at a casino, even though you're only getting a 50/50 shot, it's still the best odds anywhere in the house. The Rams will never have a better shot, statistically, at solving their QB problem.

Is it a gamble? Yes. Absolutely. But it is a gamble that they absolutely, positively MUST take.

48
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:40am

That there is no such thing as a can't miss prospect does not mean that all prospects are equally risky. DT actually is historically a relatively low-bust position, but each individual player is different, and I can think of very, very few players who I regarded as comparably unlikely to bust to Suh. I'm a huge fan of Bradford, but I don't think it's realistic to deny that he represents a much higher bust risk than Suh (or a much lower one than Tebow). Bradford is the higher risk, higher reward pick.

50
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:46am

"DT actually is historically a relatively low-bust position,"

That's not correct. Actually, DT has about the same bust/success rate as QB. I do agree, though, with you that Bradford appears to be higher risk/reward than Suh.

But fortune favors the bold.

57
by jackgibbs :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 1:03pm

the bust-to-success ratio is much smaller for a DT than it is for a QB. if you take bradford and he's doesn't put in a manning (either one) performance in his first few years and the rams continue to draft in lottery spots, the fans will start to clammer for whichever QB is the darling of that draft class. Taking Suh might not help your defense at all, or it might make them better, or it might actually make them look like an NFL caliber unit. Look at what haynesworth did for the titans, and how that unit looked without him last year.

I guess I'm just saying that even though you need a quarterback, you don't have to take one the first opportunity you have just to get one. Bradford might be good, he might be great. But he has a lot more questions than I'd like when I'm looking to invest my franchise in a guy. It's not like the rams don't get to draft anybody next year or the next or the next.

also re injuries. I believe bradford has missed more games to injury than suh. Then you're putting him behind the rams offensive line as a rookie who's never had to dodge a rush. I'd think bradford would be much more of an injury risk

ps. I'd also like to point out that the last three rookie quarterbacks who've been immediately successful in the NFL (Ryan Flacco Sanchez) were on teams with solid-to-great defenses where they didn't get into a lot of shootouts or situations where they had to press the ball. If you shore up your defense first, it will increase the likelyhood of success for your eventual rookie quarterback. It may not be bold, but it seems to work.

58
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 1:31pm

"the bust-to-success ratio is much smaller for a DT than it is for a QB."

Again, you are flat-out wrong here. Walterfootball ran the numbers here... http://walterfootball.com/nfldraftquarterbackriskmyth.php

Quarterback Hit Rate: 48.2%
Defensive Tackle Hit Rate: 46.9%

Quarterback Bust Rate: 44.4%
Defensive Tackle Bust Rate: 46.9%

As for Haynesworth, I'd say what Tennessee did without him is irrelevent. If he'd been the only major acquisition in Washington, then maybe he'd be worth studying. But were talking about adding a player, not subtracting one.

The last time you had a team in this situation and they picked a DT, it was Seattle, 20 years ago. They picked Cortez Kennedy. He was everything they could possibly have hoped for in a DT and more, and should some day make it to Canton. Yet the Seahawks were perpetual losers his entire tenure.

Yes, that's only one example. But it shows a glaring red flag.

"But he has a lot more questions than I'd like when I'm looking to invest my franchise in a guy."

I actually agree with this statement. I'm not sold on Bradford. But that wouldn't make me gun-shy about taking him. No matter how good Suh turns out to be, he's not going to single handedly turn the Rams into a respectable team. Bradford MIGHT. Unless a better QB suddnely becomes available between now and tomorrow night, it's a risk they simply have to take.

61
by jackgibbs :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 2:58pm

sorry. when I say 'bust' I mean meeting expectations. if you take a QB number one, he's expected to start for your team for 10 years, make the playoffs, and win championship(s). Anything less and everyone's talking about what a wasted pick he was. Taking a defensive guy number one, as long as he makes plays and your defense can stop opposing offenses, he's been a succesful pick.

what quarterback did the seahawks pass on to take kennedy? jeff george(trade up) andre ware? Are you suggesting seahawks fans would've rather had those guys? or that the team would've been better? in 1991 the seahawks drafted 16th instead of 3rd and took dan mcgwire, a quarterback. That's all I'm saying. You can take a great defensive guy this year and take your 46% shot in the next years draft

63
by Eddo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 3:37pm

That's fair enough, in that, if a DT "busts", he can still be part of the rotation.

