UCLA has another chance at a first-round draft pick and the Bruins are hoping that it will end better this year than last.
Defensive end Takkarist McKinley will be in the green room Thursday for the first round of the NFL Draft in Philadelphia, which starts at 5 p.m. PT and is televised on ESPN and NFL Network. McKinley will be joined by UCLA head coach Jim Mora and defensive line coach Angus McClure as he awaits his NFL fate.
Mora said seeing the culmination of McKinley’s dream is “going to be awesome,” but he also recognized the unpredictability of the NFL Draft. Only a year ago, the coach was with former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack when Jack slipped all the way to the second round after being projected as a sure-fire first-rounder.
“The draft though, it’s a beast,” Mora said. “You don’t have any idea. It’s a crap shoot, you don’t have any idea where you’re going to get picked. Hopefully it works out for Takk.”
McKinley is not the only hopeful Bruin this weekend. Cornerback Fabian Moreau is expected to be a high second-day pick, likely going in the second round. Defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, offensive lineman Conor McDermott and linebacker Jayon Brown are likely third-day guys.
The second day of the draft (the second and third rounds) starts at 4 p.m. PT on Friday and the event wraps up Saturday with the fourth through seventh rounds, starting at 9 a.m. PT.
Here are links to prepare for the NFL Draft:
- A list at the UCLA prospects and where they might go
- How Moreau went from under-recruited running back to NFL corner at UCLA
- Patience pays off for Brown
- From ESPN: McKinley’s origin story
- From the Sacramento Bee: Vanderdoes is making his hometown proud
- Mock drafts:
- Several NFL Network mock drafts have McKinley in the first round:
- Chad Reuter of NFL Network has five Bruins going in his seven-round mock draft: McKinley, 1st round, 30th overall to Pittsburgh; Moreau, third round, 65th overall to Pittsburgh; Vanderdoes, fourth round, 121 overall to Indianapolis; McDermott, fifth round, 155th overall to Philadelphia; Brown, sixth round, 215th overall to Detroit
- ESPN sends McKinley to Indianapolis with the 15th overall pick, as does Sports Illustrated
- Sports Illustrated writes about the 32nd overall pick (to the Saints): “Take your pick of the remaining cornerbacks—Quincy Wilson, Marlon Humphrey, Fabian Moreau, etc.” The magazine assigns Wilson as the last pick of the first round.
- Walter Football’s seven-round mock draft has:
- CBS Sports‘ first-round mock draft doesn’t include UCLA