Bradford the rookie QB most likely to start

St. Louis QB Sam Bradford will wear No. 8 in honor of Cowboys Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman. And like Aikman, Bradford is the most likely rookie quarterback to be starting in Week 1, according to NFL Network’s Charlie Casserly and Michael Lombardi.

Jimmy Clausen has an advantage because Panthers offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson worked with Charlie Weis in New England, so the rookie from Notre Dame will be familiar with the offense. But Casserly believes that Bradford’s talent is going to win out.

“Bradford has got enough ability that when you get through training camp, he is going to be the best player at that point,” Casserly said.

And there’s the rub. It comes down to necessity.

Matt Moore is going to be the starting quarterback for the Panthers. There is no doubt. Clausen is coming in to learn. Of course, that situation will be fun if Moore struggles. The old cliche says that the most popular player on the football field is the backup quarterback. Clausen will not start barring injury.

The situation is different in St. Louis. Who is going to keep Bradford on the bench, Keith Null? The only potential roadblock is for Bradford to have a JaMarcus Russell-like holdout. Either that or the St. Louis offensive line gets him killed.

As for the other two notable quarterbacks from this draft — Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy — don’t expect much. Neither Casserly or Lombardi see either doing much before 2011. In fact, both held strong rebukes for McCoy who tests high in intelligence and character but lacks in accuracy. Lombardi notes that McCoy threw a lot of bubble screens in college and did not make a lot of NFL throws. Both feel that McCoy is a project.

Of course, neither brought up Tebow’s ability to possibly run the ‘Wildcat.’ Because if there is a chance for any of these rookies to make an impact, watch for Tebow to get a sprinkling of ‘Wildcat’-type plays. Coach Josh McDaniels has a lot on the line this year. Hard to imagine him having Tebow not being involved at all.

In the end, the 2010 NFL Draft will likely be judged by the way these four quarterbacks perform in the future.

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