ASU LB Carl Bradford drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 4th round of 2014 NFL DraftPosted: Updated:
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The CBE now begins in Green Bay.
Arizona State linebacker Carl Bradford was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round during Friday's portion of the 2014 NFL Draft. He is the second Sun Devil taken in this year's draft, following the Chicago Bears' selection of Will Sutton in the third round.
A fan favorite for his dynamic play, flowing hair, and excitable sideline persona, Bradford bypassed his senior year at ASU to enter the draft, ending the CBE (Carl Bradford Era) in Tempe.
Bradford came to ASU in 2010 initially as a fullback before switching over to defense. In 2011, he registered the first sack of his career against rival Arizona, and made his first career start in the Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State.
It was when Todd Graham and his attacking defensive philosophy came to Tempe following the 2011 season that Bradford truly blossomed.
One of the key components of Graham's defense was the "Devilbacker", a hybrid defensive end/rush outside linebacker that suited Bradford's rare talents perfectly. Using his speed, quickness, and athleticism, Bradford had a breakout 2012 season, registering 11.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.
Last season, Bradford tied for the team lead in sacks with 8.5 and led ASU with 19 tackles for loss. He made one of the season's defining plays with an intercerption return for a touchdown in the win over UCLA that clinched the Pac-12 South division title for the Sun Devils.
During the pre-draft process, Bradford did not make quite the splash many expected at the NFL Scouting Combine, but performed much better during ASU's Pro Day. Among the teams that he met with prior to the draft were the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, and the Atlanta Falcons. Bradford said that teams liked him at a variety of positions from inside and outside linebacker to sub-package defensive end to even fullback.
With the Packers, Bradford will look to provide a situational edge pass rush presence, while he could compete for reps at multiple linebacker spots due to his versatility. He still needs work on his coverage skills and run defense, but Bradford should be able to help the Packers' pass rush, and with his aggressiveness, work ethic, and high motor, should manage to be a contributor down the road.