Originally Published: July 9, 2013

#SoonerNationDraft: How Teams Were Picked

By Jake Trotter | SoonerNation

If you were drafting a team from a pool of Sooners past and present, whom would you pick? Would you take the "Godfather of the Wishbone" and run the option with Jack Mildren? Or would you draft slinging Sam Bradford and air it out? To answer those questions and more, SoonerNation put together a panel of five OU football experts and conducted an all-time draft. Using the snake order draft format, each panelist picked 11 players on offense, 11 on defense and four specialists. Only those who played two full seasons at OU were eligible. In other words, Marcus Dupree, Troy Aikman and Joe Don Looney were not options. The first overall pick shouldn't surprise you. But others might.


Who drafted the best all-time Sooners team?


Discuss (Total votes: 1,715)

Draft Order:
No. 1: Joe Washington
No. 2: Mike Brooks
No. 3: Jim Ross
No. 4: Toby Rowland
No. 5: Jake Trotter

First-Round Picks:
No. 1: DT Lee Roy Selmon
No. 2: RB Adrian Peterson
No. 3: QB Sam Bradford
No. 4: RB Billy Sims
No. 5: S Roy Williams

View the complete draft results at the bottom and check out each team on the right.

Jake Trotter | email

ESPN Staff Writer

Roundtable: Experts Talk #SoonerNationDraft

1. What was your draft strategy going in?

Joe Washington: To have a great defensive front four and a super offensive line that would take the pressure off my skilled people on offense.

Sam Bradford
Nelson Chenault/US PresswireQB Sam Bradford, a former No. 1 overall pick in the NFL, went No. 3 in our all-time Sooners draft.

Mike Brooks: My strategy was to draft the best available player for the first few rounds, then evaluate my roster and choose the best offense and defense to fit my personnel. I decided the best fit was a pro set for my offense, and the "Oklahoma 50" for my defense.

Jim Ross: To get my QB [Sam Bradford] and then provide him with a dominating offensive line. My draft mirrored my take on the game -- it all starts with the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Toby Rowland: I wanted to load up in the backfield and at linebacker. The most dynamic difference-makers in OU history have played QB, RB and LB. If my team was going to reflect that, I needed to be dominant at those positions.

Jake Trotter: In the first couple of rounds, I wanted to get an elite player at each level of my defense. By snagging Tony Casillas up front, Rod Shoate at linebacker and Roy Williams in the secondary, I accomplished that.

2. What are the strengths of your team?

Washington: I have a team that can really block and tackle.

Brooks: You can start with my running backs. I believe I drafted the greatest power-speed running back in A.D., as well as the greatest player of the Bud Wilkinson era in Billy Vessels. I also have two of the three best receivers in school history in Broyles and Hinton. Tight end Keith Jackson is arguably the greatest at his position maybe in NCAA history. Throw in a Heisman Trophy-winning QB in Jason White, and enough said.

Ross: The "Big BBQ Eaters," a.k.a. the O-line. And Sam. I've got big receivers for Sam and running backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield and run, too. I've also got heavy hitters on defense, from front to back.

Rowland: First down = Billy; second down = Little Joe; third down = Steve ... good luck to you. I also have a bone-rattling, punishing defense that can really fly. We will run the football and knock the snot out of you. That's Oklahoma football!

Trotter: I feel like I drafted a big-time defense. I grabbed, in my opinion, the second-best defensive tackle (Casillas), the two best safeties (Williams, Rickey Dixon) and the best linebacker (Shoate). Tackle Granville Liggins was also OU's best defender of the 1960s. Best of luck running the ball against that group.

3. Where could you have been better?

Washington: I don't know. I could have gone differently but I got what I needed in the interior lines.

Brooks: Offense and defense on the line. While I was drafting skill players, the other teams were picking up the stud linemen.

Ross: I wanted more speed at linebacker. However, the other drafters' offenses seem to be run-oriented, so perhaps we're OK.

Rowland: I waited to go after offensive linemen, so some big names got off the board before me. But I'm still very happy with my crew.

Trotter: I waited to draft offensive linemen, and was kind of scrambling there. Then again, all five guys I drafted up front were first-team All-Americans. So, I guess it worked out.

4. Who was the player you targeted who got away?

Washington: Steve Owens at fullback and a Greg Pruitt or a Tommy McDonald type of guy, who you could split out as a receiver, too.

Brooks: Tackle Ralph Neely and linebacker Carl McAdams. Joe picked Neely right before I was going to choose him, and J.R. did the same with McAdams. Neely would have been the star of my O-line, and without McAdams I chose to play a 5-2 defense instead of a 4-3. Neely and McAdams were the best at their positions in the 1960s.

Ross: Teddy Lehman. He was the speed linebacker that I coveted.

Teddy Lehman
Laizure Photo/Getty ImagesOklahoma linebacker Teddy Lehman won the Butkus and Bednarik Awards in 2003.

Rowland: There are so many guys where I winced when they went off the board. But I really wanted Rod Shoate. He would've been a perfect fit. What a beast!

Trotter: I was actually hoping to get Sam Bradford. When J.R. picked him third overall, I opted to go with the wishbone offense instead. I also really wanted to get Keith Jackson, but Mike took him with his second pick. Then at the end of the draft, Joe grabbed Elvis Peacock, who I was hoping to snag as one of my returners.

5. Other than your own, which team do you like best and why?

Washington: I like Mike Brooks' defense. He covered a bunch of eras and got players who could play in any era.

Brooks: Jake's team, followed by Toby's. Jake drafted very well, getting great skill players in McDonald, Pruitt, Zabel and Clayton. He has a great group of DBs, and two of the best LBs in Shoate and Hunt. Jake drafted old guys, new guys and even current squad members -- he was ready for the draft. Toby's backfield is outstanding, Owens (he won a Heisman), Sims (he won a Heisman), Washington (he should have won a Heisman) and J.C. Watts (he should have been governor). His LBs are super-fast in George Cumby and Lehman, and outstanding defensive tackles in Lucious Selmon and Rick Bryan.

Ross: I'd say Joe's, simply because he's got two of my all-time favorite Sooners, Jimbo Elrod and -- the greatest of them all -- Lee Roy Selmon. I also loved Toby's picks of "Dr. Death" (Steve Williams) and Wahoo McDaniel -- two of my grappling friends.

Rowland: Joe's defensive line is epic. They'll wreck any offense they line up against. Plus, I'm sure Joe will make them all wear silver shoes. Talk about intimidating!

Trotter: I liked J.R.'s strategy of getting far-and-away the best passing quarterback in Bradford, and flanking him with the four best blockers of the Bob Stoops era. J.R. also did well exploiting OU's deepest position, getting three of the school's top 10 linebackers. The backfields of Mike and Toby, however, are really prolific. Good thing I drafted a defense geared to stuff the run.

#SoonerNationDraft: Complete Results