NORMAN — Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, to the delight of Sooner fans, won’t be participating in this weekend’s NFL Draft.
But had he decided to leave early, how would Bradford have stacked up against Georgia’s Matthew Stafford — who is expected to go No. 1 to the Detroit Lions? "Bradford would’ve been right in there,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. told The Oklahoman during a national conference call. "It’s easy to say he would’ve been the No. 1 pick. "But when you go through this process, the scrutinization begins as we’ve seen, and you get picked apart.” For that reason, it’s impossible to predict how scouts would’ve judged Bradford against Stafford or USC’s Mark Sanchez following the NFL’s rigorous scouting process. Stafford boasts the strongest arm in this draft, but throws with questionable accuracy. Sanchez has been lauded for his decision-making, but with only 16 college starts, people wonder about his inexperience. Bradford would’ve been dissected the same way, and scouts probably would’ve come away impressed with his accuracy, quick release and intelligence, but unsold with his physical durability and overall strength. "Bradford would be right in the discussion,” said former Oklahoma State head coach Pat Jones, who was also an assistant with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders in the NFL from 1996-2006. "His anticipating, how he sees things, how quickly he computes things, to me is exceptional.
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→When: Saturday and Sunday →Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York →TV: ESPN (Cox 29) and NFL Network (Cox 252) →Coming tomorrow: Oklahoma State’s Brandon Pettigrew is widely considered the top tight end in the draft. We’ll take a look at his development and how he became the prototypical tight end.
Sooners in the draft
OU players who could be drafted in Saturday and Sunday’s NFL Draft:
Jon CooperCenter, 6-2, 291 →The skinny: Cooper has put on a ton of weight since January, diminishing his primary negative: size. Teams will love his work ethic, technique and leadership, even if he is undersized. →Draft projection: Sixth round →Possible destinations: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, New England
Nic HarrisSafety/linebacker, 6-2, 234 →The skinny: Harris may not have a true position in the NFL, and a slow 4.85 time in the 40 didn’t help. →Draft projection: Fifth round →Possible destinations: Cleveland, Green Bay, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia
Lendy HolmesSafety, 6-0, 206 →The skinny: Holmes’ lack of speed (4.65) appears to have dropped his value dramatically; ESPN’s Todd McShay predicts Holmes will be the last player taken in the entire draft. →Draft projection: Seventh round →Possible destinations: Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Seattle
Juaquin IglesiasWide receiver, 6-1, 204 →The skinny: Iglesias doesn’t possess top-end speed, but his production in college won’t be overlooked. →Draft projection: Third round →Possible destinations: Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, St. Louis
Manny JohnsonWide receiver, 5-11, 189 →The skinny: A hamstring injury has prevented him from working out in front of scouts; that probably leaves him undrafted, though he could be a priority free-agent pickup. →Draft projection: Free agent →Possible destinations: Cleveland, Dallas, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia
Phil LoadholtOffensive tackle, 6-8, 332 →The skinny: His size is attractive, but it’s his potential as a dominant run blocker that will win over teams that lean on the power running game. →Draft projection: Second round →Possible destinations: Baltimore, Chicago, Minnesota, Oakland, Pittsburgh
Duke RobinsonOffensive guard, 6-5, 329 →The skinny: A mauler in the run game, Robinson will also be scooped up by someone interested in augmenting their power run attack. →Draft projection: Third round →Possible destinations: Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Diego
Brandon WalkerOffensive guard, 6-3, 306 →The skinny: Often overlooked by playing alongside Cooper, Loadholt and Robinson, Walker still was a productive player in college and that could catch someone’s attention. →Draft projection: Free agent →Possible destinations: Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, Washington BY JAKE TROTTER