Except, if you take a DT #1 overall, you're basically paying him to be the best DT in the entire league. That's the appropriate expectation if the Rams pick Suh.

64
by jackgibbs :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 4:08pm

is mario williams the best defensive end in the league? are texan fans mad they passed on reggie bush? or vince young? they were mad at the time, but look what happened

67
by Eddo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:57pm

No.

And he doesn't have to be. DEs make much more than DTs. Drafting a DE (or QB or LT) first overall doesn't result in you overpaying the position as much as drafting a DT does.

70
by tuluse :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 8:05pm

QBs get more money than other positions at their draft position, and you might negotiate a slightly lower contract for a DT.

Jake Long only got 6 million guaranteed per year as the number 1 pick. If Suh gets that, he'll be the 3rd highest paid DT in the league. Which is high, but it's not "you have to be the very best at your position" high.

76
by Eddo :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 12:20pm

That's true. I'm doing a poor job of explaining the positional value gap between QBs/DEs and DTs. Dean, in an above nested comment sequence, did a much better job, I think.

Two important things to remember:
- DTs are no more of a sure thing, in general, than QBs
- the QB position is much more important than the DT position, so given the choice of an elite DT and a "just very good" QB, the QB is still probably the correct choice (this is evidenced by salaries)

83
by jackgibbs :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 4:42pm

but see, you can get your elite DT and still find a very good quarterback either later this year or in next year's (hopefully rookie salary capped) draft. Taking suh doesn't preclude you from having a very good quarterback, it just means you're passing on the chance at this possibly very good/great quarterback with health issues/mobility unknowns.

it's not like the experts who get paid to do this stuff are saying bradford is the best player in the draft, or that he's even in the discussion, so why pay him like he is? it's this torschluss-panik that gets the worst of the NFL GMs in trouble so often.

55
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:37pm

Chris Long may well be a good player, and Robert Gallery has been a good player. They weren't the players their draft day potential promised, but hardly anyone is other than DeMarcus Ware and Peyton Manning.

The Rams could take Bradford. Or they could take Suh and draft Jared Skelton or Dan Lefebevre later on. They absolutely, positively must draft a quarterback of the future, but they don't have to spend the #1 overall pick on a quarterback just because they need one, in a weak QB draft. The Rams are not a quarterback away from the playoffs. They are a football team away from the playoffs, less Steven Jackson, Chris Long, Donnie Avery and Alex Barron.

Drafting a #1 overall pick at quarterback is being the Houston Texans when they picked David Carr, not the Colts when they chose Peyton Manning. People forget now that Indy's line has been a joke for years, but Tarik Glenn was a great left tackle and he was in place waiting for Peyton to arrive.

20
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:09pm

Er, I have to apologise for a brain fart, I meant Joe Green, the Steelers HOfer.

As a side note, the main difference between Bulger and Campbell is age. Bulger is clearly on the slide, even if he can still be productive for a year or two.

26
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:41pm

guy namde was joe greene

43
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:28am

Now that makes a lot more sense.

I tend to compare Suh to Sapp, but regardless, we're arguing about nuance at that point. We both agree that Suh projects to be an elite player.

21
by Podge (not verified) :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:09pm

Because after this year the NFL disappears? The Rams rebuilding programme is gonna take way more than a year, and there's so many holes they can take the best player available.

41
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 8:35am

Ok, but the fifth best quarterback in the league is more valuable than the best defensive tackle, and as scary as Suh looks we can't even be sure that he's going to be an exceptional NFL player at all. Don't get me wrong: I regard Suh as the second-surest thing in any recent draft (after Megatron). But as a DT he really would have to be an incredible player to justify the salary he would get if drafted first overall. Bradford would just have to be Eli Manning - and as it happens I think there's a very good chance he'll be much more than that. As counterintuitive as it is, drafting Bradford is the smart move for the Rams. It has more risk of catastrophic failure than taking Suh, but it also has far more upside.

Edit: brainfart regarding Suh's position corrected.

65
by Martinez (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 4:43pm

Wasn't the DT from LSU a couple years ago a can't miss DT? He went to the Chiefs and nobody has heard from him for years.

68
by t.d. :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:58pm

No, because people already knew he had leg injuries coming into the draft. Just like Bradford has red flags about his shoulder.

47
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:40am

I guess it's too late to worry about hijacking this thread.

