Van just took at look at how the Rams are supposedly passing up franchise QB's recently, an article which pointed to a letter written to Walterfootball.com. I wanted to take a look at their analysis of the God-Child (at least in Walter's eyes) Jimmy Clausen. Do the Rams pull the trigger this year on Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen? Do they snag someone on another team?
Walterfootball.com (WF from here on out) is quick to point this out:
The last time QB Dog Killer started a game was 2006. That season, he led the Falcons to a 7-9 record with a 52.6 completion percentage. He wasn't even a good quarterback three seasons ago. The Rams would have to be absolutely insane to trade for him.
His analysis seems sound. Vick was never an amazing (some could even make the argument that he was never a 'good' QB) quarterback. That, however, is besides the point. The Rams as an organization certainly know this and I doubt he would be considered a "long term" option. I think the fact that the Rams are looking at him (or aren't they?) shows that they aren't quite sold about the fact of drafting a QB with the first pick. That doesn't mean they won't ultimately fall in love with one of the prospects, but it certainly doesn't help Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford (well, maybe not so much Bradford) in the short term, as the Rams most likely wouldn't trade and draft a QB this year.
But is getting Vick so bad? I don't think he (or Jason Campbell, for that matter) are All-Pro's. Could they work for a year or two? Looking at the rookie stats of the three quarterbacks that were brought up in the recent letter show that they aren't much better then those two options:
Mark Sanchez: 53.8% Completion Percentage, 12 TD's, 20 INT's
Matt Ryan: 61.1% Completion Percentage, 16 TD's, 11 INT's
Jay Cutler: 59.1% Completion Percentage, 9 TD's, 5 INT's (5 games)
Compare those to Vick's last starting season and Campbell last year:
Jason Campbell: 64.5% Completion Percentage, 20 TD's, 15 INT's
Michael Vick: 52.6% Completion Percentage, 20 TD's, 13 INT's
Are those that bad? Surely, Vick wasn't very efficient, but he didn't turn the ball over much more then the rookies did. Jason Campbell was just as good, if not better then any of the players the Rams "should" have drafted. The numbers aren't eye-popping, but then again, the Rams probably aren't going to get eye-popping production from a QB any time soon. Both veterans seem perfectly capable of being a "in-between" guy that guides the team while the Rams find a future QB.
WF goes on to say:
But until the Rams throw away a high draft choice on an unproven guy with a 23-32 career record (Campbell) or a 33-year-old in the final stages of his prime (McNabb), this selection will be Clausen.
Which I'm not even going to talk about because it's an insanely stupid quote. Your making an argument to draft a unproven QB with the first pick and your saying the Rams would be throwing away a pick if they picked up an "unproven" player. Yeah, that's sound reasoning.
Both Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen have had good college careers, and they both are the top two QB's in the draft. But that doesn't mean they are worthy of such a high pick. It also doesn't mean they won't pan out and have a great NFL career. But like some veterans who have played nearly 60 games in the NFL, they are still "unproven" and would likely command much, much more money then Jason Campbell or Michael Vick.
Van pointed out how both Chris Long and Jason Smith have been steadily improving. It's no doubt that the Rams have had troubled drafts in the past, but people who had nothing to do with them shouldn't get blamed, as the e-mail suggests.
The Rams surely have troubles on offense (and defense). Drafting a QB (or picking a veteran instead) isn't a stupid move, but with so many holes, the Rams would be better to pick the best player in the draft, Ndamukong Suh. The Rams are a run first team. Instead of investing money in a rookie QB (who will most likely have very few offensive weapons to work with), the Rams would be much better off if they developed their defense and tried to add, say, a quick, nimble running back (CJ Spiller, I can only dream) and a good pass-catching tight end (Tony Scheffler? Pretty please?) to help a veteran QB like Jason Campbell produce slightly above average numbers, positioning the team for success while grooming a young QB to take over the reigns.
It isn't flashy, it probably isn't what fans want, but it sure is more logical then throwing 70 million dollars to a 22 year old QB and asking him to make miracles with a 1-15 team. That isn't to say the Rams won't do it, because who knows what they will see at the Pro Day's, the Combine or the numerous other slightly creepy evaluation periods.
The most important thing should be finding the best player available, and snagging him, QB or not.