UCLA football links: Bruins host scouts at Pro Day

UCLA tight end and fullback Nate Iese runs an agility drill in front of NFL scouts during UCLA’s pro day for NFL draft prospects in Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

For the 12 UCLA seniors who didn’t get invited to the NFL Combine, Tuesday’s Pro Day was the biggest job interview of their lives.

“This is their Combine,” head coach Jim Mora said.

UCLA hosted its annual Pro Day on Tuesday, welcoming scouts and coaches from all 32 NFL teams, as 17 outgoing seniors worked out to improve their draft stocks. Former UCLA running back Jordan James and punter Matt Mengal also participated in the workout.

Wide receiver Kenneth Walker III had a good day, showing off his impressive speed (some scouts clocked his 40-yard dash in the 4.2-second range) and make a number of good catches in rainy conditions. Despite slipping a few times on the slick turf, linebacker Cameron Judge was approached by an Atlanta Falcon scout after the linebackers drills and was commended on his performance. Judge was also thrilled with his 40-yard dash time that was clocked in the low 4.5-second range.

More from Pro Day

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UCLA football links: Jim Mora talks to Bruin Report Online

UCLA head coach Jim Mora watches over his team during football practice on the campus intramural field Wednesday, August 10, 2016, Westwood, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer)

Bruin Report Online’s Tracy Pierson spoke with UCLA head coach Jim Mora in the coach’s office about variety of topics, including the upcoming Under Armour contract, the impact of the new Wasserman Football Center and the revamped coaching staff.

He reaffirmed that given the opportunity, he “never wants to leave” UCLA. He had similar comments in January when he spoke to the media soon after hiring offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.

Mora also accepted “all the blame” for last year’s offensive failure, saying that he “miscalculated,” especially how the scheme fit the personnel. He added that he did a “poor job” of executing the vision he had for the offense.

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How UCLA’s newest recruiting class stacks up to previous years

Buena Park High defensive back Elijah Gates is part of an 18-player UCLA recruiting class that was heavy on defense and offensive linemen. (Photo by Bill Alkofer,Orange County Register/SCNG)

Six weeks ago, UCLA’s recruiting class was 47th in the nation, according to Scout. By the end of the Signing Day festivities, the Bruins had vaulted up to 21st.

UCLA made major moves in the month of January to make up for its slow start to the recruiting cycle to end up with the third-best class in the Pac-12, but the haul is the worst in the Jim Mora era, according to rankings from Scout and Rivals.

Continue reading “How UCLA’s newest recruiting class stacks up to previous years” »

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