Football: Projected first-round Sooners
Zach Butler, The Oklahoma Daily
Tonight’s NFL Draft is guaranteed to be a good one for the Sooners. Four former OU players are expected to be drafted in the first round, which will be aired at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN from Radio Music Hall in New York City.
Here’s a look at those four players and what makes them appealing to NFL teams.
Sam Bradford, Quarterback
Weight: 236 lbs
Stats: 8,403 yards, 88 touchdowns, 16 interceptions
Bradford is leaving the Sooners as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the program’s history, and he should make a good professional football player. He has a strong arm even after the two shoulder injuries, and he can throw the ball where only the receiver can catch it. Bradford can make any throw at any part of the field out of the shotgun, under snap, in the pocket or on the run. The only question is that right shoulder and whether it can survive another big hit and the hits he got hurt by against college players don’t compare to how hard NFL defensive linemen and linebackers can drive quarterbacks to the ground. But his shoulder should be able to take a big hit after having it surgically repaired by Dr. James Andrews, Bradford said.
Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle
Weight: 297 lbs
Stats: 77 tackles, 14 sacks, 1 interception
McCoy was the leader of OU’s defense that didn’t receive as much credit as it should have during the 2009 season. He filled the gaps up front in the running game and found ways to sack the quarterback even though he faced double teams on almost every play. Even though he received some criticism after having a poor showing during the bench press at the NFL Combine, McCoy’s strength is only topped by his agility and quickness. Even though he played defensive tackle at OU, he has the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line and has the potential to play outside linebacker in a three-four defensive system.
Jermaine Gresham, Tight End
Weight: 258 lbs.
Stats: 111 receptions, 1,629 yards, 26 touchdowns
Even though Gresham didn’t play a snap in 2009, he’s entering tonight’s draft as the top tight end in the nation, and there’s good reason for it. He can do it all. He can catch, block, run crisp routes and be a weapon for any quarterback he’s paired with. The only problem he’s facing is historically tight ends aren’t taken too highly in the draft, but many mock drafts have him being taken in the No. 18 to No. 22 range, which is a good spot for him.
Trent Williams, Offensive Tackle
Weight: 315 lbs
Williams was the victim of being a good offensive lineman on the Sooners’ poor, injured line in 2009. He had to move around and play just about every position on the line, but didn’t get the chance to play center because he was sidelined during the last two games of the season. But his two best positions are left and right tackle. He played on the right side for most of his career and performed well, and was moved to the left side for his senior season. Williams did prove left tackle was not his strongest position to play, but when he goes to the NFL a lot of teams will look at him to play back on the right side.