Carl Bradford: “People can’t see the lion roaring inside me”
The Green Bay PackersÂ used this year’sÂ fourth round pick on Arizona State linebacker Carl Bradford.Â There were probably not many followers of the Packers who were more excited than I was and I’ll come clean right here and now: I’m an ASU alum and a season ticket holder.Â It was homerism at its finest when the pick was announced and I expressed my excitement all the way down the road I was driving on at the time.
In a story written shortly after Bradford was drafted by Ty Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the opening paragraph talked about how the Packers seemingly chose to ignore conventional wisdom when they made the pick.
At 6’1″ and with 30″ arms,Â Bradford’s measurables didn’t necessarily scream “3-4 outside linebacker”.Â I always chuckle a bit when I hear scouts and media talking about a player’s arm length.Â I see how it can be helpful, but so many football players have had very successful careers with “short arms” before.
Still, Bradford isn’t the type of player you envision when you think of a good pass-rushing linebacker.Â By contrast, the Packers brought in undrafted rookie linebacker and Adrian Hubbard out of Alabama.Â Hubbard stands at 6’6″ and 245 pounds.Â Bradford was drafted, in the fourth round.Â Hubbard wasn’t, largelyÂ because of a potential heart condition.
In football and the NFL, measurables simply don’t tell the whole story.Â In Bradford’s case, they barely tell the story.Â By now, many have heard how Bradford lost his father, Roy Bradford,Â early last yearÂ to a heart attack.Â At home in Louisiana, Roy collapsed suddenly into his son’s arms and was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived.
The loss of any family member, under any circumstances, is a hard pill to swallow.Â In Bradford’s case, it was no different.Â ASU head football coach Todd Graham talked in Dunne’s piece about how Bradford didn’t talk much about the loss of his dadÂ and thatÂ it was clearly affecting him.Â The grieving process is different for everyone.Â Bradford went through the tough part and had his ups and downs.
Then came last season where he used all of that emotion, both good and bad, to finish out his collegiate career with a second-straight solid season for the Sun Devils.Â Eight and a half sacks along with an key interception returned for a touchdown late in the season against UCLA.Â Below are highlights from that game with Bradford as a feature.Â Fast forward to 2:16 to see that particular play. Read more... (600 words + 3 images, estimated 2:24 mins reading time)