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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Brett Hundley to return for redshirt junior season

UCLA has announced a 9 a.m. Monday press conference for Brett Hundley’s “major announcement.”

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UCLA’s potential run at a Rose Bowl or national title is still alive.

Quarterback Brett Hundley will return to UCLA for his redshirt junior season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, turning down what could have been a first-round selection in the NFL draft. The star quarterback had said after the Bruins’ 42-12 Sun Bowl win over Virginia Tech last week that he had “no idea” what his decision will be.

Hundley rushed for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns against the Hokies while throwing for 226 yards and two more scores — breaking Cade McNown’s UCLA bowl game record for total offensive yards. The redshirt sophomore has struggled with decision-making throughout the season, but his talent and upside make him a tantalizing pro prospect.

When he declares, Hundley will be the first Bruin quarterback drafted since McNown went 12th overall to the Chicago Bears in 1999. McNown took UCLA to its last Rose Bowl berth four months earlier.

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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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Shaq Evans talks NFL draft, Senior Bowl invite


Shaq Evans is trying to become the first UCLA receiver drafted since 2010, when Washington took Terrence Austin in the seventh round. His biggest chance to boost his stock may be the Senior Bowl, held in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 25.

“That game is huge for me,” said Evans, who received his invitation last week. “I didn’t really have the numbers I expected to have this year. I feel like I still played well, but I know that I’m still under the radar a little bit.” Continue reading

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Xavier Su’a-Filo lays out his upcoming NFL draft decision


Junior offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo spoke recently about whether or not he will enter the 2014 NFL draft. The biggest factor in his decision will be his grade evaluation, but said he didn’t know a cutoff point that would push him one way or the other. His turning 23 in January, the age of many fifth-year seniors, will also affect his decision; his two-year LDS mission had pushed back his eligibility clock, and could prompt him to leave early in hopes of a longer career.

Su’a-Filo could be an eventual first-rounder at guard, but likely needs to add more strength before NFL franchises see fit to pick him that high.

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Hundley ‘not concerned’ about potential Jim Mora departure

Echoing earlier comments from his teammates, UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley said today that he isn’t worried about coach Jim Mora potentially going to Washington.

“I’m not concerned at all, to be honest,” he told sports radio host Jim Rome. “I haven’t really heard too much. Obviously, there’s so much talk about it right now. But I’m not concerned about it at all. I know Coach Mora. I love him to death. Obviously, he loves UCLA. He loves the players. We love him. We’re not really worried or anything like that about him leaving.”

Of course, it would have been surprising if Hundley or other Bruins had said otherwise, but they at least backed up the tone Mora set with his post-USC press conference. Earlier reports that Mora was in Seattle were unfounded. Continue reading

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How much NFL talent does UCLA have?

NFL teams drafted four Bruins in April, the highest number for UCLA since 2005. Could the school best that mark next spring?

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ranked the 25 college programs with the most talent for the 2014 draft. The Bruins made the cut, along with four other Pac-12 teams:

No. 22: UCLA — 7 prospects (among draft-eligible players)
No. 21: Washington — 7 Continue reading

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Early look at Bruins in the 2014 NFL draft

The 2014 NFL draft is less than a year away! Depending on who does or doesn’t declare, the Bruins could have two first-round picks for the first time since 1981.

Here’s a roundup of some too-early mock drafts/prospect rankings.

Sports Illustrated:
Brett Hundley — No. 8
Anthony Barr — No. 20

Chris Burke is higher on Hundley than anyone else listed here, and is also lower on Barr — whom he calls a potential “Von Miller-type” should he be drafted by a 4-3 team. The analyst does hedge a bit on the No. 20: “Odds are, in the long run, that Barr might be off the board well before this next April.” Continue reading

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Vikings draft offensive lineman Jeff Baca

To continue the NFC North’s ongoing love affair with UCLA, the Minnesota Vikings picked offensive lineman Jeff Baca in the sixth round, 196th overall. He joins fellow Bruin Jeff Locke in Minnesota, while former teammates Datone Jones and Johnathan Franklin will chase their pro dreams less than 300 miles east in Green Bay.

Baca can play almost anywhere on the line, but has a bad penalties habit. He is the first UCLA offensive lineman drafted since 1999, when Pittsburgh took Kris Farris in the third round. Baca’s selection also marked the first time more than three Bruins were drafted since 2005.

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Johnathan Franklin: ‘It’s a blessing’

Johnathan Franklin joined defensive end Datone Jones in Green Bay as a fourth-round draft pick, and could end up being a better back than second-round Packers’ pick Eddie Lacy. Here’s a quick, post-draft Q&A with Franklin, one that caught him while his voice was still shaky with emotion.

Q: How does it feel to finally get drafted?

Words can’t describe how I feel right now. It’s a blessing. I’ve been in tears for the past 15, 20 minutes. It’s been my dream my whole life. My whole life. It’s what I’ve been waking up thinking about every day. Every day! I’m excited to play. I’m excited to go to the NFL. I love football. I didn’t just wanna get there, I wanna stay there. So I can’t wait to go up there and work and be used.

Q: Are you excited to be reunited with Datone Jones? Continue reading

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