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Bradford vs. Clausen

The popular opinion is Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford will be the first overall pick in the upcoming draft. But according to ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., Bradford may not be the best player at his position.

Kiper has Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen as the top-rated quarterback and the fourth-best player in the draft (Kiper has Bradford as the No. 5 prospect overall).

Kiper said Clausen gets the edge because he played in a pro-style offense and took snaps under center while Bradford played exclusively in a shotgun in Oklahoma's spread attack.

"It has nothing to do with anything except how [Clausen] performed and how he played,'' Kiper said of his preference. "Everything Bradford didn't do in terms of NFL conditions, he did. Taking snaps [from under center], commanding a huddle, looking down that gun barrell, not playing on a perfect team. That defense there couldn't stop anybody and he had to match points.

"From September 19 on, he played with an injury (two torn ligaments in his right big toe) that would have sent most guys to surgery to have it corrected or to the sidelines or caused an ineffective performance. He only threw a minimal amount of interceptions (four, compared to 28 touchdowns). Four times Jimmy Clausen brought his team back on the final drive to win a game, and almost a fifth time. That's impressive.'' 

Unlike fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, who wouldn't take Clausen in the first round, Kiper believes Clausen should be a top-10 pick. That is no guarantee. In fact, Kiper doesn't see the Bills taking Clausen at No. 9.

"I would take Clausen,'' Kiper said. "[But] I'm hearing through a lot of different sources that they will not.''

---Allen Wilson



Bills | NFL | NFL Draft
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