The 2015 NFL Draft will be one of the biggest in recent UCLA football history. Last year’s Draft was huge for the Bruins as Anthony Barr was a first-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings. But then the Bruins followed that up with Cassius Marsh, Jordan Zumwalt and Shaquelle Evans getting selected by their respective NFL teams.
You can thank coaching and development by Jim Mora and his staff for that… and it continues!
Jul 24, 2014; Hollywood, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Eric Kendricks poses for a photo during the Pac-12 Media Day at the Studios at Paramount. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
This year, UCLA football should have even more Bruins entering the draft with five players (possibly seven) that could have their name call between Thursday and Saturday. Brett Hundley, Eric Kendricks, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Anthony Jefferson and Ellis McCarthy are the five biggest names coming out of Westwood that are looking to extend the football careers after UCLA. Talk about star power, especially with the 2014 UCLA football offensive and defensive leaders Hundley and Kendricks entering the draft.
But this year you have Odighizuwa, Jefferson and early enrollee McCarthy who could add some depth and become projects on a couple of NFL teams. Although, if you ask certain pundits, these players might have a big impact sooner than expected and because of that, could go higher than Hundley and Kendricks.
Aug 30, 2014; Charlottesville, VA, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Owamagbe Odighizuwa (94) and Bruins linebacker Eric Kendricks (6) line up against the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
That is right, we are looking at you Odighizuwa! Aside form rumors and mock drafts floating aroud the internet, there are two SB Nation blogs, one for Pittsburgh and one for Green Bay, that are making a case for Odighizuwa to go in the first round (to those respective teams of course). And that’s not all!
Though they were not invited to the NFL combine, running back Jordan James and offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche are graduating seniors who are also looking to extend their football careers. Though they were lesser known commodities coming out of UCLA, both have the skill set and development at their positions that has helped them improve their game in the last year.
These two may not be listed on any of the “experts” mock drafts, but watching these guys play this last season, I can say they will not start for an NFL team anytime soon, but they can be very valuable assets for any team that needs their set of skills.
Either way, the Bruins have a lot of players that will have their names called in the next four days. As a fan I can say that this is pretty bloody exciting! As a writer covering UCLA football, I can say, “of course, who does not know the Bruins had this much talent?” It is the #BruinRevolution!
As of now though, all I can say to those entering the NFL Draft is, “Good Luck” and “Go Bruins!”