- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
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If you were drafting an all-time Oklahoma Sooners football team, which players would you build your team around?
SoonerNation explored that question by putting together a panel of OU football experts and conducting an all-time draft. The panelists included former All-America halfback Joe Washington, Hall of Fame WWE broadcaster and OU booster Jim Ross, Sooners play-by-play voice Toby Rowland, longtime OU football historian Mike Brooks and yours truly, who has covered the Sooners since 2007.
Using the snake draft format, each participant was asked to select 11 offensive players, 11 defensive players and four specialists.
Washington drew the first overall pick, and his selection there probably won’t surprise anyone. But some of the other top picks just might.
Pretty much all five of us took different strategies going in. The trick was executing that strategy while adjusting to the flow of the draft.
Washington set out to build his team around a dominant defensive line, and to no one’s surprise he took Lee Roy Selmon with the first overall pick. But Washington was also hoping to draft himself with his second selection. Instead, Rowland snagged Washington the player in the second round, leaving Washington the drafter brokenhearted. With himself off the board, Washington loaded up on linemen and waited until the 22nd round before drafting a running back.
Rowland’s game plan, meanwhile, was the complete opposite. He took advantage of OU’s wishbone past and pocketed running backs with his first three picks. With Rowland’s team, you know what’s coming. But can you stop it?
While Rowland went wishbone, Ross scooped up the best passing quarterback on the board with his first pick, then surrounded that quarterback with the best blockers of the Bob Stoops era.
Brooks went heavy on skill, too, taking a quarterback, two running backs, two receivers and a tight end with six of his first seven picks. To fill out his defense, Brooks then leaned heavily on contributors from OU’s dominant defenses of the 1970s.
With the last pick of the first round, my approach was to wait and see what everyone else did before formulating my game plan. With everyone but Washington seemingly focused on offense, I elected to construct a formidable defense, and grabbed an elite tackle, linebacker and defensive back with my first three picks. By taking that approach, I still got two big-time halfbacks, a top-of-the-line receiver and one of the best option quarterbacks in college football history. I like my team. But so do the other guys.
Check back with SoonerNation on Tuesday for full results of the draft -- and to see which team you like best.
3dJake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon