No UCLA players taken in first round of NFL draft

In a historic haul for its conference, UCLA was left out.

While nine Pac-12 players were taken in the first round of the NFL draft, first-round hopefuls Eric Kendricks and Owa Odighizuwa will wait another day. The Bruin linebacker and defensive end had been projected as late-first or early second-round picks, and represented the program’s best chance at making a first-day splash for the third straight year.

Brett Hundley, regarded by some as the No. 3 quarterback available, could also be selected in either the second or third round.

The second day of the draft will start at 4 p.m. PT.

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Where will the UCLA Bruins go in the 2015 NFL draft?

Former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley attends spring football practice at Spaulding Field on April 2, 2015. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

Former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley attends spring football practice at Spaulding Field on April 2, 2015. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

UCLA hasn’t produced three straight first-round picks since 1994-96, when Jamir Miller, J.J. Stokes and Jonathan Ogden all became top-10 selections.

The Bruins could finally match that streak again today. The NFL Draft starts at 5 p.m., and both linebacker Eric Kendricks and defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa have a chance to be picked. (There’s a bit of buzz linking Kendricks to the Arizona Cardinals, but late-developing draft news could always be a smokescreen.) UCLA hasn’t produced two first-rounders in the same draft since 1981, Freeman McNeil and Kenny Easley went third and fourth overall.

Worth reading on Odighizuwa is this story from Tania Ganguli at ESPN: Owa’s mother, Abieyuwa, helped hold the family together in the wake of his father killing three people in a shooting at the Appalachian School of Law.

In today’s paper, I covered Brett Hundley being set to become the first UCLA quarterback drafted since Cade McNown in 1999, although that’s more likely happen tomorrow. Here are quick draft bios for the Bruins as well.

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Jim Mora: Brett Hundley will be a second-round NFL draft pick

UCLA head coach Jim Mora thinks that Brett Hundley will be a second-round pick in this week’s NFL draft, and also has a few destinations in mind for his former quarterback.

On the Rich Eisen Show, Mora said that Hundley — who started 40 games for the Bruins and set numerous records — could be bound for the Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, or perhaps the St. Louis Rams. Continue reading “Jim Mora: Brett Hundley will be a second-round NFL draft pick” »

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Fighting to be UCLA’s starting quarterback, Jerry Neuheisel shuts out noise

Jerry Neuheisel is the only quarterback on UCLA’s roster with any significant game experience. That hasn’t been enough to make him a favorite in the offseason race to become the Bruins’ next starter.

After backing up Brett Hundley last season, Neuheisel returns in the midst of the program’s first quarterback competition in three years. But even as a soon-to-be redshirt junior, the 22-year-old isn’t exactly a clear favorite. Most of the hype has been generated by five-star recruit Josh Rosen, who committed to the Bruins more than a year ago and enrolled in January to immerse himself in the playbook.

Also in the running is redshirt sophomore Asiantii Woulard, a former Elite 11 MVP — which leaves Neuheisel as an acceptable but unglamorous option. If that perception bothers him, he’s not letting the public know.

“I’ve got enough stresses going on besides worrying what the media thinks,” Neuheisel said. Continue reading “Fighting to be UCLA’s starting quarterback, Jerry Neuheisel shuts out noise” »

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