Has the NFL stock of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford declined since he hurt his throwing shoulder?
Former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage doesn't think so. Savage said Bradford remains a top pro prospect.
"The NFL always is looking for good quarterbacks," said Savage, who is working as a color commentator for the Alabama radio network. "There just aren't enough to go around.
"He may have been the top pick in last year's draft. I know a lot of teams liked him better than [Matt] Stafford and [Mark] Sanchez. Bradford is an accurate thrower and a better athlete than you think. Now, the question will center around the physical part."
Bradford has another year of eligibility left if he needs time to recover fully from the injury he suffered in the season opener against BYU. Bradford will learn Thursday if he'll be able to play this Saturday against Baylor. There remains a possibility he'll have to undergo surgery on his shoulder.
"Obviously, that's a concern and it's something that I've talked to my family about and I've talked to our coaches and something I've talked to the doctors about," Bradford told reporters this week. "But I still think that's down the road. Obviously, it is a concern but I'm focused on trying to get back out there and help my team this year."
Even if Bradford has surgery, Savage likes the quarterback's prospects.
"I would be shocked if he still isn't a top pick in the draft whenever he comes out," Savage said. "He still could come back this year and finish strong. There will be much debate and scrutiny when he does decide to come back, but I think he still will be a valued commodity."
Prince back for Bruins?
UCLA redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Prince (broken jaw) could be cleared to play Saturday against Oregon. He is having X-rays on Wednesday.
Prince has been throwing in practices after suffering the injury in a win at Tennessee. He has missed two games.
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel expects Prince to be available.
With Prince out, UCLA (3-1) has turned to senior Kevin Craft, who led the team to a win over Kansas State before the Bruins fell at Stanford last week. Craft has completed 35 of 58 passes for 390 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was UCLA's starter last season.
UCLA has the No. 9 offense in the Pac-10 (300.8 ypg), and the Bruins also rank ninth in scoring (22.8 ppg).
Ducks' Masoli may be out
There’s a chance Oregon will be without quarterback Jeremiah Masoli for its game at UCLA this Saturday.
Masoli hurt a knee in last week’s victory over Washington State. If Masoli can’t go, the Ducks would start 6-1, 219-pound junior Nate Costa. He was named Oregon’s starting quarterback in camp in 2008 before suffering a knee injury less than two weeks before the season opener. Costa ended up missing the season.
Costa saw the most extensive playing time of his career last week in the win over Washington State. Costa entered the game in the second quarter and proceeded to go 7-for-9 passing for 80 yards. He added 26 yards rushing and a touchdown in helping lead the Ducks to 17 points in a 52-6 victory.
- Phil Savage