5 takeaways from the Oklahoma Sooners performance at the NFL Scouting Combine

One of the biggest weekends for the football world just came to completion. This weekend served as a massive evaluation tool for determining the future of the next stars of the NFL.

Oklahoma has no shortage of stars in the pro ranks at the moment but has the opportunity for a number of players to hear their names called in April.

Seven Sooners made the trek to Indianapolis to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine.

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The Oklahoma Sooners, as a whole, put on a fine display of athleticism as multiple players put up great testing numbers. Social media was set ablaze watching Anton Harrison, Marvin Mims, and Jalen Redmond test. With the combine over, these former Sooners will begin preparing for their pro day.

Here are five takeaways about the Oklahoma Sooners from the NFL Scouting Combine.

Bill Bedenbaugh is truly a master of his craft

Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma offensive lineman Anton Harrison (OL22) runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


While he’s probably the least visible position coach on Oklahoma’s staff, Bill Bedenbaugh is pound for pound the best evaluator of talent and is a developmental wizard. Harrison came to Oklahoma as the 178th-best player per 247Sports composite rankings. He was the 17th-ranked tackle. Harrison is trending to be a top 50 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft in April.

Bedenbaugh helped him transform into one of the nation’s best pass protectors. In 2022 he had 447 pass block snaps, allowed one sack, and had an 83.3 pass block grade per Pro Football Focus.

The tape shows a great left tackle, and his showing at the combine validated the athleticism that’s allowed him to be one of the best Sooners of the last several years.

Anton Harrison ran an official 4.98-second time in the 40-yard dash, the second-fastest time among offensive linemen. Through countless mock drafts, he’s been a fringe first-rounder over the last year.


Bedenbaugh helped Anton Harrison outperform his recruiting rankings. Only two tackles that ranked ahead of him are tracking to be drafted higher; former Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. and Georgia’s Broderick Jones. They were the No. 1 and 2 tackles in the 2020 class.

“He was one of the main reasons I went there,” Harrison said about Coach Bedenbaugh at the Combine. “I wanted to be coached hard. I want to be coached hard. So, that was a big reason I went there. And then, since I’ve been in my freshman year, he was just always on me. He knew what player I could be and what type of player I was. So doing good, doing bad, he always saw something to help you grow.”

Marvin Mims will be an underappreciated Sooner for a long time

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims (WO34) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Marvin Mims, like Anton Harrison, seemed criminally under-ranked out of high school. And yet, like Anton Harrison, he has risen to the top.

Mims had an excellent week as he measured and tested better than most thought he would. He was taller than many people believed, ran a blazing 40 at 4.38 seconds, and had a vertical over 39 inches to pair with a broad jump of 10 feet, 9 inches, which ranked 12th among the receivers. His 3-cone of 6.90 seconds ranked fourth.

While Mims routinely made big plays deep downfield in three seasons as a Sooner, it became apparent that OU had a star. Yet when looking back at his career, it still feels like we didn’t get enough out of him.

Of course, he had QB inconsistencies in his sophomore season, but seeing how much of a physical specimen he is, it’s hard to imagine how he wasn’t fed the ball more. He led his team in receiving every year simply because he was faster than the defensive backs covering him.


Mims also never played on a Big 12 title team like some of the other recent Sooner greats at WR like [autotag]CeeDee Lamb[/autotag], [autotag]Marquise Brown[/autotag], [autotag]Dede Westbrook[/autotag], [autotag]Sterling Shepard[/autotag], [autotag]Ryan Broyles[/autotag], etc.

The lack of team success will cloud the perception of him among former Sooners wide receivers. However, Mims’ performance at the combine and his Oklahoma career showcases the Sooners had a star for three years.

He’s now all but a lock to be a top-100 pick and could even emerge as a late first-rounder.

A healthy Jalen Redmond would have been a star

Mar 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma defensive lineman Jalen Redmond (DL13) participates in the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


This may sound crazy, but it’s hardly an insane thought when looking back at the early years of Jalen Redmond’s career playing in Alex Grinch’s Speed D system. The Sooners weren’t horrific, but the defense was never good enough to help the Sooners any of their College Football Playoff appearances.

If we slot Redmond into Brent Venables’ defense for the duration of his career, are we talking differently about Redmond’s draft stock? Would a healthy Jalen Redmond have a better collegiate career?

We’ll never know, but Redmond’s athletic gifts were fully displayed. He was at the top or near the top in almost every testing category at the combine. In some way, it feels like injuries, and the scheme robbed us of a truly great defender.

As it stands, Redmond’s best days of football are in front of him as long as he remains healthy. He has every physical tool you need and has shown the ability to be an impactful defender.


Michael Turk deserved more opportunities to showcase his athleticism

Oklahoma’s Michael Turk speaks during an NCAA college football media day, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in Norman, Oklahoma. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

While in Norman, Michael Turk was a field position weapon for the Sooners. He routinely (even multiple times a game) flipped fields for Oklahoma to put opposing offenses in less-than-ideal starting field positions.

He had a punt of 50-plus yards in 11 of 13 games in 2022. His leg is noticeably powerful.

At the combine, we found out he could run and jump and was a pretty explosive athlete for a guy whose sole job was to kick. Turk ran a 4.83 40 and had a nearly similar vertical to Jalen Redmond.


This previous season, kicker Zac Schmidt and Turk teamed up for a fake field goal run for a touchdown, but it brings to question why Turk wasn’t used on special teams more to run fakes. Regardless of where he lands, you can count on NFL teams taking advantage of his athleticism.

Oklahoma is desperate for a top flight defensive back

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma wide receiver Marvin Mims (WO34) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Few other institutions match Oklahoma’s ability to put offensive players in the league. From offensive linemen down to skill players, Oklahoma has had no problem getting guys to the NFL.


The defensive presence has been lacking, especially in the first three rounds. The Sooners have had a couple of pass rushers, Nik Bonitto, and Ronnie Perkins, go in the first three rounds in the last couple of drafts, but one group is lacking in particular.

Defensive back.

The Oklahoma Sooners haven’t had a defensive back selected in the first three rounds of the draft since [autotag]Brodney Pool[/autotag] in 2005. The defensive coordinator in Norman then is the head coach now. He went off to Clemson and coached first-round corner, A.J. Terrell. Venables had several other defensive backs like Trayvon Mullen, Cordrea Tankersley, T.J. Green, and Mackensie Alexander drafted in the top 100.

To recruit high-level defensive backs consistently, you need proof that you can develop and put them into the league.

It’s something to keep an eye on in the coming years. Billy Bowman looks like he has NFL Draft potential, but where will he go, and can he turn in a junior year worthy of pushing for top-100  consideration? Will Woodi Washington do the same in likely his last year in Norman? Or will the Sooners have to wait until the development of five-star safety Peyton Bowen before seeing the streak end?

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire