Myles Jack: Jim Mora’s NFL draft comments ‘definitely surprised me’

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack (30) said he was surprised that head coach Jim Mora seemed skeptical about his NFL draft decision. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack (30) said he was surprised that head coach Jim Mora seemed skeptical about his NFL draft decision. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Despite expressing support for Myles Jack’s decision to leave UCLA, head coach Jim Mora sounded uncertain about the linebacker’s draft prospects.

On Tuesday, Mora described Jack’s choice to go pro as a risky move, saying that he had “never seen a guy taken off of” just three games as a junior. The 20-year-old started 28 straight games as a Bruin before suffering a season-ending meniscus tear late last month.

However, Jack told NFL.com that had a brief conversation with Mora and left under the impression that the coach was back him “1,000 percent.”

“(His later comments) definitely surprised me,” Jack told NFL.com‘s Mike Silver, “but I don’t know — maybe that’s what he felt. I mean, it’s a little crazy down there right now. They just suffered their first defeat (to Arizona State), and these are crazy times around here. But I’m still riding with the Bruins. Continue reading

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Myles Jack withdraws from UCLA, declares for NFL draft

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack will enter the 2016 NFL draft despite suffering a season-ending knee injury, head coach Jim Mora announced Tuesday.

“He’s taken his chips and he’s shoving them into the middle,” Mora said. “We hope he draws a good hand.”

A projected first-round pick, Jack has withdrawn from school just two weeks after tearing his anterior meniscus, an injury that will sideline him for four to six months. He appeared in three games this season, recording 15 tackles as well as a game-sealing interception against BYU, the final play of his collegiate career. Continue reading

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Nate Starks expects UCLA RB Paul Perkins to declare for NFL draft

Nate Starks is making sure he makes the most of his time with the Paul Perkins. The way he sees it, he won’t be sharing a backfield with the UCLA star for much longer.

“He’s my mentor,” Starks said of Perkins on Saturday. “He’s the No. 1 guy right now. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him. He’s gonna be out of here soon. I’m gonna be the next guy up. I want to be ready when my time comes.”

Asked if he expects Perkins to declare for the NFL draft next spring, the sophomore back said: “I mean, Paul’s the man. So I’m thinking so, yeah.” Continue reading

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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

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