NFL roundup: Anthony Barr signs for guaranteed $12.7 million over four years

» After being picked ninth overall in the NFL draft, linebacker Anthony Barr officially signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, inking a fully guaranteed contract worth $12,743,596 over four years. He will get a signing bonus of $7,588,072, and the team can exercise a fifth-year option.

He and other former UCLA players must return to campus through spring quarter, however, since NFL rules dictate that anyone who hasn’t graduated cannot stay their teams until their school sessions end.

» Houston Texans sideline reporter John Harris said Xavier Su’a-Filo will become the starting left guard by Week 1, and be a “key figure” in the run game for at least the next five to seven years. Continue reading

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Jordan Zumwalt goes to Steelers in sixth round as UCLA’s fifth 2014 selection

After sitting through most of Saturday morning, UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt finally got a call from the Pittsburgh Steelers. He became the 192nd overall pick, going in the sixth round of the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound defender has holes in his game, but caught the eyes of scouts with his fiery playing style. Zumwalt pushed his draft stock up late with a Co-Sun Bowl MVP performance, earning himself an invite to the Senior Bowl. He’ll likely contribute immediately on special teams, with a chance to play himself into the linebacker rotation.

He was the fifth Bruin to be taken in the 2014 NFL draft, following a pair of fourth-round picks in defensive end Cassius Marsh and receiver Shaq Evans. Continue reading

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Jordan Zumwalt talks combine, UCLA pro day and draft stock

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After UCLA’s pro day, linebacker Jordan Zumwalt looked back on everything from his expletive-laden 40-yard dash last month to his hit on Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas in the Sun Bowl.

“I think it was my senior year that gave me a big jump,” he said of his draft stock on Tuesday. “Midway through my season, I was talking to my coaches — they talked to scouts — and they said I was a nice surprise.”

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Jordan Zumwalt earns UCLA’s third Senior Bowl invite

Jordan Zumwalt has earned himself a spot in the Senior Bowl. A standout performance in UCLA’s 42-12 Sun Bowl win over Virginia Tech likely helped his case for a late invite: the inside linebacker had 10 tackles and an interception, as well as a big hit that ended quarterback Logan Thomas’ college career.

He joins receiver Shaq Evans and All-American linebacker Anthony Barr to become the Bruins’ third Senior Bowl invitee.

Defensive end Cassius Marsh will play the East-West Shrine Bowl on Jan. 18.

Both games will be broadcast on NFL Network.

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ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay evaluates Bruins

The notebook that ran in today’s edition of the Daily News covers some of Cassius Marsh’s value as an NFL prospect, whether it be at defensive end, linebacker or even tight end. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay gave the UCLA senior a fourth- or fifth-round draft grade. Here’s what he said about some other Bruins:

Linebacker Anthony Barr

“He’s not as talented as (South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon) Clowney. He’s not as big, and he’s probably just a notch below in terms of the explosive athleticism. But I think Barr is still a very, very talented player who’s only played the defensive side for two years. Who continues to get better and better in terms of his play, how he’s using his hands, how he’s getting off blocks. I think when it’s all said and done, he’s going to wind up being a top-five pick. Continue reading

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Notes and quotes: UCLA holds off Arizona in big division win

First, the stories that appear in today’s edition of the Los Angeles Daily News:
– UCLA breaks its four-game losing streak in Tucson with a superlative two-way effort from freshman Myles Jack.
– Columnist Vinny Bonsignore, with a look at quarterback Brett Hundley’s performance.

More notes and quotes from the wild 31-26 win at Arizona Stadium, which kept the Bruins in control of their own postseason destiny:

– A lot has been and will be written about Jack, so for now, let’s stick with a roundup of comments from coaches and teammates.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez had high praise too: “The guy is a great athlete, a great player. He’ll be a first-round pick as a linebacker. We tried to recruit him as a running back.” Continue reading

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At a glance: No. 17 UCLA vs. Colorado

No. 17 UCLA (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (3-4, 0-4)
Location:
Rose Bowl, Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington, Ryan Nece)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Last meeting: UCLA beat the Buffs, 42-14, in Boulder as Brett Hundley threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Colorado was in the midst of a 1-11 season under Jon Embree, who was fired after just two years.

Key storylines: The Bruins need to get their offense back on track after several lackluster efforts this month. The offensive line looks like it’s coming together again after losing three left tackles to injury, but quarterback Brett Hundley has veered from average to mediocre to awful this month. The Buffs provide him an easy target, but a high-volume performance that only looks good in the box score — see his 410 yards against Cal — won’t bode well.

Colorado is simply trying to become competitive. Continue reading

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