- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
In the Stoops era, 59 Sooners have been drafted. Some of those have even turned into stars. SoonerNation ranks the top 10 NFL Sooners at the moment:
1. RB Adrian Peterson (Vikings): Peterson has made a stunning return from December knee surgery, and is running all day like his old self. One of the top backs in the league for the last few years, Peterson also remains the face of Sooners in the NFL.
2. LB Curtis Lofton (Saints): Lofton left school early after the 2007 season. Turned out that he made the right decision. After four productive seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Lofton is now New Orleans’ leading tackler.
3. DT Gerald McCoy (Buccaneers): After spending most of the 2011 season on the injured reserve, McCoy is finally living up to the high expectations he arrived in Tampa with after being selected third overall in the 2010 draft. Tampa Bay’s front seven is one of the better ones in the NFL.
4. TE Jermaine Gresham (Bengals): Gresham has been Cincinnati’s starting tight end since his rookie season, and has become Andy Dalton’s second-favorite target behind wideout A.J. Green. Over the weekend, Gresham had his first career 100-yard game with six catches for 109 yards in a loss to Denver.
5. OG Davin Joseph (Buccaneers): Joseph was lost for the season during the preseason with a knee injury, a devastating blow to the Bucs who wanted to run the ball more with rookie draft pick Doug Martin. Joseph remains an All-Pro-caliber performer and one of the best blocking guards in the NFL.
6. QB Sam Bradford (Rams): After capturing NFL Rookie of the Year honors, the former Heisman winner has endured his share of ups and downs. Much of that hasn’t been his fault. The Rams have been awful on the offensive line, and have had a dearth of playmaking wide receivers. This season, however, the Rams are trending upward under new coach Jeff Fisher, and Bradford is having his best season since his rookie year.
7. RB DeMarco Murray (Cowboys): Murray came out of nowhere last season to break the Dallas single-game rushing record with 253 yards on 25 carries to snag the starting job for good. If only he could stay healthy. Murray got hurt last year, and has been dealing with a foot injury that has kept him off the field this season. To keep his starting job, Murray will have to prove more durable than he’s been in the pros or he was in college.
8. OT Trent Williams (Redskins): Washington’s No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 draft has been its franchise left tackle ever since. Williams is having his best season protecting electrifying rookie QB Robert Griffin III.
9. OT Jammal Brown (Redskins): Like Joseph, Brown has been out all season with a hip injury. Brown is hoping to return before the end of the month though, which would give the Redskins three former Sooners starting on the offensive line (Williams and guard Chris Chester). Brown is on the downswing of his Pro Bowl career, but is still a solid NFL tackle.
10. OT Phil Loadholt (Vikings): Loadholt has been Minnesota’s starting right tackle the last four seasons. He’s not an All-Pro, but he’s been a very solid run-blocker for Peterson.
4hBrandon Chatmon and Jake Trotter