Like it is in life, it is rare that a quarterback has a chance to make a second first impression. Jared Goff struggled mightily under the previous regime and looked completely overwhelmed at times under center during his rookie year. Goff has a rare opportunity to completely change that perception under Sean McVay’s new coaching staff coming into the 2017 season. Other former No. 1 picks at quarterback have looked to improve in their second campaigns. How have they fared in the past? Here is a look at the three other quarterbacks the Rams have taken with the first pick in the draft:
Billy Wade (1952 NFL Draft)
Prior to the 1952 NFL season, Vanderbilt QB Billy Wade was selected first overall in the draft. Wade did not make his debut until the 1954 season due to military commitments. In his first two seasons at quarterback for the Rams, he played mostly as a backup and his stats were underwhelming. His passing efficiency got worse in only seven games in his second season, completing only 43.7 percent of his passes for one touchdown and three interceptions. Wade did emerge as the starter in his third year, but he was eventually traded to the Chicago Bears following the 1960 season. He did lead the Bears to an NFL title in 1963.
Terry Baker (1963 NFL Draft)
Having won the Heisman Trophy and led Oregon State to a Liberty Bowl victory in 1962, Terry Baker appeared to have everything he needed to be the Rams’ next franchise quarterback. Baker did have one major flaw in his repertoire: he did not have an NFL arm. It came back to bite him as a Rams. Baker played in only a total of 18 games in his three-year NFL career and left the NFL for good after the 1965 season.
Sam Bradford (2010 NFL Draft)
The Rams selected former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the first overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft after he dominated Big 12 defenses for years. St. Louis quickly got behind Bradford as the future franchise quarterback, with his No. 8 jersey popping up throughout the city. Unfortunately, Bradford’s Rams career never quite came to fruition, because of the major injuries he suffered throughout his tenure. After having acceptable numbers in his rookie campaign with St. Louis, Bradford took a step back, partly due to a nagging ankle injury. In 2011, Bradford completed 53.5% of his passes throwing for six touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 games for the Rams. Bradford tore his ACL in two consecutive seasons and was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the 2015 season. Bradford is currently playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
Sources: Gary Klein, LA Times, Bob Carroll, The Coffin Corner, Rich Roberts, L.A. Times, Associated Press, pro-footbll-reference.com, NFL.com