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Friday, April 23, 2010

Big 12 bonanza: Five of top six picks from conference

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, left, was selected No. 1 overall by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday in New York. Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, center, was taken second by the Detroit Lions. Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was selected third by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, left, was selected No. 1 overall by the St. Louis Rams in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday in New York. Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, center, was taken second by the Detroit Lions. Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was selected third by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Sorrentino's Lightning Round: NFL Draft edition

Thursday’s 2010 NFL Draft put into perspective just how good the Oklahoma University football team could have been last season had it not been for injuries.

Three of the first four picks (Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams) suited up for the Sooners in 2009. Add Jermaine Gresham to that group, and OU totaled four first-round picks.

Bradford and Gresham were injured for the majority of the 2009 season, and OU sputtered to a surprising 8-5 record, fourth in the Big 12 South. The Sooners had represented the South in the Big 12 championship game six of the previous seven years.

As a conference, the Big 12 had nine first-round selections in 2010, breaking the previous record of seven first-rounders in 2009.

I’m excited to see if Bradford can bring the Rams back from the depths of 1-15. I’m stoked to see if Ndamukong Suh — the best player in college football last year — can wreak havoc with fellow Nebraska Cornhusker/free agent signing Kyle Vanden Bosch on the Detroit defensive front.

But what might be most exciting? Seeing Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, who dropped to No. 24 overall, catch the deep ball from Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

Eric Sorrentino, KUSports.com Big 12 blogger

— The Rockettes would have loved this show.

From an early Oklahoma party to the Big 12’s dominance to Tim Tebow stealing the spotlight from overall top pick Sam Bradford, the NFL’s first prime-time draft was worthy of its Radio City Music Hall location.

Starting with quarterback Bradford going to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night, five of the top six picks were from the Big 12 — three of them Sooners. In all, nine first-rounders came from the conference.

“That’s pretty cool because I know the Big 12 has been getting a lot of slack lately,” said Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner. “People for some reason didn’t think that we played much football in the Big 12 and sure didn’t think we played much defense, so for two defensive tackles to go in the first three picks is a credit to the Big 12.”

Give Denver credit for gambling on Tebow, the mystery man of this draft.

When the Broncos took the Florida quarterback at No. 25, it drew the loudest reaction — a mix of cheers and boos — from the audience.

Tebow was the third Florida player chosen — and by far the most controversial selection Thursday night. A winner for four years with the Gators, including two national championships and the 2007 Heisman, his unorthodox style and strange throwing motion made for widely divided opinions on him.

Not, apparently, for Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who hopes he found the long-term replacement for Jay Cutler. In his rookie season as a head coach, McDaniels feuded with Cutler a year ago and traded him to Chicago.

“I enjoyed the working process and all the critics and the negativity,” Tebow said. “It only pushed me that much more and only made me work that much harder. I can honestly say that I think that made me better.”

Bradford could be a slight gamble, as well. The Oklahoma junior who became the eighth quarterback since 2001 taken atop the draft, appeared in only three games in 2009, his junior year, before undergoing right shoulder surgery. His recovery has been so complete that the Rams didn’t hesitate to make him the future face of the franchise.

Bradford joins a Rams team that was 1-15 last season and scored a league-low 175 points. The Rams cut incumbent Marc Bulger in the offseason.

Bradford was immediately followed Thursday night by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska, the AP Player of the Year; DT Gerald McCoy and OT Trent Williams, Bradford’s teammates with the Sooners.

And what about the Sooners’ run at the top of the festivities?

“It’s insane isn’t it?” McCoy said with a huge smile. “We can’t play football in the Big 12, but the first four picks went out the Big 12? Mmmmm — three of ’em from Oklahoma, by the way.”

The SEC was almost as popular as the Big 12 with seven players chosen, three from Florida.

Comments

Kevin Studer 10 years, 11 months ago

Tebow, a huge gamble, goes before Jimmy Clausen, a pretty safe bet at QB? Uh....ok....

bcc 10 years, 11 months ago

Finally an article about last night’s draft that doesn't have a big picture of Mr. Football himself Tim Tebow plastered on the top of it. Then you read the article and half of it is about Tebow. When will the media give it up on him, it is worse than the love affair was with Tyler H, at least they finally quit talking about him.

I love Gerald McCoy's statements at the end.

John Boyle 10 years, 11 months ago

bcc, Quit whining about Tebow. All the guy did was win. How many quarterbacks can say they won as much as him? And because guys like you hate him, it makes it more of a story that he was picked in the first round. Your comments are helping fuel the fire you say you hate.

cusack118, Jimmy Clausen=boring I don't understand the hype on him. Didn't win that many games and at times looked pretty average in college. Why does that make him a great pro prospect?

duanep5ku 10 years, 11 months ago

I do not hate Tim Tebow, he's probably a good young man and I do think he deserves a shot at the NFL but would anyone on here really take that kind of gamble with him. When Colt McCoy was still available. I am just curious to know how many fans on here would have taken Tebow over Colt?

KirkwoodHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Funny how the only team in the top 6 that doesn't draft a B12 player is a team that is located in the heart of B12 country. (Yes I know geographically, the heart is much more south than when in Big8, but I still believe the "heart" of the conference lies in Kansas City).

KGphoto 10 years, 11 months ago

The best part of the draft was watching helmet head squirm as Clausen tumbled out of the first round. Now I just hope the Chiefs don't end up with him.

Eat it, Mel Kiper!!

justinryman 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm wondering if G. Mcoy and S. Bradford, practiced their speeches as they both had comments similar about the Big 12 and ot being able to play and so on. Especially when two of the top 3 are D linemen and the East Coast Bias kept saying there was no D in the Big 12, and thats why all the QB's put up big numbers.

JayhawkJohn, Colt Mcoy won more games as a starting QB than Tebow did, he actually hold the record for most wins by a starting QB for the NCAA.

Like how the Big 12 had 9 guys go in the first round and there are a lot more to be drafted tonight and through the weekend.

Eric Schneider 10 years, 11 months ago

Clausen played behind a horrible offensive line last year. With two torn ligaments in his foot. And still was the most polished QB I saw. And I saw every one of his games. His attitude scares me a little bit. But he is going to be a successful player in the NFL for a long time. Tebow can't read defenses. His delivery is too long and slow for the speed of defenses in the NFL. His footwork is atrocious. He has the work ethic, character, and leadership to be a HOFer. But I'll be very surprised if he ever see's the field as a starting QB. And I'm a huge fan of the guy.

Love the Chiefs first pick. Eric Berry is a stud. Great leader. Freakish athlete. Home run for KC

bcc 10 years, 11 months ago

JayhawkJohn, I do not hate Tim Tebow. I’ve never met the guy and the way people talk about him that have met him all seem to agree that he is a nice guy. I was simply committing on how he is shoved down our throats as the greatest player ever to live. I can tell you that I don’t think that Tebow deserved all of the awards that he received and don’t think that Florida was deserving of the chance to play in back to back championships during Tebow’s rein as quarterback. Look at one of the new rules the NCAA has for football, players can no longer have the strips under there eyes with lettering on them. Real quick name five guys other than Tebow that had this, name just two. They were talking about this rule change for the past couple of years but now, Tebow has moved on, it has put into place. Why was Tebow invited to the Heisman Ceremony this past year, he was not even remotely close to the person before him, in votes.

If you take the names out of the equation, why would a vast majority of articles covering the first round of the draft picture the player who was chosen 25th?

DevilHawk 10 years, 11 months ago

I still don't understand why Tebow was picked so high.

However, it could very well be because of the media attention - as a way to sell some tickets for next season.

Michael Leiker 10 years, 11 months ago

Seems if the title of the article is 5 of top 6 players taken were from the big xii you should probably name the 5 players.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 11 months ago

We need one of those web sites that you can sign to get Mel Kiper removed.

That guy is terrible, and is an a$$hole to everybody around him. Actually, now that I think about it, is it just me or did it seem like the ESPN crew (except Gruden-who I love- and Berman) I felt like that crew genuinely doesn't get along.

I think Kiper has pictures of somebody at Disney sleeping with a mule or something, explain to me how that guy has a job.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 11 months ago

We need one of those web sites that you can sign to get Mel Kiper removed.

That guy is terrible, and is an a$$hole to everybody around him. Actually, now that I think about it, is it just me or did it seem like the ESPN crew (except Gruden -who I love- and Berman) genuinely doesn't get along.

I think Kiper has pictures of somebody at Disney sleeping with a mule or something, explain to me how that guy has a job.

jhawklifer 10 years, 11 months ago

You're on to something. Steve Young was just pissed the whole time, interrupting and being argumentative when it wasn't necessary. Either he's in a bad place psychologically for some reason, which I would find difficult to believe in light of how set/grounded that particular guy is or, as you suggested, he doesn't get along with his co-workers.

Even though ESPN often goes for big names over chemistry in the announcing department (see: Joe Theismann) you'd think it would occur to someone that putting a malcontent amidst those egos for three days on national TV might not be the best plan...

Spencer Goff 10 years, 11 months ago

Yeah I just wonder who the root of the problem is. He was pissed off before Mel Kiper was there, and Kiper is just a badger, one of those guys that could have the Pope ready to punch him in the face.

It's safe to say it isn't Gruden. It's safe to say it isn't Berman.

And yeah, I thought Young was going to punch Kiper in the face when he interrupted him. Which I personally would have loved.

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