Oklahoma Football: Sooners All-Time NFL Defensive Unit
The Oklahoma Sooners football program is one of the nation's most historic and profound programs. Beginning in 1895, it took off right away and has become the most successful program of the modern era (post-World War II) with 567 wins and a winning percentage of .763 since 1945.
The Sooners have won seven national championships and 43 conference championships while producing 152 All-Americans and five Heisman Trophy winners. In addition, the school has had five coaches and 17 players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Oklahoma is also the only program that has had four coaches with 100-plus wins, including current head coach Bob Stoops. They became the eighth NCAA FBS team to win 800 games with a victory in September of 2010.
Being such a proud program, they have produced quite a few prosperous NFL players. Here is the Sooners all-time defensive unit.
Defensive Tackle: Lee Roy Selmon
Lee Roy Selmon is arguably the best defensive player in the history of Oklahoma Sooners football. Selmon was drafted first overall in 1976 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he would play for nine years.
Selmon was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, a three-time First-team All-Pro selection, and a six-time First-team All-NFC selection. He was defensive player of the year in 1979 and was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team.
He retired with 742 tackles and 78.5 sacks. Selmon was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
Defensive Tackle: Tony Casillas
Tony Casillas followed up Academic All-American honors in 1985 as the second overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft. He was drafted by the Falcons, where he would play for five years before moving on to Dallas and eventually the New York Jets as well.
Casillas had a strong career from the minute he entered the league to the minute he left it. He played in 167 games over 12 years, recording 724 sacks, 23 sacks and 20 forced fumbles.
Casillas was a 1988 Pro Bowl selection and in 1989 was a second-team All-Pro selection.
As a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Casillas dominated the line of scrimmage as a run-stopping specialist. He played a big role in the Cowboys winning back to back Super Bowls in 1993 and 1994.
Defensive Tackle: Tommie Harris
Tommie Harris was selected 14th overall in 2004 by the Chicago Bears, after winning the Lombardi Award for the nation's best lineman in 2003.
Since entering the NFL, Harris has been a three-time Pro Bowl selection and has had one All-Pro selection. He played for six seasons in Chicago, recording 219 tackles, 39.5 sacks and forcing five fumbles.
Harris is currently playing for the San Diego Chargers.
Defensive Tackle: Gerald McCoy
Gerald McCoy is the youngest member of our list and despite his resume not being as decorated as some of the other players, he has a bright future. McCoy was a star in high school, winning the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year award in 2005.
McCoy played four strong years at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a two-time First-team All-American selection and a two-time First-team All-Big 12 member as well.
McCoy was drafted third overall in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and although he has taken off statistically speaking, he is a talented young man who, barring any serious injuries, has an opportunity to truly shine.
I expect big things from McCoy in the future.
Linebacker: Jerry Tubbs
Jerry Tubbs' tenure at Oklahoma was a grand one. Tubbs was a Sooner for three consecutive undefeated seasons (31-0). He was the first Sooner to win the Walter Camp award and in 1956 finished fourth in the Heisman trophy voting.
Tubbs would go on to the NFL, being drafted tenth overall in 1957 by the Chicago Cardinals. He would play for the Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys throughout his professional career, eventually becoming one of the first Cowboy players voted to the Pro Bowl.
After playing football he would stay on and coach for the Dallas Cowboys for 21 years, coaching in five Super Bowls while winning two.
Linebacker: Brian Bosworth
Bosworth makes the cut for two reasons: the Sooners didn't develop a plethora of NFL talent at the linebacker position; and Bosworth is one of the most comedic and entertaining Sooner alums of all time.
He excelled in college as a two-time Dick Butkus Award-winner, a two-time First-Team All-American, an Academic All-American and a three-time All-Big 8 Conference Team member.
He went undrafted and was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1987 Supplemental Draft.
His NFL career is only noteworthy for his lawsuit against the NFL (he sued for the rights to wear his college number, and lost), his ability to trick Denver Broncos fans (he trash-talked John Elway, had his private company manufacture "BAN THE BOZ" shirts and sold 10,000 for $15 each to Broncos fans) and most notably for landing sixth on ESPN's "Biggest Flops of the Last 25 Years" list in 2004.
Linebacker: Teddy Lehman
Lehman thrived at Oklahoma throughout his career. He was a member of the 2000 Freshman All-American First Team and went on to be a three-time First-Team All-Big 12 selection and a two-time First-Team All-American.
He was drafted in 2004 by the Detroit Lions in the second round, 37th overall. Lehman's professional career got off to a hot start, as he started all 16 games for the Lions in 2004 logging 1,225 plays (most on the team). He finished the 2004 season with 102 tackles.
His career got derailed shortly after the 2004 season due to a series of injuries. He would later spend time with the Buccaneers, the Bills and go back to the Lions briefly.
When he felt his NFL career had come to an end he moved on to the UFL, where he won two championships with the Las Vegas Locomotives.
Cornerback: Derrick Strait
Derrick Strait may not have the most impressive resume, but he is deserves acknowledgement nonetheless.
Strait was a premier corner at Oklahoma for four years. He was a two-time All-American and the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award. In 2009 he was named to the Sports Illustrated All-Decade Team.
His professional career was not as decorated, but it was definitely colorful. He was selected in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He spent two years with the Jets before bouncing around to Tampa Bay, Chicago, Cleveland and Carolina over the next season.
He moved on from the NFL to play in the Arena Football League and eventually the Canadian Football League. Strait has suited up for eight professional franchises overall. He is the leading Oklahoma Sooner in that category.
Cornerback: Bobby Boyd
Robert "Bobby" Boyd was a quarterback at the University of Oklahoma, but when drafted in the tenth round (pick 119 overall) by the Baltimore Colts, he transitioned to cornerback.
Boyd played for the Colts for nine seasons, in which he was a two-time Pro Bowler, voted First-team All-Pro three times and led the NFL with nine interceptions in 1965.
He finished his career with 57 interceptions, returned for 994 yards and four touchdowns. He was a member of the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team and his 57 career interceptions is still a franchise record.
Safety: Tony Peters
Tony Peters does not have the prestigious resume many of his peers do, but he has a successful one regardless. Peters was born and raised in Oklahoma before being drafted in the fourth round of the 1975 draft by the Cleveland Browns.
Peters would play for the Browns until 1978, when he signed with the Washington Redskins. Peters was a member of the 1984 Redskins that won Super Bowl XVII. He played alongside Joe Theismann during his tenure in Washington.
Peters retired from the NFL having played in 133 games, recording 16 interceptions.
Safety: Roy Williams
Williams made a name for himself at the University of Oklahoma building a reputation as a quick and aggressive safety with tremendous ability to get into the backfield. This served him well, as he was drafted 10th overall in 2002 by the Dallas Cowboys.
Williams played for the Cowboys for eight seasons, becoming a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a one-time All-Pro selection. Williams retired in 2011 after playing with the Cincinnati Bengals for two seasons. He had 534 career tackles, 7.5 sacks, 19 intercepts and three defensive touchdowns.
Williams currently works as a sideline reporter for Oklahoma Sooners football games and should one day be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.