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May 7, 2013
Stoops lacks control of NFL combine selections
TULSA --Each year Oklahoma does it's best to highlight their players eligible for the NFL Draft with their own Pro Day. It's an OU-centric combine put on for NFL personnel directors and coaches from across the league.
OU having their own Pro Day is necessary for individual workouts of star players such as Sam Bradford and Landry Jones.
NFL coaches can come in and see how the top prospects perform in drills showcasing their athleticism.
But OU's Pro Day is also beneficial for players who weren't invited to the combine.
SCOOPHD: BOB STOOPS ON TONY JEFFERSON MISSING OUT ON NFL DRAFT
King was drafted in the 7th round by the Philadelphia Eagles while Brown was picked up in the 6th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
So how is it these players weren't invited to the NFL Combine?
"I had no influence on who can go to the combine or not," Bob Stoops explained Monday evening at the Tulsa Caravan. "I tried to have an influence early on for many years and have had no influence on that. I quit.
"It doesn't make any sense to me that guys that could and should be invited aren't."
King was even a bigger surprise after he wasn't able to workout individually for teams after he pulled a hamstring during OU's Pro Day.
Teams were obviously interested in a player who played all over the Sooners' defensive line over the last two seasons.
"David is an interesting guy," said Stoops, who was asked what kind of read he was able to get from NFL teams who inquired about King. "I think he has a great chance. A 50 defensive-type end, which I think is how they want to play him or grow into a tackle. He's got a lot of upside."
Seeing Brown drafted was also a big charge for Stoops and the OU program. Brown transferred to OU from Penn State hoping to increase his chances of playing in the NFL.
After a senior season where Brown caught 73 passes for 879 yards and 5 touchdowns, NFL teams took notice, while Stoops and Oklahoma made good on their sales pitch which landed the Penn State transfer in Norman.
"I believe he fulfilled an opportunity to catch a bunch of balls and be productive and have a great experience," said Stoops. " I told him when he left, 'now you have two homes.' He was there a long time and those people will always be his buddies. Here, we'll do whatever we can for him because he's a great kid. I believe he realizes that.
"You know what was also undervalued was he was a guy that was just here a year and was a leader with how he conducted himself, how he worked, his attitude about everything, his business-like tough attitude about everything. He made an impact on the offensive guys in particular and the receiver group. He was awesome. I absolutely love the kid. I believe he'll make it."
Stoops words may not carry weight with the NFL Combine, but it was clear his words carried a lot of weight with new Philadelphia Eagles' coach Chip Kelly.
Kelly's praise of Stoops' evaluation of Lane Johnson was somewhat surprising, considering most people didn't know the depth of their relationship.
"Chip came here a few years ago to watch us practice and observe us in the spring," explained Stoops. "And then a year ago, I was at a Red Sox game with him.
"My wife, not his, he didn't have one, we were hanging out. We've had a lot of occasion to talk and communicate."
"I know Bob Stoops extremely well and I've talked to Bob extensively about him in the last week," Kelly was quoted as saying during his press conference to announce Lane Johnson as the Eagles' first pick in the NFL Draft. "He just remarked about what a tough player he is and a selfless player that he is."
When told about Kelly's effusive praise for him in their discussions about Johnson, it was said it seemed like Kelly took Stoops' word as gold.
"Hopefully it is," remarked Stoops. "I'm always going to talk positive about my guys. Lane, what's not to like? I was honest that he was still raw, but that is what you are getting."