NFL teams drafted four Bruins in April, the highest number for UCLA since 2005. Could the school best that mark next spring?
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ranked the 25 college programs with the most talent for the 2014 draft. The Bruins made the cut, along with four other Pac-12 teams:
First, the requisite caveat: NFL talent doesn’t always make a successful college team. The USC-UCLA rivalry last season is a good, if simplified, microcosm. Lane Kiffin squandered talent, while Jim Mora optimized some that had underachieved or been misused.
That said, the Bruins may be slightly little underrated — even with Anthony Barr as a sure-shot first rounder. Miller ranks All-American lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo as a mid-rounder, but he could easily become a first- or second-round pick in nine months. Defensive end Cassius Marsh should be a safe bet in the middle rounds.
Others mentioned: quarterback Brett Hundley, linebacker Eric Kendricks, receiver Shaq Evans, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa. With Odighizuwa (hip) still a potential redshirt candidate, Evans is the only member of that quartet who is definitely entering his final season.
UCLA had six players selected in 2002, its highest total since the draft contracted to seven rounds in 1994.