The University of Oklahoma got its start in 1892 in Norman, Oklahoma, and its football program started soon after (1895). The Sooner football program has led to the most wins nationwide in the modern era (1946 and later), seven national championships, 46 conference titles (tied for first in the country), a 47-game winning streak in the ’50s (an NCAA record), and the most points scored in the country (also a first place spot).
So it’s no surprise the Sooners show up in the NFL fairly often. They’ve contributed over 370 draft picks, including three No. 1 overall picks (Sam Bradford, Billy Sims, and Lee Roy Selmon), 59 Sooners who have appeared in the Big Game, 81 who have been elected to the Pro Bowl – and with that kind of output, it’s not too far of a stretch to imagine that in the future, more Sooners may make an impact in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at the former Oklahoma Sooners players who are currently in the NFL.
From Oklahoma to the NFL
There are 33 former Oklahoma Sooners in the NFL, and all but two are active. At the top, the Washington Redskins have four former Sooners on their roster: Trent Williams, Tress Way, Samaje Perine, and Stacy McGee. The Dolphins have three: Damien Williams, Kenny Stills, and Jordan Phillips.
Several teams have two former Oklahoma players: the Bengals, for example, with Joe Mixon and Jordan Evans; the Cowboys with Charles Tapper and James Hanna; the Broncos with Donald Stephenson and Corey Nelson; the Vikings with Sam Bradford and Bell Blake; the Buccaneers with Gerald McCoy and Devante Bond; and the Cardinals with Jermaine Gresham and now, Adrian Peterson.
Plenty of teams have one former Oklahoma player on their team as well, such as Tony Jefferson on the Baltimore Ravens squad, Aaron Ripkowski with the Green Bay Packers, Sterling Shepard with the New York Giants, and James Winchester with the Kansas City Chiefs.
One of the most well-known Sooners on this list is Sam Bradford. Bradford was a standout quarterback at Oklahoma, as he was a prolific passer from the start, tossing 363 yards and three touchdowns in his first game (and broke a school record for most yards in a half while he was at it). Bradford went on to win the Heisman Trophy his sophomore year after amassing 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2008. He ultimately went No. 1 overall in the 2010 draft, and while injuries have plagued his professional career, he has thrown over 3,000 yards four times and earned the Rookie of the Year award his first season.
His former teammate, DeMarco Murray, is also a pretty well-known former Sooner. He too made a big splash in his collegiate debut alongside Bradford and was drafted by Dallas in the third round of the 2011 draft. Murray spent his first four seasons with the Cowboys and earned the rushing title in 2014 with 1,845 rushing yards. After spending one season in Philadelphia, he’s pounding the rock for his second season in Tennessee. He’s been selected to two Pro Bowls so far.
Adrian Peterson played for Oklahoma before Bradford and Murray did, but he’s also one of the best known former Sooners currently playing in the NFL. Peterson was drafted No. 7 overall by Minnesota in 2007 and spent a solid decade running the ball there (and nabbed the rushing title three times – once for over 2,000 yards). He was the league MVP in 2012 and has been selected to seven Pro Bowls. Peterson currently plays in the backfield for the Arizona Cardinals.
It’s always a blast watching young players develop during their college years, and it’s definitely exciting to see who drafts them when draft day rolls around each year. If you’ve been following the likes of Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson since those early days, or you’re watching and waiting for the current crop of Oklahoma players to develop and find their way into the NFL, you’re in luck – Fanatics has a huge selection of collegiate swag as well as a ton of authentic NFL gear, so be sure to hook yourself up before heading to the stadium.