The Jacksonville Jaguars have started claiming players early for the 2014 NFL season, picking up New York Giants linebacker Allen Bradford on waivers on Tuesday afternoon. Bradford was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but was released early in the season and claimed by the Seattle Seahawks and his former college head coach, Pete Carroll.
The #Jaguars have claimed LB Allen Bradford off waivers from the NY Giants and now have 90 players under contract.— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) May 13, 2014
Bradford played running back for USC in college, but was quickly converted to linebacker by the Seahawks and Pete Carroll. Bradford spent 2011 through 2013 with the Seahawks and was released early on in 2013 and claimed by the Giants.
Danny Kelly of Field Gulls gave us a little insight into him:
Bradford was a blue-chip recruit to USC as a one of the top defensive players in the country (a LB) coming out of high school. He originally signed to play safety, but his freshman year, he moved to RB, where he stuck (and become their top ball carrier his final two years). He was drafted by the Bucs in the sixth as a RB, but after he got cut there, the Hawks picked him up and moved him back to the defense. He played a good amount in the preseason last year and impressed some people there -- he was a little rusty, I imagine -- but definitely still looks the part.
People were pretty sad to see him get cut and swiped by the Giants, so it's a little surprising that he didn't catch on there. In Jacksonville, I'm guessing Gus Bradley has a plan for him. I would think he can play both MIKE and WILL, but unfortunately there's not a ton of tape out there on him. He'll compete as a special teams ace though, at worst.
Bradford, 25, ran a sub 4.6 40-yard dash at the NFL combine at 5'11 and just under 250 pounds.He's a long, fast and athletic linebacker that fits more of the mold the Jaguars are looking for in their linebackers. It's likely that Bradford will compete for one of the inside linebacker positions on the team currently occupied by Paul Posluszny and LaRoy Reynolds.