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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA’s Cassius Marsh, Shaq Evans picked in fourth round of NFL draft

In the span of eight picks Saturday morning, UCLA doubled its 2014 NFL draft production.

Defensive end Cassius Marsh and receiver Shaq Evans both went in the fourth round, going 108th overall to the Seattle Seahawks and 115th overall to the New York Jets. They were the third and fourth Bruins picked this year, after linebacker Anthony Barr (ninth) and offensive guard Xavier Su’a-Filo (33rd).

Despite racking up 10.5 tackles for loss last season, Marsh is a bit of a tweener at 6-foot-4, 252 pounds — perhaps too small for defensive end and too slow for linebacker at the next level. Still, he is a versatile player who also worked out for teams as a tight end.

Evans led the team with 709 yards and nine touchdowns on 47 catches. He won’t beat anyone flat out with his speed (4.51-second 40-yard dash), but has good enough hands and size at 6-foot-1 to develop into a useful target.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Phil Steele names eight Bruins midseason All-Pac-12

In the mood for a round of meaningless-but-encouraging awards? Have some midseason All-Pac-12 team mentions, courtesy of college football guru Phil Steele.

Steele named eight UCLA players to his all-conference squads, with outside linebacker Anthony Barr and left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo leading the way on the first team. The pair also landed on Steele’s midseason All-American team, with Barr earning a first-team nod and Su’a-Filo a second.

Center Jake Brendel and linebacker Eric Kendricks both made the midseason second team. Receiver Shaq Evans and running back Steve Manfro joined the pair there, but earned their spots for contributions at kick and punt return.

Quarterback Brett Hundley ended up on the third team, behind Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Oregon State’s Sean Mannion. Defensive end Cassius Marsh rounded out the UCLA names on the list.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Shaq Evans ‘borderline shy’ away from the football field

Shaq Evans may have a short fuse at times, but away from football, he withdraws. My feature in yesterday’s Daily News focused on the difference between his personas, with Bruins receivers coach Eric Yarber describing him as “borderline shy” off the field.

Something that didn’t make it into the story was Evans’ early affinity for basketball, which he gave up once he got to Inglewood High. From a card he wrote when he was 7 years old: “I plan on going to UCLA, and I want to be a professional basketball player. I want to be drafted into the NBA when I’m in my sophomore year of college and I want to be one of the best basketball players ever.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email