Wednesday, July 10, 2013
2013 Jaws QB ranking: Bradford 22nd
By Mike Sando
Listening to St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford's conversation with KREF SportsTalk 1400 in his native Oklahoma reminded me to revisit Ron Jaworski's ongoing series ranking NFL starters.
A few words from Jaworski regarding the Rams' fourth-year starter:
"Bradford has always been a talented thrower. In 2012, he took some sure and steady steps forward as he rebounded from a poor 2011 season.
"There's never been a question about Bradford’s arm talent. He has a strong arm with the ability to make every single throw. He can drive the ball down the field and when he’s comfortable and confident in the pocket, he throws with consistent accuracy.
"Bradford has underrated movement. He can get out of the pocket and use his legs to find room to throw. And he's always been effective off boot action. The bottom line is that Bradford has the throwing skill set to be a top-10 passer in this league.
"What are the concerns when I study Bradford? A lack of efficiency in the red zone. Too many interceptions. And it’s a red zone game. You can’t be a high-level quarterback if you can’t execute there. Bradford at times still struggles with basic blitz concepts that a player with his experience level should understand. This interception against the Vikings was a great example.
"Bradford must eliminate the mistakes that diminish the impact of his ability. This season I would expect a little bit different Rams’ offense. With the talent they now have at the skill positions, don’t be surprised to see more spread with Bradford in the shotgun, a faster tempo, just like Bradford’s days at Oklahoma."
Arizona's Carson Palmer was 23rd in Jaworski's ratings. Jaworski has revealed the starters ranked 13th through 32nd without featuring the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick or the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson. The chart includes 2012 Total QBR figures for the quarterbacks Jaworksi has ranked to this point. Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb did not have enough plays to qualify for inclusion in various rankings, but I have provided their QBR scores anyway.
We've covered Bradford quite a bit this offseason, including earlier Wednesday. A recent take from Bernie Miklasz included additional perspective regarding Bradford's play in the red zone. As Bernie notes, Bradford improved in that area later in the 2012 season, after coaches helped implement some adjustments.
Bradford posted an 86.2 Total QBR score in the red zone over the Rams' final eight games. That figure ranked 12th in the NFL and was above the 67.1 average for 32 qualifying quarterbacks. Wilson was first (98.8), Kaepernick was 23rd (39.1) and Palmer was 27th (18.3) in that category over the same span.
That 86.2 figure for Bradford was up from a 4.7 QBR score in the red zone over the Rams' first eight games. That number ranked 33rd out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks over that span. Alex Smith was seventh (78.7), Palmer was 12th (61.7), Kolb was 16th (56.3) and Wilson was 26th (15.7) over their teams' first eight games of the season.
Red zone sample sizes are somewhat limited when reduced to half a season. Qualifying players averaged 40 red zone action plays over their teams' first eight games and 38 over their teams' final eight games.