Summer of Sam: Revisiting the NFL Draft

What if Sam Bradford had actually entered the 2009 NFL Draft? Bradford did not turn pro in 2008 after a Heisman trophy and National Championship game appearance, but he was a strong candidate for the top spot. In opting to stay behind he had a profound impact on the NFL draft. The same can be said this season, as Bradford will enter the draft – again as a highly-touted prospect – only a shoulder injury has essentially turned him into more of a question-mark than anything else.
So the question “what if Bradford had decided to enter the NFL Draft following last season?” is begging for an answer. Ask no more.
The first pick that it would’ve impacted was the No. 1 overall. Sam Bradford was listed by some as the top-ranked quarterback in the nation coming out of college. There were even talks by a few Detroit inner-circle people that said that the Lions had Bradford ranked ahead of Stafford. So Matt Stafford then drops to the second QB picked.
Does that mean the Rams still draft OL Jason Smith with the No. 2 pick? Last season, beyond Matt Stafford the drop-off at QB was so significant that it was hard to justify risking a franchise pick on Mark Sanchez or Josh Freeman, the only other QBs taken in the first round. I think St. Louis would’ve drafted Stafford, willing to forgo a lineman for a QB.