To me, the way to build a franchise is with the inverted pyramid. I'll coin the phrase, but the thoughts behind it are hardly unique, and tend to evolve over time as the game evolves.

The bottom of the pyramid, the single most important piece, is the QB. If you don't have a franchise QB, you MUST acquire one, and you cannot have any sort of sustained success in the NFL without one. No price is too high to pay for a franchise QB (note: Jay Cutler looks like a bad deal because of the lack of production, not because Chicago overpaid for the expected production).

The second tier is your blindside. The OT and DE. Again, if you don't have them, you must get them. It is worthwhile to spend large amounts of limited resources to get long-term solutions at these spots. Only the QB takes priority over these spots when competing for the limited resources (dollars, draft picks) that a franchise has at its disposal.

The third tier is still crucial, but slightly less so. Here is where your earth-mover "planet-theory" DT, your shutdown corner, and your gamebreaking WR reside. Again, if you don't have them, it's worth going out and doing what you can to acquire them, but these are your #4-6 priority.

The 4th tier is everybody else. Everybody else, you want long-term solutions, but they're only worth spending high draft picks on after you have the first 6 spots filled. Free agents are worth acquiring, but even without a salary cap, a blockbuster contract at a non-premium position should be reserved for special talents, as you're more likely to blow your budget out of whack than anything else.

To me, that's how you build a franchise. I don't really feel like there's any groundbreaking stuff in there. But why would you fill a third tier priority when you haven't yet filled your #1 priority? If the Rams had 2 first round picks, maybe you have the luxury of taking Suh at #1 and taking a QB later. But again, they have limited resources and have to start at the top of the priority list. If a better solution becomes available, they should make an aggressive move. But they HAVE to fill the hole at QB, even if it means waiting a year for the DT.

51
by jimbohead :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:19am

Yes, but this contains the same fallacy that constantly pisses me off about Michael Lombardi. You have to find the RIGHT QB, not just A QB. Just because you draft someone highly doesn't mean he's the solution, and just because you pay him a bunch of money doesn't mean he's worth it.

There are probably less than 10 people in the world that could be considered franchise QBs between the ages of 22 and 40. And yet, every year, we're told that there are at least 2 new people who will be future franchise QBs. So, yes, you trust your scouts. But if you're not 100% sold, then you shouldn't feel compelled to buy. The corollary of course being that, if you are 100% sold, you sell the farm to get him. That's why I'm not concerned about my niners being unlikely to grab Clausen, because I think he's not the guy. As long as they're ready to move hard and strong for someone they really want.

53
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:52am

Ten is a pretty good number.

And if you don't have one of those ten, and you don't have a young guy that you're hoping will grow into being one of those 10 some day, then my believe is that you do whatever you have to do to either get one of those ten or get a guy who might someday be one of them.

If the Rams believe that Bradford has a chance of becoming one of those ten, and has a better chance than any other QB prospect available, that's all the information they need to make this decision. That relegates Suh to a luxury they can't afford.

"But if you're not 100% sold, then you shouldn't feel compelled to buy."

Here is where we disagree. Nobody is ever going to be 100% sold. I don't know where that percentage should be - I guess it's situation dependent - but you're almost never going to be 100% sold on a guy, and even if you are, it doesn't mean you're going to be right.

69
by t.d. :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 8:05pm

Of those 10, maybe two or three (and I'm being generous) were considered can't miss prospects a team would have to take at #1. The draft is an inefficient means of getting a franchise quarterback. Drafting BPA is a better approach than drafting because of need.

77
by Eddo :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 12:21pm

The draft may be inefficient, but it's generally the only way. Franchise QBs are rarely on the market while they are still in their prime, so you can't count on acquiring one any way except through the draft.

80
by t.d. :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 3:09pm

About half of the franchise quarterbacks in the league have been acquired through a high draft pick, which means half have been acquired by other means.

81
by Dean :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 4:12pm

It means that half have been acquired by all other means combined.

A 50/50 shot isn't great, but it's the best odds you're going to get. Any other method will give you worse odds, not better.

82
by t.d. :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 4:31pm

yes, but a)taking a qb with a top five pick has a terrible track record in the last decade and b)there are huge red flags with Bradford.
I'll be honest, I'm not a Rams fan, and I think the Lions deserve some good karma for a change, so I think it's great that Suh is falling to them, but I just object to the idea that a qb with question marks should somehow be considered the slam dunk right pick.

