HS Football

John E. Hoover: With NFL Draft, Bill Bedenbaugh’s masterpiece is complete … now he needs an encore

John E. Hoover: With NFL Draft, Bill Bedenbaugh’s masterpiece is complete … now he needs an encore

Oklahoma offensive linemen right tackle Cody Ford (74), right guard Dru Samia (75) and left guard Ben Powers (72) are three of OU’s four blockers taken in this week’s NFL Draft. Also in the photo are center Creed Humphrey (behind Samia) and left tackle Bobby Evans (arm, far right). (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh got a huge raise in January, a $125,000 bump that to boosted his annual salary to $750,000 a year.

It’s probably not enough.

On Saturday, Bedenbaugh completed his magnum opus when all four of his draft-eligible pupils were selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Right tackle Cody Ford was taken on Friday with the sixth pick of the second round, No. 38 overall by the Buffalo Bills. Left tackle Bobby Evans went with the 33rd pick of Friday’s third round, No. 97 to the Los Angeles Rams. And on Saturday, right guard Dru Samia was the 12th pick of the fourth round, No. 114 overall to the Minnesota Vikings, and left guard Ben Powers joined him as the 21st pick of the fourth round, No. 123 overall to the Baltimore Ravens.

OU finished the weekend with eight players drafted, tied for second most in Big 12 history. Half of those were offensive linemen.

Powers was a consensus All-American. Samia was co-Big 12 Conference offensive lineman of the year. Ford was first-team All-Big 12. And Evans was second-team All-Big 12.

Oklahoma offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, standing with his tearful kids after the Sooners’ Orange Bowl loss to Alabama, consoles right tackle Cody Ford. (PHOTO: John E. Hoover / The Franchise)

Bill Bedenbaugh embraces left guard Ben Powers after the Sooners’ Orange Bowl loss. (PHOTO: John E. Hoover / The Franchise)

The downside, of course, is that Bedenbaugh must now replace all that talent. But he’ll start this season with third-year sophomore center Creed Humphrey, who has been widely projected to be a first-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Powers’ addition to the Ravens makes him the fourth Sooner in the last two years to land in Baltimore. He joins former blocking mate Orlando Brown, who started 10 games for the Ravens at right tackle last season and didn’t allow a quarterback sack, and tight end Mark Andrews, who caught 34 passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns in 2018. In Thursday’s first round, the Ravens also drafted OU wide receiver Marquise Brown. The club’s starting strong safety is former Sooner Tony Jefferson.

Earlier in Saturday’s fourth round, the Ravens dipped into Oklahoma again to fill a need in their backfield, drafting Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill with the 113th overall pick. Hill grew up in Tulsa and played at Booker T. Washington High School.

OU quarterback Kyler Murray got the draft started on Thursday night when he went No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals.

Sooners kicker Austin Seibert, the highest-scoring kicker in NCAA history, was taken 32nd in the fifth round, 170th overall to the Cleveland Browns, where he’ll be reunited with 2017 Heisman Trophy winner and 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.

OU running back Rodney Anderson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a little over half of his sophomore season but essentially missed three full seasons with injuries, was the 39th pick of the sixth round, No. 211 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Oklahoma State defensive end Jordan Brailford, also a Tulsa native and Booker T. Washington grad, was the 39th pick of the seventh round, No. 253 to the Washington Redskins and the next-to-last player selected in the 2019 draft.

Others drafted with Oklahoma ties:

  • Former Tulsa McLain quarterback/Alabama running back Josh Jacobs went to the Oakland Raiders with the 24th pick in Thursday’s first round, the first running back off the board.
  • Former Kingfisher and NEO Junior College tight end Jace Sternberger, who played at Texas A&M, went to the Green Bay Packers with the 12th pick in the third round, No. 75 overall.
  • Former Jenks running back Darwin Thompson, who played at Utah State, went to the Kansas City Chiefs with the 42nd pick of the sixth round, No. 214 overall.
  • Caleb Wilson, who grew up in Norman, is the son of former Sooner linebacker and long-time Bob Stoops assistant Chris Wilson. Caleb Wilson, a tight end from UCLA, went to the Arizona Cardinals with the 254th and final pick in the draft, earning the coveted honor of “Mr. Irrelevant.”


Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “The Franchise Drive” every weeknight from 6-8 on The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and appears throughout the day on other shows on The Franchise. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Hoover also covers the Big 12 for Sporting News and Lindy’s magazine and is a feature writer for Sooner Spectator magazine. Visit his personal page at johnehoover.com.


HS Football

John Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he was co-host of "Further Review" and "The Franchise Drive." Now he's The Franchise college football insider: Oklahoma's state Heisman rep, a voter in the FWAA Super 16 poll, an FWAA media access liaison, and a Big 12 writer at Sporting News and Lindy's preseason magazine. In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist and won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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