UCLA Football: Reviewing The NFL Bound Bruins’ Contracts


The 2015 NFL Draft occurred earlier this month, and UCLA definitely had a successful draft even though the Bruins had no first round picks.

The Bruins had second and third round selections in linebacker Eric Kendricks and defensive end/linebacker Owamagbe Odighizuwa, respectively, and quarterback Brett Handily is in a good situation despite sliding to the fifth round. He will sit and learn behind superstar Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers, and being able to learn from the veteran without being placed in a high-pressure situation should help ease his transition into the NFL.

Following the draft, safety Anthony Jefferson and defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy signed undrafted free agent contracts, bringing the total of NFL-bound Bruins to five.

While this was a fruitful draft period for UCLA football, it was also a very profitable period for those moving onto the next level. Here is a quick recap of the aforementioned five’s NFL contracts.

More from UCLA Bruins Football

Eric Kendricks

Kendricks had a stellar career with UCLA, breaking the Pac-12 Conference tackle record while establishing himself into one of the best linebackers in the nation. Ultimately, he was recognized as the absolute best when he took home the Dick Butkus Award in 2014.

He parlayed that into a 4 year, $5.1 million deal from the Minnesota Vikings. He joins former Bruin teammate Anthony Barr in Minnesota and if they play even a fraction as well as they did in Pasadena, the pair will definitely be putting fear into a lot of NFL quarterbacks over their careers.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa


Odighizuwa surely could be recognized as one of the most impactful players on the Bruin team during his time here, and he didn’t let a 2013 season-ending injury slow down his progress. At the time of his injury, he was looked at as a powerful DE with a lot of potential, and despite that setback, he came back stronger than ever in 2014.

Owa made a big statement last season, turning a 61 tackle, six sack season into a four-year, $3.2 million contract with the New York Giants. Head coach Tom Coughlin and the rest of the Giants’ coaching staff will definitely enjoy his versatility, and he could be a valuable commodity in the near future.

More from Go Joe Bruin

Brett Hundley

Hundley had an excellent career for the Bruins and the contributions he made for this program will always be remembered. He helped transform the program from a mediocre Pac-12 squad, to a team in contention for a College Football Playoff berth last season.

Despite that, he was considered an enigma in NFL circles and largely considered a project as the draft approached. Even though he slid to the fifth round, learning under Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to the Chandler, Arizona native. As previously mentioned, he will be in a low-pressure situation while learning to adjust to pro-style offenses and that will definitely aid his development.

And even though he will enter his career as a backup, he’ll still be making a nice chunk of change: $2.5 over four seasons.

Anthony Jefferson and Ellis McCarthy

Jefferson and McCarthy both went undrafted this month, but still have an opportunity to earn a permanent spot in the NFL.

Jefferson had a solid career at safety for UCLA and he was usually a reliable player in the secondary during his career. McCarthy’s decision to enter the draft was questionable. He definitely has some potential if he continues to develop and he performed above average when given the opportunities, but those chances were rare when compared to his other D-line teammates.

Thanks to that potential, the Miami Dolphins gave McCarthy a chance to make the team, giving him a three-year, $1,575,000 contract, albeit with no money guaranteed.

As for Jefferson, the Chicago Bears signed him to a three season, $1,580,000 deal with $5,000 guaranteed.

While neither were given a stable path to riches, they both got an extremely valuable opportunity to make an NFL roster and hopefully turn that chance into a career when it is all said and done.

Above are the UCLA Bruins who have been earned NFL contracts with their tireless effort over the years, and all of us here at Go Joe Bruin wish them the best of luck!