Tag:Oklahoma Sooners
Posted on: January 5, 2012 5:27 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:33 pm

Sooners QB Jones returning for senior season

Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones is returning for his senior season, with the announcement expected after a somewhat disappointing junior season.

"I want to accomplish the goals that I set before I got here, and there is still a lot more to do," Jones said.  "I want to make sure I've exhausted every effort in that area.  And I want to be a senior.  I enjoy being at OU and with my teammates and look forward to graduating with the guys that were in my class when I got here."

Jones was the No. 3-rated quarterback prospect eligible for the 2012 draft, according to ratings by NFLDraftScout.com. However, he was considered a fringe first-round prospect, and few playoff teams drafting in the lower half of the first half are in need of a franchise quarterback.

Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III are the two highest-rated quarterbacks, and could potentially be the first two overall picks in April. With Landry and Southern California's Matt Barkley returning to school, Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill appears to be the only other quarterback with the potential to land in the first round.

Landry entered his junior season with high expectations after passing for 4,718 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2010. But he failed to build on that campaign, with his 4,463 yards, 29 touchdown passes and 63.2 completion percentage all down from the previous season, while his 15 interceptions were his most in three seasons with the Sooners.

Landry failed to throw a touchdown pass in the Sooners' losses at Baylor and Oklahoma State while being intercepted a combined three times in those games.

"We know the positive influence Landry has on and off the field with our team," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.  "We're excited that he's coming back to build on what has already been an outstanding career.  We expect another great year from him, and like the fact that he's determined to be even better."

With a rebound senior season, Jones has the strong measurables NFL scouts covet and could vault himself back into contention to be a Top 10 pick. He is 30-8 as a starter, including 3-0 in bowl games, and is already the school's career leader with 93 touchdown passes. He owns 21 school records in all.

Jones possesses a strong arm that has the potential to become truly elite, and has excellent size for an NFL quarterback prospect at 6-feet-4 and 230 pounds. What he can really improve on is his accuracy under pressure and proving his ability to make sound pre-snap reads despite getting his playcalls from the sideline.

"We hope to have another opportunity to make a title run," Jones said.  "Most of the offensive line returns and we have several receivers and backs return too.  We've also got a lot of guys back on defense, so we're confident that we can be a strong team."


Posted on: December 20, 2011 12:27 pm

Bob Stoops: suspended Lewis should go pro

Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops made a rather surprising admission Monday.

He thinks his star junior defensive end/outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis should leave school early and head to the NFL.

Stoops, speaking to the media for the first time since the Sooners lost to Oklahoma State on December 3, said that Lewis had been academically disqualified from playing in the Sooners' upcoming Insight Bowl against Iowa and that he fully expected Lewis to go pro.

According to The Oklahomans' Travis Haney (who provides a video of the press conference with his story) Stoops said:

“We've talked, and I feel it's in his best interest to go on to the NFL. It hasn't been formalized yet, but we expect that to happen. And I'm all for it. He needs to do that. We're hopeful that will all go the right way.”

The 6-2, 244 pound Lewis recorded 59 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2011 mainly as a defensive end. He was also dropped back into coverage as a linebacker, on occasion and was a consistent standout on special teams, as well. Lewis, in fact, first caught the eye of many scouts when he tied for the team lead in special teams tackles (11) as a true freshman in 2009.

Despite his obvious athletic talents, all has not gone the "right way" for Lewis throughout his Oklahoma career. Signed as a highly touted prep prospect despite playing eight-man football in high school, Lewis has consistently flashed but wasn't able to emerge as even a full-time starter for the Sooners until this past season. In fact, Lewis had started just five games total before his breakout junior campaign. 

Lewis is currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 6 outside linebacker prospect potentially available in 2012 and a second round value.
While certainly raw, with a relatively weak class of traditional outside linebacker prospects from the class of 2012, Lewis could move quickly up the draft board -- especially if he works out as well as expected. Some believe Lewis could run in the mid 4.5s to low 4.6s for the clock. Should he do so, a move into the first round is certainly possible.
Posted on: November 5, 2011 8:15 pm

Broyles suffers season-ending ACL tear

Oklahoma senior receiver Ryan Broyles suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the third quarter of the Sooners' 41-25 victory over Texas A&M, Saturday.

