Steelers 2014 NFL Draft Player Profiles – Arizona State LB Carl Bradford
Good friend Dave-Te’ Thomas of Scouting Services has finished his player profiles of several of the top 2014 NFL Draft prospects and over the course of the next few weeks I will be posting the ones that the Pittsburgh Steelers will more than likely have interest in. Being as Arizona State linebacker Carl Bradford was in for a pre draft visit recently, now is a good time to post his. Thomas has done these profiles for the NFL for several years and I know that many of you enjoy reading them.
Arizona State University Sun Devils
Norco High School
The new rage in both college and professional is unearthing flexible athletes who can perform as a hybrid rush/end/outside linebacker. ASU has aptly named that position the “Devilbacker” and based on his performance the last two years at that position, Bradford has emerged as one of the elite hybrids in the 2014 draft class.
The junior is quite effective, whether with his hand down and playing on the line in a 4-3 defensive scheme, or standing up and handling underneath areas as a linebacker in the 3-4 alignment. In twenty-seven starting assignments at the position, Bradford has collected 142 tackles (103 solos) with nineteen sacks, 39.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, six forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, two interceptions and eight pass deflections.
One of the more powerful players in the Arizona State program, Bradford boasts a 545-pound squat and has also shown very loose hips and fluid lateral agility, as he recently clocked and impressive 7.03-second timing in the demanding three-cone drills. The 250-pound defender also generates good closing speed, as he was timed at 1.66 seconds in the 10-yard dash at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine and 4.72 seconds in the 40-yard dash during the Sun Devils’ recent Pro Day.
Even during his playing days at Norco High School, Bradford was regarded as the best athlete on the gridiron team. He received All-West-Region list honors from Prep Star as a senior and was an All-Farwest Region choice by Super Prep. He was ranked by Rivals.com as the 16th-best inside linebacker prospect in the nation and was also regarded by that recruiting service as the 61st-best overall prospect in the state of California.
As a testament to his versatility, Bradford was listed as the fifth-best fullback recruit in the country by ESPN Scouts, Inc and rated by Scout.com as the seventh-best fullback in the nation. He collected 153 carries for 1,093 yards and 18 touchdowns and 13 receptions for 396 yards and four touchdowns during his two-year varsity career.
As a junior, he totaled 209 yards on 17 carries (12.3 avg) with four touchdowns, adding four receptions for 78 yards (19.5 avg). Bradford followed with 136 attempts for 884 yards (6.5 avg) with 14 touchdowns as a senior. He had nine receptions for 318 yards with four touchdowns, averaging an incredible 35.3 yards-per-reception. He also registered four games with over 100 rushing yards, playing for head coach Todd Gerhart, father of recent Jacksonville Jaguars signee, tailback Toby Gerhart.
Bradford signed his national letter-of-intent to attend Arizona State on June 15th, 2009, prior to his high school senior season. He red-shirted in 2010, as the Sun Devils tried to decide which side of the ball he was better suited to play for them. He backed up Jamaar Jarrett at weak-side defensive end during the 2011 regular season schedule before earning his first career start vs. Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. His first year with the varsity produced twelve tackles, but 3.5 of those stops came behind the line of scrimmage.
Bradford would take over the “Devilbacker” position the next two years. He posted 81 tackles and with 20.5 stops-for-loss, along with 11.5 sacks, he joined nose tackle Will Sutton in becoming the first ASU tandem to post double-digit sacks in the same season in school history. He also caused three fumbles and recovered two others to receive All-Pac 12 Conference recognition.
Bradford garnered All-American recognition as a junior, as he continued to have great success in the opposing backfields, coming up with 19.0 stops-for-loss, fourth-best in the Pac-12 Conference and good for 19th in the nation. He tied for the team lead with 8.5 sacks, placing eight in the league in that category. He scored for the first time during his career after running back an interception vs. UCLA and even returned to his high school “roots” when he carried the ball for a 20-yard gain vs. Washington State.
Shortly after the Sun Devils lost to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl, Bradford announced that he was leaving school and had applied for the 2014 NFL Draft. “It was an honor and a privilege to coach Carl Bradford at Arizona State University. Carl leaves ASU with his degree and that is what we are most proud of,” Sun Devil head coach Todd Graham said in a statement.
“Additionally, with players like Carl, Will Sutton, Chris Young, Osahon Irabor and Alden Darby we built the number-one defense in Pac-12 Conference play and one of the top rated units nationally. We want to be known for tough, stout defense at ASU and Carl helped us achieve that in 2012 and 2013. We appreciate Carl for being a great Sun Devil and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Bradford’s departure will leave Arizona State’s defense with just two returning starters from the 2013 team, which ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in total defense and seventh in scoring defense. The junior linebacker had graduated in December with a degree in criminal justice.
