Oklahoma safety Ahmad Thomas and defensive tackle Jordan Wade have signed free agent contracts with the Oakland Raiders.
Oklahoma's Ahmad Thomas to Oakland Raiders on undrafted free agent deal— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 29, 2017
@RAIDERS I'm grateful! Thank you for the opportunity watch me make the most of it! https://t.co/eOfvna7aG2— Ahmad T. R.A.I.S.E (@AhmadThomas13) April 29, 2017
Here we come Oakland!!!! #JustWinBaby ☠️— Jordan Wade (@Jordan_Wade93) April 29, 2017
Thomas missed only one game in his OU career through the past four seasons and was a three-year starter for Mike Stoops’s defensive unit. Selected as a co-captain in 2016 along with Baker Mayfield, Samaje Perine and defensive teammate/offseason training partner Jordan Evans, Thomas finished his collegiate career with 223 tackles (including five for loss), four interceptions and seven pass breakups, and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a junior in 2015 and honorable mention all-conference as a senior.
As most experts predicted the 6-0, 215-pound, Miami, Fla., product on the bubble of being drafted this weekend, the most likely expectation was that he’d have a great chance at landing on a roster as a free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft.
While Thomas lacks the ideal height of an elite pro safety, he does possess a long, athletic frame and solid closing speed. He also has the experience of seeing an array of wideouts in the pass-happy Big 12 and though he sometimes struggled in downfield coverage, Thomas has also proven to possess the ability to cover slot receivers from sideline to sideline when needed. We hope Oakland proves to be a great fit for Thomas and wish him luck, health and success in his NFL career.
As a redshirt senior, Wade was at OU for what felt like forever, playing in 44 games with 22 starts. Wade made 79 tackles with 5.5 sacks during his time at OU, playing an important and underrated role eating blocks and stuffing runs in the middle of OU’s line.
It’s great to see an NFL team taking a flyer on Jordan. He has the necessary work ethic to succeed at the next level.
UPDATE (3:55 PM Sunday): It now appears that defensive lineman Charles Walker and wide receiver Geno Lewis have found landing spots as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.
WHO DAT NATION ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️— Charles Walker (@C_Walk97) April 30, 2017
Thank God for giving me this opportunity with the Cinncinati Bengals. #GodGotMe— Geno Lewis (@GENOALLDAY7) April 30, 2017
Walker had a tough senior season at OU, battling through concussion problems (and apparently severe depression) before ultimately leaving the team and getting called out by Mike Stoops. Many were unsure of how the decision would affect his draft stock, but Walker’s talent was always undeniable. Since he left the program, he’s been cleared of concussion and depression symptoms by doctors. It’s unfortunate that he went undrafted, but luckily he’ll have a chance to prove himself.
Lewis will be given a chance by the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted fellow Sooners Joe Mixon and Jordan Evans over the weekend. Lewis wasn’t overly productive during his lone season in Norman as a grad transfer, but he impressed scouts with a 38.5-inch vertical at OU’s Pro Day back in March. His size and athleticism were enough to convince the Bengals to give him a shot.