UCLA links: Bruins in NFL preseason games

Jayon Brown led the Pac-12 in tackles last year and picked up right where he left off in his NFL preseason debut with the Tennessee Titans on Saturday. In his team’s 7-3 loss to the New York Jets, Brown led the Titans with four tackles in the first half with one for loss. The Tennessean wrote that Brown was among the Titans players who helped their stock the most during the first preseason game.

Fellow former UCLA linebacker Aaron Wallace also impressed for the Titans with five total tackles (four solo), 0.5 sacks and two tackles for loss in the game.

News on other former Bruins in the NFL:

  • Quarterback Brett Hundley played the first half Green Bay’s 24-9 win over Philadelphia. The quarterback was 8 for 15 passing for 90 yards with touchdown and interception. From the Wisconsin State-Journal: Hundley got off to a slow start, hampered by a fumble from Ty Montgomery and three dropped passes, came back to finish the half strong.
  • Defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes earned the start and had one tackle in this NFL preseason debut for the Raiders and is position to start when the real games begin next month. From The San Francisco Chronicle: Quarterback Derek Carr compared Vanderdoes to Justin Tuck.
  • Cornerback Fabian Moreau missed Washington’s preseason opener, but returned to practice Saturday as a full participant after he suffered a pectoral injury at UCLA’s Pro Day in March.

Fabian Moreau drafted 81st overall to Washington Redskins

UCLA defensive back Fabian Moreau runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, March 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau was drafted 81st overall in the 2017 NFL Draft on Friday, going to the Washington Redskins in the third round.

After starring at the East-West Shrine Game and running a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, Moreau suffered a chest injury at UCLA’s Pro Day that required surgery. The injury may have damaged his draft stock in a deep group of draft-eligible defensive backs as he was considered a possible late first-round prospect. The 19 defensive backs (10 cornerbacks and nine safeties) taken in the first two rounds were the most for a single draft in the common era. Moreau, who was the 12th cornerback taken, is expected to be healthy for training camp.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock commended the pick, saying Washington “got a starting corner” in Moreau, despite the uncertainty surrounding the injury.

The former running back led the team with 10 passes broken up, with 12 passes defensed. He earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a sophomore and followed that up with second-team all-conference honors as a junior. After a Lisfranc injury put a premature end to his senior year, Moreau came back in 2016 to lead the team with 10 passes broken up, with 12 passes defensed. He was named an honorable mention All-Pac-12.

Moreau is the first defensive back to be drafted out of UCLA since free safety Rahim Moore went in the second round (45th overall) to Denver.

UCLA teammates and coaches sent their congratulations on social media:

Continue reading “Fabian Moreau drafted 81st overall to Washington Redskins” »

Football links: Former UCLA Bruins await NFL Draft fate

Several former UCLA players are hoping to hear their names called at the NFL Draft this weekend, including, clockwise from top left: Takkarist McKinley, Fabian Moreau, Jayon Brown, Eddie Vanderdoes and Conor McDermott. (Photos by Thomas R. Cordova/SCNG; Jae C. Hong/AP; Sam Craft/AP; Ronald Martinez/Getty Images; John McCoy/SCNG)

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: Continue reading “Football links: Former UCLA Bruins await NFL Draft fate” »

Fabian Moreau runs 4.35-second 40 at NFL Combine

UCLA defensive back Fabian Moreau runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, March 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

In a very deep defensive back class, former UCLA cornerback Fabian Moreau stood out at the NFL Combine on Monday with impressive test results.

The 6-foot, 206-pound cornerback ran a blazing 4.35-second 40-yard dash that ranked second among all defensive backs and fourth for all players. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock took notice of the performance, saying “the worst case scenario” for Moreau was a second-round pick.

Moreau showed his explosiveness with an 11-foot, 4-inch broad jump that ranked second among defensive backs and tied for second for all players. His 38-inch vertical was tied for seventh at his position.

NFL.com named Moreau one of the Combine’s Day 4 winners.

Moreau’s full results:

  • 40-yard dash: 4.35 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 38 inches
  • Broad jump: 136 inches (11 feet, 4 inches)
  • 3-cone drill: 6.94 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.12 seconds
  • 60-yard shuttle: 11.45 seconds

UCLA at the NFL combine

UCLA has five players participating in this week’s NFL combine, which starts Tuesday and ends March 6. Linebacker Jayon Brown, defensive linemen Eddie Vanderdoes and Takkarist McKinley, offensive lineman Conor McDermott and defensive back Fabian Moreau will go through the biggest job interviews of their football careers so far in Indianapolis.

The group of former Bruins, along with more than 300 other prospects, will go through formal interviews with teams as well as on-field workouts prior to April’s NFL draft.

Combine links:

You can watch their workouts on NFL Network on the following days, starting at 9 a.m. ET each day:

  • March 3: McDermott
  • March 5: Brown, Vanderdoes, McKinley
  • March 6: Moreau