52
by Tim Gerheim :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:22am

I would quibble with this only in that it's a recipe for drafting too much for need. The only thing worse than not having a good QB, DE, LT, etc. is paying a boatload for a QB who's not that great because you don't have a good one at all, doing the same thing for a DE, etc. So the reason to take Suh over Bradford isn't because Suh is more valuable, exactly, but because you don't think Bradford is all that good. Taking Bradford just because you don't have a quarterback and quarterback is the top priority would be a blunder if you aren't confident that Bradford will actually be a really good quarterback.

54
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:53am

Agreed. The formula needs to be applied with a healthy dose of reality.

If need a QB and a QB is available, you take him. But if you need a QB and it's 1997, you start looking at the OTs and DEs on your roster and on the draft board, etc.

For example, with the #33 pick, the Rams should be looking hard at DEs, WRs and should be open to trading the pick. If they feel that there's a potential double-digit sack guy on the board, they'd be hard pressed to pass him up, even if there's a potential 1000 yard TE also available. They can always find a TE.

56
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:42pm

And the only thing worse than paying a boatload for a QB who is not that great is paying a boatload for a QB who IS that great and having his career ruined because he's playing for, well, the St. Louis Rams.

Marc Bulger was a pretty fantastic player too for a couple of years. He took a job from Kurt Warner, for chrissake. But once Orlando PAce, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt declined, he couldn't produce, and he got hit every play, and hurt, and his career was over.

What about the St. Louis Rams today makes you think that the first three years of Sam Bradford's Rams career would be any better than the last three years of Marc Bulger's?

THAT is the question the Rams front office needs to ask themselves.

28
by jimbohead :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:51pm

They cut bulger b/c his salary was going to be over $6 million, and the rate at which he suffered injury made that unreasonable. His lack of production was more due to lack of talent at wideout than at o-line, and his fragility was more on him than the line as well. Getting a mediocre placeholder QB along with an incredible DT is always preferrable in my mind to just getting a bust at QB. It's not just the position you draft, it's the player.

31
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 6:04pm

Sure, but Bradford isn't "generic QB prospect" any more than Suh is "generic DT prospect". If they genuinely really like Bradford (and I certainly do) they should absolutely take him over Suh, Warren Sapp, Joe Greene or anyone else.

36
by jimbohead :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 10:00pm

I guess that's the difference. I really don't trust him as a prospect, mostly because of his shoulder injury and his incredible offense line in college. Shoulders are seriously tough to come back from; the only one I can think of who really did it was Drew Brees (of course with spectacular results). Pennington took a couple years to get right, as did Alex Smith (yeah, I know, different baseline).

So, you're drafting a guy #1 overall, without good experience handling a quality rush, and who has no injury avoidance skills, and playing him in a division with two top 10 pass rushes by ASR? And you're not giving him any receivers? That doesn't sound like a strategy for success to me.

37
by tuluse :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 3:08am

You have to trust your scouts, if you don't then you might as well just throw darts at your draft board. So if your scouts say that Bradford is good enough, you go ahead and take him.

38
by Sifter :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:37am

Exactly. If you like him enough, you need to take the QB.

But personally I'm hardly filled with confidence when on 75% of draft boards, Bradford is rated below a safety. I also haven't seen any reputable draft board where Bradford is rated the #1 player this year. It's merely because he's a QB that he's an acceptable #1 pick.

If I were Rams GM I'd draft Suh. Then it just comes down to whether you like Colt McCoy at #33, or if not you start looking at Jake Locker and trading for a guy like Campbell to get you through the year while stocking the draft cupboard with guys that will help your QB next year. Some WRs with talent would be appreciated for one...

40
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 8:32am

I can't believe there are many draft boards out there that rate Berry above Bradford. He's a better safety prospect than Bradford is a QB prospect, but no team in its right mind would draft any safety higher than #5 or so. A board that has Bradford below Berry is simply a board that is low on Bradford. If 75% of NFL front offices really don't think Bradford's a top 5 pick, I would be very surprised.

84
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 04/23/2010 - 12:25pm

The easy response to that is this:

Sam Bradford isn't a good enough QB prospect that anyone should take him in the top 5.

I'm of the opinion that you don't take anyone in the top 5 picks, quarterback or otherwise, who has questions about whether or not hes going to hold up.

Remember, while Bradford's franchise affecting upside is higher than Berry's, his downside is also. Picking a bad QB that high blows your franchise up for 4 or 5 years.

