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Four Sooners were selected in the 2008 NFL Draft over the weekend: Curtis Lofton (2nd Round, Atlanta), Malcolm Kelly (2nd Round, Washington), Reggie Smith (3rd Round, San Francisco) and Allen Patrick (7th Round, Baltimore).
Although 2008 marked the first year since 2001 without a Sooner in the first round, several other streaks continued for Oklahoma. It was the 11th consecutive draft with an OU player selected in the first three rounds and 46th consecutive year a Sooner has been drafted overall (1963-2008).
A total of 36 Sooners from virtually every position have now been drafted during head coach Bob Stoops' tenure in Norman: eight defensive backs, seven linebackers, five receivers, five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, three running backs and one fullback, tight end and quarterback.
Six undrafted Sooners also signed free agent contracts with NFL teams: LB Lewis Baker with the 49ers, DE Alonzo Dotson with the Redskins, TE Joe Jon Finley with the 49ers, K Garrett Hartley with the Broncos, DB Marcus Walker with the Vikings and DB D.J. Wolfe with the Falcons.
The Baltimore Ravens selected OU running back Allen Patrick as the 33rd pick in the seventh round (240th overall pick) of the 2008 NFL Draft. Patrick is the fourth Sooner drafted in 2008.
Quote from OU head coach Bob Stoops: "I have a lot of respect for Allen Patrick because of the adversity he fought through and a lot of appreciation for what he meant to our program. His toughness and attitude set a tremendous example for others on our team to follow. As both a running back and a special teams player he made contributions, but it was the way that he approached the game that always impressed me the most. I think he's got a great chance to make the team and we will be rooting for him to do just that."
Baltimore has drafted an Oklahoma player in three of the last four years. Other Sooners drafted by the Ravens include C Chris Chester (2nd rd., 2006), WR Mark Clayton (1sty rd., 2005), DE Dan Cody (2nd rd., 2005), TE Trent Smith (7th rd., 2003), OL Sammy Williams (6th rd., 1998).
Patrick is the fifth running back drafted out of Oklahoma since Bob Stoops became the head coach. Others included Adrian Peterson (Minnesota, 2007), J.D. Runnels (Chicago, 2006), Quentin Griffin (Denver, 2003) and De'Mond Parker (Green Bay, 1999).
Of the four Oklahoma players taken in the 2008 draft, Patrick was the one senior.
Earlier on Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers selected OU cornerback Reggie Smith as the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall).
From the San Francisco 49ers official site: Unlike the 49ers first two picks who had large gatherings to celebrate their selections on Saturday, Smith received the news while still in bed.
"I was in bed still," admitted Smith. "I just rolled out. I was just waiting. I didn't know when I would get drafted. I had heard anything from second to third." Read Complete Story
The Washington Redskins selected wide receiver Malcolm Kelly as the 20th pick in the second round (51st overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Quote from OU head coach Bob Stoops: "Malcolm made a lot of big plays for us and had a number of difficult catches. He's a big receiver with great hands and I believe he will adapt well to the NFL. He's another in the line of receivers that have been drafted from our program recently and we're very proud of that fact. And we're proud of Malcolm. He knows that we send along our best wishes for his continued success."
Kelly is the first Sooner drafted by Washington since 1998 when tight end Stephen Alexander was the 2nd round choice. Other OU players taken by Washington include DT Bob Slater (2nd rd., 1984), B Merrill Green (10rd., 1954), T Roger Nelson (14th rd., 1954), B Leon Heath (1st rd., 1951), B George Thomas (1st rd., 1950), C Ray Pearcy (18th rd., 1948), B Marvin Whited (15th rd., 1942), B Bob Seymour (10th rd., 1940) and C Ed Parks (9th rd., 1938).
Kelly is the fifth Oklahoma receiver to be drafted since Bob Stoops became the Sooners' coach. The others were Travis Wilson, Mark Clayton, Brandon Jones and Mark Bradley. The most recent of those was Wilson, who went to Cleveland in the third round of the 2006 draft.
Like Curtis Lofton earlier in the day, Kelly had one year of college eligibility remaining. Kelly is the 34th OU player taken in the draft since Stoops became the head coach. He is the 16th to go in the first or second round.
Earlier in the second round, The Atlanta Falcons selected linebacker Curtis Lofton (sixth pick in the second round, 37th overall).
Quote from OU head coach Bob Stoops: "Curtis was a catalyst for our defense and a part of the first back-to-back championships in Big 12 history. He has outstanding instincts and an explosiveness that allows him to close quickly. We are excited for Curtis and his family and look forward to following his progress on the professional level."
This marks the fifth consecutive year that an Oklahoma linebacker has been drafted. Last year, Rufus Alexander was taken in the sixth round by Minnesota.
