NORMAN — Six months ago, Sam Bradford lay ailing on the Cotton Bowl turf. His final season at Oklahoma over. His pro career in the balance. Bradford finally can put all that in the past while solidifying his place as the No. 1 pick in next month’s NFL Draft.
Today, Bradford will showcase his surgically mended throwing shoulder in front of NFL scouts for the first time. And the sentiment among the experts is that if he shows he’s healthy, the St. Louis Rams, in need of a franchise quarterback, will pass on blue-chip defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh and snag Bradford. "Franchise quarterback trumps all," draft analyst Mike Mayock said on the NFL Network. "You can’t win in the NFL without a franchise quarterback. "I think they have to take Bradford if he’s healthy.” Health will be the key. Not long after reinjuring his shoulder during the Texas game, Bradford underwent successful AC joint surgery performed by James Andrews on Oct. 28. Bradford’s medical evaluations at the NFL Scouting Combine revealed his shoulder was progressing according to plan. Now Bradford, who’s been working toward regaining his form over the last three months in Pensacola, Fla., can prove he’s back to 100 percent. "Right now it’s more than a 50-50 chance Bradford winds up going No. 1,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said during a conference call. "Unless something is fundamentally wrong – his throwing motion has changed, if he’s not getting nearly as much zip on the ball, if there’s something that just jumps out at you and is alarming and creates concern.” Watching closely for any red flag will be Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, who is expected to be among the numerous NFL personnel in Norman to watch Bradford today. So far, the Rams, who previously have passed on Mark Sanchez and Matt Ryan in the two most recent drafts, have been blown away by Bradford’s off-the-field intangibles.
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McCoy won’t redo bench; Eldridge, English will work outOU defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was planning to redo the bench press today during Sam Bradford’s pro day. McCoy wasn’t pleased with the 23 reps of 225 pounds he put up during the NFL Scouting Combine. McCoy, however, said last week he will abstain from benching again, and instead will be a spectator during Bradford’s pro day. Two players expected to work out in front of scouts before Bradford throws are tight end Brody Eldridge and defensive end Auston English. Neither player was able to participate during OU’s pro day earlier this month, due to injuries they suffered in the fall. Eldridge is coming back from a neck injury. English, a ruptured tendon in his ankle.