Oklahoma football: Three former Sooner QBs in 2017 NFL training camps


 At last tally, there were 37 former Oklahoma football players currently on or trying to make the roster of a team in the National Football League as a recent draft selection.

Three of those former OU players are quarterbacks. And if you think that number is low, consider that throughout most of the NFL history, there have been no ex-Sooners toiling at that position in the NFL.

Oklahoma is known for recruiting, developing and producing a good number of talented players that have gone on to outstanding NFL careers. Since the first NFL Draft, in 1936, 381 players from the University of Oklahoma have been selected in the draft. That is the fourth most among all schools.

To illustrate how rare it is for an Oklahoma quarterback to be drafted or go on to play at the position in the NFL, only eight Sooners in the 82 years of the NFL Draft have been drafted as quarterbacks. Two other former OU QBs were drafted for a position other than quarterback: Jack Mildren, in the second round in 1972 (by the Baltimore Colts) and Josh Heupel in the sixth round in 2001 (by the Miami Dolphins). Both were drafted as defensive backs.

As NFL training camps for the 2017 season opened a week ago, three former Oklahoma quarterbacks are listed on the roster of an NFL team.

Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford is listed as the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. Bradford is in his second season with the Vikings, having been traded to Minnesota after one season with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, selected by the St. Louis Rams. Bradford spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Rams.

When he arrived in Minnesota, Bradford was united with another former Sooner star, RB Adrian Peterson. Unfortunately, Peterson suffered a knee injury in the Viking season opener last season and missed all but three games in 2016. After the season, he left the Vikings as a free agent and signed with the New Orleans Saints for 2017.

Landry Jones, who succeeded Bradford as the starting quarterback for the Sooners, is in his fourth season in the NFL. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Jones is currently the backup to starting Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL Pro Bowl selection.

Jones will have some competition in the 2017 training camp for the Steeler backup role. The Steelers drafted Joshua Dobbs, a quarterback out of Tennessee, in the fourth round of the 2017 draft.

The last of the Oklahoma quarterbacks currently vying for an NFL roster spot is former Sooner Trevor Knight. Knight spent three seasons at Oklahoma before transferring to Texas A&M for his final season of eligibility in 2016.

Knight signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent. He will be battling with three other Cardinal QBs for a roster spot: starter Carson Palmer, seven-year NFL veteran Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert, former Missouri quarterback, now in his seventh season in the NFL.