Bradford started the final twenty-eight games of his forty-game career at Arizona State, as he recorded 154 tackles (110 solos) with 21.5 sacks for minus 155 yards, 43.0 stops for losses of 213 yards and six quarterback pressures … Deflected eight passes and picked off two others, as he caused six fumbles and recovered two others, advancing one for a 15-yard gain … Also carried once for 20 yards … School Career-Record Results … Bradford ranks tenth in school history with 43.0 tackles behind the line of scrimmage … His 21.5 sacks placed seventh in ASU annals and his sack yardage total of 155 yards in good for eighth … School Season-Record Results … Bradford’s 11.5 sacks in 2012 rank seventh on the school annual chart … Ranks tenth on the season-record list with 20.5 stops-for-loss in 2012.
The All-American honorable mention added All-Pac 12 Conference first-team honors from Phil Steele, as the fourteen-game starter at the “Devilbacker” spot ranked fifth on the squad with 61 tackles (45 solos) … Tied for the team lead with 8.5 sacks for minus 70 yards, ranking eighth in the conference … Led the Sun Devils with 19.0 stops for losses of 107 yards, finishing fourth in the league in that category … Returned an interception 18 yards for a touchdown vs. UCLA and carried the ball once for 20 yards vs. Washington State … Deflected four passes and also caused three fumbles … Had a career-best four tackles for loss vs. Arizona, followed by two forced fumbles, a sack, three QB pressures and a fake punt rush for 20 yards vs. Washington State … Added two tackles for loss and a sack vs. Washington…Forced an intentional grounding call that led to a safety vs. Colorado and had a career high two pass breakups vs. Notre Dame…Was second on the team with seven tackles vs. Stanford and posted the team’s lone sack in the contest.
The sophomore was named All-Pac 12 Conference honorable mention, as he ranked fourth in the league and 17th in the nation with 11.5 sacks for minus 71 yards … Was second in the Pac-12 and tied for tenth nationally with 20.5 stops for losses of 86 yards, cracking the school’s top ten list in that category … nose guard Will Sutton and Bradford’s combined 44 tackles for loss are the most in ASU history and they are the first duo to record 20+ TFLs since Al Harris (22) and Bob Kohrs (20) in 1978 … They were also the first ASU tandem to both register double-digit sacks in the same season … Ranked fourth on the team with a career-high 81 tackles (58 solos), as he posted four pass break-ups, an interception, two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles … Recorded his first career interception vs. Southern California, along with a career high 10 tackles, as he also had a fumble forced and fumble recovery in the contest…Produced nine tackles vs. UCLA, including two sacks…Added seven tackles vs. both California and Missouri, as he also forced a fumble and had a pass breakup vs. the Cal Bears…His three forced fumbles tied Will Sutton for most on the team and his two fumble recoveries tied Deveron Carr for the team lead as well.
Bradford appeared in all twelve regular season games as a reserve weak-side defensive end before earning his first career start vs. Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl … Finished with twelve tackles (7 solos), 1.5 sacks and 3.5 stops for losses of 20 yards.
Bradford red-shirted as a member of ASU Scout Team…Also earned Hard Hat player recognition for his work in the Sun Devils’ offseason strength and conditioning program.
No injury report available, but the player has never missed any game action as a Sun Devil.
4.72 in the 40-yard dash … 1.66 10-yard dash … 2.78 20-yard dash … 4.30 20-yard shuttle … 11.75 60-yard shuttle … 7.03 three-cone drill … 37 ½-inch vertical jump … 10’-2” broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times … 30 ¼-inch arm length … 9 ½-inch hands … 74 ½-inch wingspan.
Bradford attended Norco (Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Todd Gerhart, the father of former Arizona State Sun Devil offensive lineman Garth Gerhart and 2009 Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart of Stanford, presently the starting tailback for the Jacksonville Jaguars … Received All-West-Region list honors from Prep Star as a senior and was an All-Farwest Region choice by Super Prep … Ranked by Rivals.com as the 16th-best inside linebacker prospect in the nation and was also regarded by that recruiting service as the 61st-best overall prospect in the state of California … As a testament to his versatility, Bradford was listed as the fifth-best fullback recruit in the country by ESPN Scouts, Inc and rated by Scout.com as the seventh-best fullback in the nation … Had 153 carries for 1,093 yards and 18 touchdowns and 13 receptions for 396 yards and four touch-downs during his two-year varsity career … As a junior, he totaled 209 yards on 17 carries (12.3 avg) with four touchdowns, adding four receptions for 78 yards (19.5 avg) … Followed with 136 attempts for 884 yards (6.5 avg) with 14 touchdowns as a senior … Had nine receptions for 318 yards with four touchdowns, averaging an incredible 35.3 yards-per-reception … Also registered four games with over 100 rushing yards.
Bradford is an exploratory general studies major … Resides in Norco, California.