Broyles was helped to the locker room after being initially attended to on the sideline by the school medical staff. Doctors performed ligament tests. Shortly thereafter Broyles was caught by television cameras crying.

On the play Broyles was injured, he jumped high in an attempt to catch a pass from Sooner quarterback Landry Jones and came down very hard and awkwardly on his left leg

The 5-10, 188 pound Broyles is the NCAA's career leading receiver with 347 grabs for 4,586 yards and 45 touchdowns. A Biletnikof finalist last season, he turned down a chance to be a potentially high pick in last April's draft to help Oklahoma win a BCS Championship.

Broyles had already caught 266 passes for 3,429 yards and 35 touchdowns heading into this season. With his extensive playing time, scouts knew his game, so the All-American wasn't likely to improve his draft stock much. Broyles has good overall athleticism and is reliable route-runner and generally sure-handed receiver. His ceiling was limited as he lacks elite size and speed.

Broyles is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 6 rated receiver and 50th prospect, overall.

Including the first three quarters against Texas A&M (two catches for 87 yards), Broyles had caught 81 passes for 1,157 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He redshirted in 2007 and, considering his 44 career starts, isn't likely to be given a rare sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA for an injury sustained this late in the season.

On the play Broyles was injured, he jumped high in an attempt to catch a pass from Sooner quarterback Landry Jones and came down very hard and awkwardly on his left leg

The injury, unfortunately, could prove disastrous for his draft stock. The normal timetable for surgery to repair an ACL tear is at least six months. The 2012 NFL Draft is just few weeks more away than that.

Even worse for Broyles, assuming a few of the top-rated underclassmen leave school early, wide receiver will be among the strongest position groups for the 2012 draft. As such, an injured star -- even one with Broyles' jaw-dropping production -- could slip into the third day of the draft... or worse.
Posted on: September 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 5:39 pm

Five prospects I'll be scouting closely Saturday

Each Friday I list my "Five prospects" that I'll be focusing on for the upcoming weekend. In reality, I'm focusing on dozens of prospects each week, but the players listed below are playing in high profile games and against the caliber of competition that I believe provides us with an opportunity to truly assess how a collegiate player might fare when asked to make the huge jump to the NFL.

Typically I focus on senior prospects in this space. However, with it becoming more and more obvious as to which underclassmen are considering the jump to the pros, I'll be incorporating a few more juniors and redshirt sophomores in the coming weeks.

Because I'm scouting them in real time these players make an early impression, often leading to consideration as my Prospect of the Week or Diamond in the Rough. I also try to tweet comments on prospects throughout Saturday's action. You can follow me on Twitter @RobRang.

Sometimes it also leads to the player being featured in Draft Slant , NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com's weekly NFL Draft preview. In each PDF issue of Draft Slant Senior Analyst Chad Reuter breaks down six more players in Filmroom Notes, updates our Top 64 prospects overall and offers extensive previews of the next week's action. Here is the link to this week's issue of Draft Slant. Or for the entire season click this link . Looking for a specific week? Download past issues from the past three years here.

Without any further adieu, here are the five prospects, as well as the cable provider and time you can expect to see them.

RB Tauren Poole, Tennessee: There are some huge games this weekend, but few have the longstanding rivalry that Tennessee-Florida boasts. Poole is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 rated running back, but he boasts a combination of size, speed, elusiveness and power that could translate into a starter at the next level. When you take into account all of the talented underclassmen, Poole is our 16th rated RB and that seems waaay too low based on the tape I've seen. With a strong game against an athletic Gator defense playing in front of their home crowd, he could get my vote to move up significantly in our rankings. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST and will be televised by CBS.

DT Alameda Ta'amu, Washington: For all of the attention that Jake Locker and running back Chris Polk gained for their roles in Washington's surprising Holiday Bowl victory over Nebraska in January, the emergence of this 6-3, 337 run-stuffer was a critical piece tot he puzzle. Ta'Amu and the Huskies will be facing a more motivated Huskers offense this time around, so it will be fascinating to see how these two teams perform in the rubber match. A strong performance in this game could lead to the underdog Huskies giving Nebraska a tough game and also push Ta'Amu into legitimate first round consideration. He could follow Phil Taylor and BJ Raji as recent run-stuffers whose strong senior seasons catapulted them into the top 32. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST and will be televised by ABC/ESPN.

DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State: One could argue that for Michigan State to beat Notre Dame, the pressure is most on senior quarterback Kirk Cousins.However, considering the way the Irish defense has played, Cousins could have a field day. The greater pressure (and thus, why I, scouts will be paying close attention) will be on the Spartans' defense to bottle up the Irish offense. Worthy shows flashes of the penetrating quickness and power that can result in a first round pick, but needs to be more consistent. This game could go a long way in determing whether Worthy (a junior) should consider making the early leap to the NFL. This game begins at 3:30 pm EST and will be televised by NBC.

OLB Sean Spence, Miami: It wasn't that long ago when Miami-Ohio State would have ranked as the top game of the weekend. Now, for many it has become an after-thought. Not to me, however, and certainly not to scouts. Spence is one of the better chase linebackers in the country, but is undersized. He struggled handling Terrelle Pryor last year in this contest. While Pryor is obviously now an Oakland Raider, it will be interesting to see if Spence remembers his atypical performance a year ago and improves his open field tackling this time around. I expect that he will. This game begins at 7:30 pm EST and will be televised by ESPN.

QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma: In case you haven't seen my Top 32 "Bigger Board," let me just say right now that I'm lower on Jones than most. While he undeniably has an NFL combination of size and arm strength, I question whether he has the accuracy and poise to be an elite pro quarterback. The fact that he's coming out of a spread offense that significantly inflates his production and typically protects him from pressure doesn't help his cause at all. However, to beat a fast, aggressive Seminoles' defense in Tallahassee, Jones will have to show improved accuracy and calm in the pocket -- which could lead me to re-evaluate him quickly. There is legitimate NFL talent on both sides of the ball for both of these programs. No one has more riding on their performance, however, than Jones, a junior passer who some compare to Sam Bradford and view as a potential top five pick in the 2012 draft. This game begins at 8:00 pm EST and will be televised by ABC.

Posted on: October 28, 2010 10:24 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2010 11:57 pm

Biggest game of weekend (for draft) in Seattle

With all six of the FBS undefeated teams on the road and two games pitting Top 20 teams against each other, there is certainly plenty of intrigue in college football for the upcoming Halloween weekend.

In terms of the NFL draft, however, the place to be is Seattle, Washington where the two top quarterback prospects in the country will face off.

According to sources within the league, the expectation is that there will be "at least" 15 NFL scouts attending this game. That total would almost surely double the number of scouts that have attended any college football game in Seattle in quite some time.

Stanford redshirt sophomore Andrew Luck has emerged this season as the clear top passer in the country. Some will argue that Washington's Jake Locker has fallen out of the first round. ESPN's John Clayton has reported that he's spoken to scouts who have dropped him into the second or third round.

That might be true -- but I believe that for however low Locker has dropped early this year, he'll earn back a great deal of that lost stock if he is invited (and accepts) a Senior Bowl invitation, as expected. In that environment, Locker's rare physical tools will stand out.

This isn't a life-long Seattle area resident talking... It is from the experience of covering Senior Bowl practices since 2000.

Having scouted this long, I've learned that many NFL talent evaluators believe (as I do) that one can gauge the talents of most prospects based on film - but not necessarily quarterbacks.

Most scouts believe that to truly gauge a quarterback, one has to see them throw in person. They have to see how the ball comes out of the passer's hand; get a feel for just how much zip is on his fastball; if the quarterback recognizes when to throw with touch; how he interracts with his teammates when the cameras aren't on him.

It is why I saved my final analysis of Sam Bradford (Pro Day) , Tim Tebow (Senior Bowl) , Mark Sanchez (Pro Day) and many others over the years until after I'd seen them in person.

It is also why I won't be scouting the myriad of games I normally do this Saturday, but instead will be evaluating Stanford-UW in person this weekend.

Because to truly judge a quarterback, there is nothing like being there in person.

Posted on: August 18, 2010 3:36 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 3:47 pm

Pats give OG Simmons a chance, despite clubfoot

With Pro Bowler Logan Mankins holding out and the Nick Kaczur's back a potential season-long issue, the Patriots were in the market for an offensive guard.

The man they picked up, former Oklahoma standout Brian Simmons, is as surprising a choice as there could be.

You see Simmons, a 6-4, 315 pound former defensive tackle who played in 42 games for the Sooners at left and right guard, has a clubfoot. He wasn't invited to the Combine and despite plenty of hype surrounding him, wasn't drafted. As his mother explained in an sad email used by David Ubben on ESPN's Big 12 blog , her son's clubfoot had landed him on the NFL reject list.

