Two weeks into the NFL preseason and already the former UCLA Football players are making teams, media, fans, and front offices take notice.
It would be really easy for us to think about former UCLA Football QB Brett Hundley as the top Bruin to watch this NFL preseason. He has shown solid development and plenty of upside and could become a very nice bargaining chip for the Green Bay Packers.
However some of the real impressive work has been coming from the AFC South contenders, the Tennessee Titans.
Second year OLB Aaron Wallace and rookie LB Jayon Brown have been raising more than a few eyebrows with their outstanding play. Brown, a fifth round pick, has been busy showing off his ability to find ball carriers in a hurry and his athleticism in the pass coverage department. He’s even received some kudos from head coach Mike Mularkey.
Wallace has really stepped his game up at the right time. It wasn’t until really late in his UCLA Football career that he burst onto the scene and that was enough for the Titans to take a chance on him in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft. It also helped that there was a connection between Wallace and LB coach Lou Spanos who was previously the defensive coordinator for the Bruins in 2012-13. Those were Wallace’s first two years with the program.
Despite having prototypical measurables, Wallace, in my opinion, didn’t demonstrate great flexibility on film but in the NFL has learned to use his toolbelt to great effectiveness. He will set up offensive linemen and force them to open up inside rush lanes where he is able to use inside counter moves to create quick pressure. But Wallace will still attack the edge and use a combination of moves like he demonstrates below.
UCLA Football LB coach Scott White has taken the talent for the Bruins and created a pipeline to the NFL. Wallace and Brown aren’t the only former UCLA Football LBs poised for a big year in the AFC South. Myles Jack is going to see a ton of action this year for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Between those three plus Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks in Minnesota, how can you not call UCLA the new LBU?