Shanoff's WUC: Bradford, McNabb, Izzo, More

Today's Calls: Sam Bradford vs. the Rams, Donovan McNabb vs. Al Davis, Duke vs. Vegas, Stanford vs. Xavier, Baylor women vs. Baylor men, UConn vs. FSU, John Wall vs. All-America, Cole Aldrich vs. the NBA, Tom Izzo vs. Oregon, Nets vs. Ignominy and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Sam Bradford will be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. That he had, by all accounts, some kind of prolific Pro Day workout will only affirm that status. ↵

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↵My simple question is this: ↵

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↵While the draftniks continue to fall over themselves to praise Bradford, isn't anyone in the draftnik-industrial complex going to at least ASK about Bradford's real shoulder problem? ↵

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↵Because it is one thing to be able to make all the throws in a Pro Day workout. Heck, he will almost surely be able to make all the throws in a live-game situation. ↵

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↵I'm less concerned about his ability to hit the receiver than his ability to take a hit. ↵

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↵Playing for the Rams -- or any woeful team that might draft him -- Bradford is going to get a pounding. In Oklahoma's offense, he was barely touched. What happens when he is drilled 8-10 times per game? ↵

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↵For now, here's what we know: BYU's D-linemen knocked him out, basically for the season. And BYU is hardly an NFL D-line. Texas's D-line breathed on him a little too hard, and his shoulder crumpled again. ↵

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↵What evidence is there that he can take hit after hit after hit? Bradford might have put on 12 pounds of muscle in the offseason, but unless his workouts include getting sacked a few times, his ability to take a crushing is unknown. ↵

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↵This is not an inconsequential issue: As the No. 1 overall pick of the NFL Draft and with draftniks gushing (see "Last Word"), Bradford likely will get the most expensive rookie contract in NFL history. ↵

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↵Draftniks are presumably paid to be skeptical. But the speculative bubble for Bradford seems to lack any counter-weight of the huge risks involved in committing so much money without fully acknowledging an obvious downside. ↵

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↵Bradford may have the best arm in the NFL. It won't do him -- or his new team -- much good if his arm is in a sling more than it's not, because NFL D-linemen aren't quite as forgiving as Pro Day straw men. ↵

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↵Raiders want McNabb? As cool as McNabb might look in the silver and black jersey, I fear that his career would end limply while playing for one of the weakest franchises in the NFL. (Then again, if he can improve things even a little, his reputation would soar.) ↵

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↵Women's Tournament: What a finish between Stanford and Xavier -- two missed OPEN layups by Xavier, followed by a streak-down-the-court, beat-the-buzzer layup by Stanford FTW. You don't have to follow the women's tournament closely to appreciate a crazy game-ending sequence to send the winner to the Final Four. ↵

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↵Brittney Griner is going to the Final Four, having led Baylor past Duke -- and, in the process, setting a new record for most blocks in a NCAA Tournament. That's after 4 games. ↵

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↵(Tonight: Watch UConn continue its buzzsaw path to the national championship against Florida State in the Dayton Region final. FSU can go for "moral victory" by avoiding getting doubled up.) ↵

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↵Final Four: If Vegas lines are your guide, then Duke is your pick to win the national title -- once again proving that Vegas has no soul. Do Vegas lines bake in conspiracy theories that it is in the best interests of the NCAA (and CBS) for Duke to win it all and things might be "done" to ensure that? ↵

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↵CBB AP All-Americans: The headline is that both John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins made the 1st team, which I appreciate because the AP perennially seems to undervalue freshmen. Evan Turner was an obvious inclusion. ↵

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↵I am less impressed by Scottie Reynolds. Reynolds feels like an inertia pick; I would have put any of the 5 guards on the 2nd team ahead of him. ↵

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↵Mainly, the team reinforces how lame it is to pick an All-America team based on the regular season without including the NCAA Tournament, which -- after all -- defines the entire season. (Um: No Gordon Hayward anywhere?) ↵

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↵Izzo/Oregon Non-Story: Oregon may WANT Tom Izzo, but he says he hasn't been contacted (and the school says it hasn't talked with him), and I can't believe he would even take the call. Here's the thing: What if Oregon offered Izzo "Phil Jackson money" -- say, $10 million a year for 10 years. I have never understood why a team for whom money was no object wouldn't do this. ↵

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↵NBA Draft: We can talk about individual talents entering (like KU's Cole Aldrich, a Top 10 pick) but the larger story is that there is going to be a flood of early entrants this year, trying to stay one step ahead of the presumptive labor war in 2011. ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: Nets win! Nets win! They will NOT go down in NBA history for having the worst record of all time. Now, they are merely terrible. (Wait: Russian billionaire owner appears on "60 Minutes" and one night later, the team avoids ignominy. Coincidence ... or foreshadowing of future success under Prokhorov?) ↵

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↵MLB Spring Training: With the season start just a few days away, check out SN's previews of every MLB team. ↵

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↵(No preview can account for unexpected injury. Needless to say, the Yankees' chances of repeating as champs change dramatically if Mark Teixeira gets seriously injured. For now, just a plunk on the elbow.) ↵

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↵Pop Culture: Another week, another presumptive move into the next round for Erin Andrews on "Dancing With the Stars." ↵

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↵The Last Word: "He put on the best quarterback workout by a draft prospect that I've seen since I watched a private workout Troy Aikman put on for us with the Cowboys in California." -- NFL.com draft analyst Gil Brandt. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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