As the 37th pick overall, Lofton was drafted in precisely the same position as Teddy Lehman in 2004. Lehman, who won the Butkus Award, went to the Detroit Lions. That was the last time that a Sooner linebacker was drafted as high as the second round.
Lofton is the first Oklahoma player drafted by Atlanta since 1992 when defensive back Terry Ray was selected by the Falcons in the sixth round. Other OU players taken by Atlanta include TE James Gooden (5th rd., 1991), DT Tony Casillas (1st rd., 1986), DT Rick Bryan (1st rd., 1984), DB Scott Case (2nd rd., 1984), DB Mike Babb (11th rd., 1980) and C Ken Mendenhall (5th rd., 1970).
Lofton, who had one season of eligibility remaining, became the 33rd OU player drafted during Bob Stoops' nine seasons at Oklahoma. He is the sixth underclassmen in that group. Three of those early departures were taken in the first round -- DB Roy Williams by Dallas in the 2002, Tommie Harris by Chicago in 2004 and Adrian Peterson by Minnesota in 2007.
A Sooner LB has been picked in the last five Drafts and seven of the last eight: Lofton (2008), Rufus Alexander (2007), Clint Ingram (2006), Lance Mitchell (2005), Teddy Lehman (2004), Rocky Calmus (2002) and Torrance Marshall (2001).
Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World with quotes from Mel Kiper on Reggie Smith and Curtis Lofton plus five questions from John Hoover. John Shinn of the Norman Transcript: "Since 2002, there's been a constant during the first round of the NFL draft. At some point, the league's commissioner was going to call the name of an Oklahoma player."
Jake Trotter of the Oklahoman: "During the Red River Shootout, Malcolm Kelly demonstrated his game speed, sweeping past a Texas cornerback and free safety for an uncontested 35-yard touchdown reception."
Quick news links on OU prospects from around the country. From the Enid News & Eagle: "What was so impressive about Lofton was actually three things: His down to earth attitude, his faith and his genuineness," and "Lofton was measured at 6 feet and 243 pounds. Some feel the former might hold him back a little in the draft. That didn't stop him from being voted the Big 12 Conference's defensive player of the year after leading the Sooners to a repeat league championship"
The San Diego Union-Tribune: "As a three year starter, Reggie Smith has the "body of work" that A.J. Smith looks for, and he built his athletic resume while competing in a very tough conference." The Washington Post: "The team recently hosted Kelly on a visit to Redskins Park, traveled to Oklahoma to attend one of his previous workouts and spent time with him again yesterday."
Quick news links on OU prospects from around the country. The Washington Post with Malcolm Kelly: "Probably being aggressive is one thing I pride myself in being -- as far as either going to get the ball, being aggressive in the run game, blocking and everything, or just catching the ball downfield and making plays downfield. That's what I feel like I bring to the team."
The Houston Chronicle on Curtis Lofton: "Lofton patterns his game after NFL linebackers DeMeco Ryans, Ray Lewis and Shawne Merriman. He has spent the past few months trying to make sure his 6-foot frame doesn't deter teams from drafting him."
The University of Oklahoma has had 330 players picked all-time in the NFL Draft (fourth-highest total of all schools). 37 of those players were taken in the first round including two overall No. 1 picks: Billy Sims in 1980 and Lee Roy Selmon in 1976.
During the Stoops' era, pro teams have selected 32 Sooners in the NFL Draft including first round picks in each of the last six years. Despite its relative youth, the Sooner staff has done remarkably well at preparing players for the next level.
Approximately 37 scouts representing nearly every NFL team visited the University of Oklahoma to watch a selection of former Sooners workout at the Everest Training Center Wednesday morning.
Joe Jon Finley, Malcolm Kelly, Reggie Smith and Marcus Walker were measured and tested in several agility and non-contact football drills under the watchful eyes of the scouts in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft. Kelly and Smith did not participate in OU's first Pro Day.
April 9 Pro Day Recap & Results
More than 20 National Football League franchises sent scouts to Norman Tuesday for the University of Oklahoma's annual Pro Day. Aside from individual workouts, the participants were tested in eight different drills at the Everest Training Center.
Fourteen former Sooner players participated in the event inlcluding Lewis Baker, Michael Cohen, Steven Coleman, Alonzo Dotson, Joe Jon Finley, Garrett Hartley, Curtis Lofton, Allen Patrick, Demarrio Pleasant, Ian Pleasant, Marcus Walker, Darien Williams, D.J. Wolfe and Dane Zaslaw.
March 11 Pro Day Recap & Results
Video Coverage of Pro Day
Pro Day Photo Gallery