Former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, part of a trade that sent him from St. Louis to Philadelphia in the offseason, is making an impression among his new teammates even though he is not 100 percent recovered from his ACL injury. Bradford has been able to throw with his receivers.
Tight end Zach Ertz on a Philadelphia sport program said Bradford, a former No 1 pick in the NFL draft, has the strongest arm of any quarterback that he’s ever played with. That goes back to college when Ertz played with another No. 1 overall pick in Andrew Luck.
“I don’t think I’ve thrown with a guy that has a stronger arm than Sam Bradford,” Ertz said. “He’s hasn’t really truly been able to get his full legs underneath him, but the ball still comes out effortlessly. It’s a lot of fun to run routes with him.”
Ertz is a close friend of Nick Foles, who was sent to St. Louis in exchange for Bradford. Ertz “was surprised” by the trade, but understands the potential room for improvement.
“At this point of our offseason, we need to truly evaluate each and every position, and we thought that we could get better with the addition of Sam,” Ertz said.
- Former Sooner defensive tackle Jordan Phillips made an impression at the Miami Dolphin rookie camp.
According to the team’s website, “Second round pick Jordan Phillips was hard to miss during rookie minicamp. Listed at 6-6 and 334 pounds, he’s a hulking presence on the field. Standing next to him, it’s easy to understand what the Dolphins brass envisioned when it made him the No. 52 overall pick in the draft. His blend of size and athleticism will be awesome to watch when he’s lined up on the defensive line alongside the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Cam Wake, Olivier Vernon and Earl Mitchell.”
Suh, a former Nebraska star, may be the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He left the Detroit Lions to sign as a free agent with Miami in the offseason. Phillips said he looked forward to playing beside Suh.
- Dionte Savage, a former Sooner, is an undrafted free agent with Miami. During rookie mini camp, the website reported, “Oklahoma O-lineman Dionte Savage looks like a body builder. Massive arms.”
- Former Sooner cornerback Julian Wilson, one of top undrafted rookies for the Baltimore Ravens, broke his leg in rookie minicamp. He was scheduled to undergo surgery.
Wilson had offers from Seattle, Kansas City, Atlanta and Cleveland. The Ravens said Wilson had prototypical size and speed for an NFL defensive back.
- Blake Bell, a former quarterback and tight end for Oklahoma, has signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Bell (6-6, 252) was the first of three fourth-round draft picks (117th overall) out of the University of Oklahoma. Bell played in 43 games (16 starts) for the Sooners where he started his career at quarterback before moving to tight end as a senior. As a tight end, he played in 12 games (eight starts) and registered 16 receptions for 214 yards and four touchdowns.
As a quarterback, Bell was sometimes brought in on short-yardage situations and he was so successful, he was nicknamed the “Belldozer.”
“One position coach told me this kid reminds him of Jason Witten,” Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller said. “Now I’m not saying he’ll be Jason Witten, but his footwork reminded him of Jason Witten. This pick gets an ‘A.’”
- Former OU defensive lineman Geneo Grissom, a third round draft pick, has signed with New England. Grissom was the No. 97 pick.
Grissom, 6-4, 252 pounds, played in 39 games with 11 starts and registered 88 tackles, eight sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries at OU. Last season, he played in 10 games with seven starts and tallied 39 total tackles and 3 1/2 sacks. Grissom was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a senior in 2014.
- The Carolina Panthers traded up 22 spots to get former Sooner Daryl Williams in the fourth round of the NFL draft and they hope he can start for them at right tackle.
Williams, a three-year starter at right tackle at Oklahoma and All-Big 12 honors each season, has signed a contract with Carolina.
- Former Sooner Tyrus Thompson has signed with the Minnesota Vikings. The 6-5, 325-pound offensive lineman was drafted in the sixth round.
According to the Vikings’ website, “He was a left tackle at Oklahoma and we’re projecting him to potentially be a swing tackle or also move inside to guard. He’s another guy that has great length, great size, and he’s a very mature kid as you guys know – he’s married with two children. We could project him inside as a guard as well. When Hank (Fraley) came back from the visit, we went through our meetings, he’s extremely sharp, and felt that he could play multiple positions for us.”
- Former OU fullback Aaron Ripkowski was drafted and signed by the Green Bay Packers. Ripkowski thinks his blocking skills and his willingness to excel on special teams can earn him playing time.
“You have to fill multiple roles and you have to find your niche,” Ripkowski said. “You can’t just play fullback. You have to play special teams and all that.”
He said he can’t wait to spend some time with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers as he learns the offense. Had he not been drafted, Ripkowski said Green Bay would have been his top choice as a free agent.
“It’s a place I had my heart set on,” he said. “This is the perfect fit.”
- Former Oklahoma State Cowboy safety Josh Furman said the fast pace of OSU will help him keep up with his new team, the Denver Broncos.
“I came from Oklahoma State and it’s kind of a fast tempo,” Furman said. “The coaches slowed it down so everybody can learn. It hasn’t seemed much of a different tempo.”
Furman only played one year at OSU after transferring from Michigan. Switching from the Big 10 to the Big 12 took some adjustment because of so much more passing in the Big 12, Furman said.