44
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:31am

In MOST years when a QB goes first, that QB is not the highest rated player overall. He is simply the highest rated player at the most important position.

Drafting solely by BPA sounds great in the ivory towers of academia, but once you get out to the real world, you suddenly find yourself spending 3 straight #1 picks on a WR.

(on the other hand, drafting solely for need doesn't work either - you need a careful balance of the two)

46
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:34am

I think the best strategy is probably to try to trade up or (more often) down such that a player you like at a position of need is likely to represent good value in BPA terms at the point you pick.

49
by Dean :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:43am

In general, yes.

However, the only player anyone is going to trade up to #1 to get is Sam Bradford. Nobody's going to trade into the #1 spot to use it on a DT.

So by trading down, you no longer get your guy. So yes, trading is frequently a good idea. But if the Rams trade here, they leave their biggest hole unfilled. You can't trade down and still acquire Bradford.

3
by BucNasty :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:43pm

:*(

6
by roguerouge :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:48pm

Does that smiley indicate that you killed a guy in prison?

18
by Theo :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:01pm

padoem tsshh!!!!

4
by loneweasel (not verified) :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:46pm

Taking Suh at least means that they are taying away from the sure fire QB bust in Bradford.

32
by Mr Shush :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 6:15pm

I really don't get this. I agree that Bradford is a risky pick: there isn't that much tape on him, because he played so few games, and he played behind a great offensive line in college, so it's tough to know whether he'll be good at moving in the pocket to avoid pressure. But how does that make him a "sure fire" bust. What we can be confident in saying about Bradford is that he has a good arm, and amazing accuracy and touch. He's not like Russell, really good at throwing the ball hard; he's just really good at throwing the ball. He also seems to be a focused, hard-working, high character individual (note his immaculate playfakes and commitment to faking continued possession of the ball on draws and end-arounds). My own guess is that his career will somewhat resemble that of Drew Brees: early struggles as he adjusts to NFL calibre pass-rushes behind a suspect offensive line, followed by increasingly dominant and eventually all-pro calibre play. Now, I don't have enough evidence to be anything like sure of that, of course. He could perfectly well be a total bust - and is more likely to be one if thrown out to get killed behind a bad offensive line as a rookie. But how one could be certain that Bradford will be a bust, I really don't know. I wasn't even certain that Russell would be a bust, though I thought it very likely.

34
by Sean McCormick :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 7:53pm

I believe the original poster imbibes all things Jimmy Clausen. Ergo, Bradford must bust because he is not Jimmy Clausen. Or something to that effect.

5
by jklps :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:47pm

The teams swapped 5th round picks, moving STL up 15 spots.

7
by BucNasty :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:49pm

But they already had the 1st pick. You mean they swapped their 5th for Washington's 4th? Or their 6th for Washington's 5th? Or maybe they had 2?

8
by jklps :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 3:52pm

Round 5 Pick 32(163) from New Orleans through Philadelphia goes from STL to Washington

Round 5 Pick 4(135) goes from Washington to St. Louis.

That's my interpretation.

9
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:12pm

Wow -- isn't that crazy low?

10
by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:24pm

Yes, it's basically nothing. At that point in the draft there's really no difference in 20 spots of draft position at all. That said, Carriker wasn't any good.

13
by t.d. :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 4:42pm

Yeah, this was the guy they were supposed to let develop in lieu of taking Suh. I'd rather see Spagnulo build a top notch defensive line, it's suppose to be what he's good at, and trade for Campbell.

19
by Theo :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:04pm

So what does this mean for their draft?
Who will the Bux take when the 2 top DTs go 1 and 2?

22
by jackgibbs :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:11pm

if I were a rams fan I'd think this is great news. not taking suh first overall, and even worse spending number one pick money on bradford just seemed really bad to me

23
by TheSlinger :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:18pm

Dumping off a guy who's had zero impact on their D-line isn't going to change their draft plans. Bradford will still be a Ram.

24
by Joe T. :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:24pm

Agreed. The deal seems like it was a slightly better situation than cutting him outright.

25
by jackgibbs :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:25pm

then I'm still glad I'm not a rams fan

59
by Anonymouser (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 1:46pm

And here I clicked on this link hoping to hear about Adam Carriker..

62
by jackgibbs :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 3:30pm

what would you like to hear about him? I don't think he has any NFL stats yet