Sam Bradford Taken #1 Overall in NFL Draft; Cowboys 1st Rd. Pick
POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 8:39pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 10:37pm
The Big 12, led by Oklahoma, kicked off a big party for itself at Radio City Music Hall in the first prime-time NFL draft Thursday night. Tim Tebow had a grand time, too, breaking into the first round at No. 25 to Denver. The selection of the Florida quarterback, the mystery man of this draft, drew the loudest reaction - a mix of cheers and boos - from the audience. The Rockettes would have loved it, from the early dominance of the Big 12 to the show biz drama surrounding the Broncos' choice of Tebow. Starting with quarterback Sam Bradford going to the St. Louis Rams, five of the top six picks were from the Big 12 - three of them Sooners. The Oklahoma junior became the eighth quarterback since 2001 taken atop the draft. He 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. "That's pretty cool because I know the Big 12 has been getting a lot of slack lately," Bradford said. "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." 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." Bradford, the 2008 winner of the Heisman Trophy, 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 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.
An hour before the draft, Bradford, looking dapper in a gray suit, admitted he was nervous. "The butterflies are flying around right now," he said.