View Full Version : Bradford says he's not thinking about NFL despite being #1 prospect

10-23-2008, 08:33 AM
OU football: Bradford says he's not thinking about the NFL
Weak QB class means shot at big money
October 23, 2008

NORMAN ó Freshman quarterback Landry Jones might be in the Oklahoma starting lineup sooner than first thought.

In ESPNís latest NFL Draft rankings, Sooner quarterback Sam Bradford is rated as the best overall prospect eligible for the upcoming draft.

Wrote ESPN draft guru Todd McShay: "Rare accuracy and instincts should make him a high NFL Draft pick whenever he chooses to make the leap.Ē

Thatís a question Bradford will have to answer ó whether to make the leap.

"I donít think that makes sense considering Iím going to be in school next year. Thatís a long way down the road,Ē said Bradford, who was initially surprised when told of ESPNís ranking.

"Obviously, you think about it when the time comes. But I havenít put any thought in that right now. When the time comes where I do need to sit and think about it, I will. But right now, itís the last thing on my mind.Ē

Up to a dozen NFL teams could be in the market for a quarterback come April, when the draft is held. And this draft class appears to be weak at quarterback, with Georgia junior Matthew Stafford being the only other quarterback to crack ESPNís Top 32 prospects.

Thatís why staying in college another year or two could mean putting off big money.

The second pick of the 2008 draft, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, signed a six-year, $72-million contract, with $34.75 million in guaranteed money.

LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the top pick of the 2007 draft, signed a six-year deal worth $68 million, including $31.5 million guaranteed

"Weíll talk about it after the season,Ē said OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel. "If thatís where heís projected, then thatís something weíll have to talk about.Ē

Coming into this season, few thought an early leap to the NFL was possible for Bradford, even though as a third-year sophomore he would be eligible to declare for the draft.

But during the off-season, Bradford, who already had pro size at 6 feet, 4 inches, increased his arm strength and put on about 15 pounds of muscle, which obviously has caught scoutsí attention.

"He can make all the throws,Ē said Heupel, who despite leading OU to a national title wasnít drafted until the sixth round largely because of arm strength. "He has plenty of time to continue to mature. His arm is a lot stronger than it was a year ago. Heís only going to continue to get stronger as his body matures.Ē

In just his second year on the field, Bradford is rewriting the OU record books. Last Saturday, despite losing leading receiver Manny Johnson to a dislocated elbow in the first quarter, Bradford set a single-game school record with 468 yards passing in a 45-31 victory over Kansas.

Bradford, who already has 2,520 passing yards and 26 touchdown passes, is on pace to shatter Jason Whiteís single-season school record of 40 passing touchdowns and Josh Heupelís single-season record of 3,850 passing yards.

At the moment, Bradford is second in the Heisman Trophy race behind Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

"All the talk going into the 2008 campaign was about Georgiaís Matthew Stafford, USCís Mark Sanchez, and Floridaís Tim Tebow,Ē wrote ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. "But Iím here to tell you that after all is said and done, Bradford might ultimately carry the highest grade of that group moving forward into the NFL.Ē