A clubfoot, according to WebMD , is a deformity that occurs in the tendons of the foot prior to birth. The tendons force the foot to turn downward and inward towards the other foot. It may result in the foot, especially after the heel, being smaller than the other foot. To correct the issue, the foot is often broken and placed in a cast to re-shape it.

According to Brandon George's article in the Dallas Morning News, Simmons wears a size 17.5 shoe on his left foot and a size 16 on his right.

George's article, written in August of 2007, notes that Simmons has had his right foot broken and re-set a staggering 16 times during surgeries.

With thousands of prospects to grade, NFL teams rely on sharing medical information. It is one of the primary reasons for the development of the Scouting Combine as we now know it. By being placed on the reject list, Simmons had virtually no shot at getting as much as a workout from an NFL team despite the fact that other professional athletes, including Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, have beaten clubfoot to enjoy productive careers.

Simmons was an often-used backup for much of his career, but a knee injury robbed him of five games during his senior campaign -- the only year in which he started at Oklahoma. Playing next to Trent Williams for much of the time, Simmons' athleticism and balance stands out on film. He proved at his Pro Day (the official Oklahoma Pro Day March 9, not Sam Bradford's throwing session March 29) that he was a legitimate draftable athlete at guard -- especially considering the relatively weak crop of talent that was available this year. Simmons measured in at 6-4 1/4, 315 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash between 5.19-5.26. He was timed at 4.75 in the short shuttle, 7.61 in the 3-cone and posted a 28" vertical jump and a 8-10" broad jump. I was disappointed, if not surprised, when Simmons wasn't drafted or immediately signed as a high priority free agent.

Fortunately for Simmons (and potentially the Patriots), New England elected to roll the dice Sunday and gave the former Sooner a shot.

I, for one, will be rooting for him.

Posted on: April 22, 2010 7:39 pm

Some talk Rams could trade Bradford post-pick

I've been told that the St. Louis Rams have been on the phone discussing trades for much of the day.

I'm being told that despite taking Sam Bradford, as expected, with the first overall pick, the Rams will continue to hold negotiations with teams following the pick.

This was last done in 2004 when the San Diego Chargers made Eli Manning the first overall pick but traded him moments later to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers.

The Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins, according to sources, remain interested.

Watch closely to see who these clubs take with the fourth and seventh overall selections, respectively. Should they do something odd, a trade for Bradford might still be in the works.
Posted on: March 9, 2010 5:44 pm

Top prospects do little at OU Pro Day

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Oklahoma Pro Day -- enough that representatives from nearly every team showed up (including a handful of head coaches and front office executives. In fact, 31 of the NFL's 32 teams were present. Only the Raiders weren't represented.

As it turned out, however, most of them could have stayed home as the top prospects didn't do much of anything to alter their grades.

According to scouts I spoke to who attended the workout:

Quarterback Sam Bradford , as I reported yesterday, did not attend the Pro Day.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (6-4, 298) and tight end Jermaine Gresham (6-5, 259) were measured, but did not participate in any drills. Both measured in a few pounds different today than they had at the Combine (McCoy was 295, Gresham was 261, respectively). Offensive tackle Trent Williams also elected to stand on most of his Combine results, but did participate in the short shuttle (4.4) and 3-cone drill (7.4).

Gresham may have helped his cause with a "solid showing" in receiving and blocking drills.

Another potential first round pick -- cornerback Dominique Franks , a 5-11, 191 pound junior -- bettered his Combine time in the 40-yard from 4.52 seconds to times varying from 4.44-4.50, according to scouts in attendance.

The two players who may have helped themselves the most were players not invited to the Combine and thereby forced to take advantage of the high number of scouts attending.

Offensive guard Brian Simmons was not invited to the Combine, but perhaps should have been -- especially considering the relatively weak crop of talent at the position this year. Simmons measured in at 6-4 1/4, 315 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash between 5.19-5.26. He was timed at 4.75 in the short shuttle, 7.61 in the 3-cone and posted a 28" vertical jump and a 8-10" broad jump.

Nose guard DeMarcus Granger (6-1, 320) may have helped his cause by showing off his strength. He posted a Pro Day-high 32 reps of 225 pounds. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com