A Look Back at Sam Bradford’s Scouting Report


Back in 2016, I took classes at The Scouting Academy and one of the quarterbacks I had to study was Sam Bradford. Here are my notes and scouting report on the oft-injured QB.

Bradford was such an interesting study. He was the most accurate passer for a good reason (80.6 accuracy percentage). Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who is extremely familiar with Bradford’s strengths and weaknesses, put him in the best position to succeed. A short, dink and dunk, west coast offense-style passing attack.

I think the Bills should definitely look into signing Bradford. His skillset matches up with what offensive coordinator Brian Daboll wants to do. If he gets injured a few games in, your high draft pick at QB will get experience. Nothing wrong with that.


Mental processing, accuracy to all areas of the field, play speed


Overall AA ability, play strength, decision making under pressure, inability to extend plays


A good starting quarterback in a spread system that allows him to utilize his very good mental processing to identify coverages, decide what side of the field to attack, and display his elite accuracy to the short and intermediate areas of the field. Will struggle with full field reads where the second or third option is deep due to solid arm strength in that quadrant. Decision making diminishes when pressured or blitzed, will take a sack rather than attempting to extend a play, therefore he must be protected.

Scheme fit:

Spread system that utilizes half-field reads, quick decisions and accurate throws.


Sixth year quarterback who has started 78 games in his career, including 15 out of 16 in 2016. Traded to Minnesota prior to the 2016 season, where he played in Norv Turner’s offense until the 7th game when quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur took over and utilized west coast principles to maximize Bradford’s skills. Possesses very good height and weight on a slim frame, adequate AA overall, including adequate quickness, agility, and solid balance. Prior to the snap, he displays very good mental processing and good decision making, including using motion to determine whether the defense is in man or zone coverage, dummy snap counts to determine when the defense is blitzing, puts the offense in advantageous play calls specifically on run-pass options, determines whether the middle of the field is open or closed, ultimately allowing him to decide which half field route combinations to be executed. Exhibits good competitiveness and mechanics on quick sets, displaying solid balance and good throwing posture. Holds the post safety with his eyes, displays good mechanics, shoulders leveled, knees bent, and displays good play speed with a quick release as he hits the top of the drop and good accuracy to the outside shoulder away from the corner and safety. Displays elite accuracy and touch when clean, when throwing to moving targets on high/low reads or man beater concepts to the short and intermediate areas of the field by leading speedy receivers, which maximizes YAC potential or by placing the ball closer to the frame of a stationary tight end when he needs to shield a defender. Exhibits good arm strength on predetermined throws to nine routes outside vs. single high looks. Very good accuracy and arm strength on the run, accurately hits receivers on plays designed to move the pocket, good touch over linebackers and away from corners on Level or Flood concepts. Displays good mental toughness in critical situations, able to lead the offense down the field in two minute or no huddle situations by finding the right Zone beater concepts pre snap or recognizing man coverage in the red zone where he uses his elite accuracy by throwing receivers open in the back corner of the end zone. Displays adequate decision making and adequate poise overall, struggles against defenses that disguise the MOF reads, played pattern matching to the boundary or Fire zone blitzes, which caused him to miss hot routes, take sacks or caused him to drop the ball below his breast plate, leading to fumbles. Physical toughness diminishes from adequate to marginal as the amount of points trailing add up due to a tendency to throw underneath hoping to avoid a big hit as teams play more cover 2 instead of waiting for receivers to uncover in the intermediate or deep levels of the field. Marginal ability to extend plays, a tendency to drops his eyes and prepare for the hit rather than smoothly climbing the pocket, standing in there and delivering. Possesses marginal ability to escape the pocket, marginal foot quickness and adequate play strength in his lower body makes it difficult to dart out of the pocket. Arm strength and accuracy diminishes on passes down the field if that receiver isn’t the primary option due to a lack of lower body strength paired with a 3/4 delivery and an overall inability to throw off platform, so the ball tends to flutter, forcing the receiver to have to slow down to adjust. Overall, a good starting quarterback in a spread system that relies on diagnosing coverages pre-snap, so that he can spread the ball around to playmaking receivers in the short to intermediate levels. Will struggle to push the ball down the field late in progressions due to diminished mechanics. Adequate decision making under pressure paired with an inability to extend plays with his adequate AA will cause him to take sacks or lose the ball versus well-disguised coverage and/or Zone blitzes.