LOS ANGELES—The NFL Draft has come and gone, and with it 12 UCLA and USC players achieved a lifelong dream few ever attain, becoming professional football players in the NFL and playing on Sunday. The past couple of months has been a trial by fire- numerous combines endless critiquing of their body and press speculation.
All leading up to the moment when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces their name, forever changing their lives.
UCLA’s All-American Linebacker, Myles Jack, was projected on mock drafts to be a top 10 pick. Unfortunately, his knee injuries scared potential teams from being chosen in the first round. The Jacksonville Jaguars swooped him up at No. 36 in the second round. This guy has the intangible gifts to succeed at the next level.
His speed, athleticism, bone crushing tackles and raw emotion resonates with teammates and coaches, making him a natural born leader. It is rare in today’s game to find anyone with his uncanny ability to play on both offense and defense. In goal line situations, he is inserted at running back to piledrive the defense and score touchdowns at will.
The other Bruins drafted were Defensive Tackle Kenny Clark, in the first round by the Green Bay Packers, last season he emerged as the heart and soul of the defense with the defense continually plagued by injuries. In the fifth round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Offensive Lineman Caleb Benenoch.
The next pick belonged to the New York Giants, who took a risk by drafting Running Back Paul Perkins. He is one of the greatest running backs in UCLA history, and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield is just what the doctor ordered.
UCLA all-time receptions leader, Wide Receiver Jordan Payton was drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Linebacker Aaron Wallace was taken in the seventh round.
The final Bruins selected were a pair of dynamic receivers. The Miami Dolphins took Thomas Duarte, and the Atlanta Falcons chose Devin Fuller, both in the seventh round.
As for the USC Trojans, 5 players were drafted, the biggest surprise being QB Cody Kessler, who was taken by the Cleveland Browns. Everyone believed the Browns weren’t pursuing a quarterback since they signed Robert Griffin, and traded their No. 2 pick. However, new coach Hue Jackson has taken a shine to the 3-year starter, and Kessler will compete for the starting job.
Linebacker Su’a Cravens is going to the Washington Redskins, but will need to adapt quickly as the Redskins are planning to make him a safety. Center Max Treuk was chosen by the San Diego Chargers in the third round.
The final Trojan drafted was Defensive Back Kevon Seymour, in the sixth round to the Buffalo Bills. The native Pasadenian exclaimed on Twitter, “All Glory to God, thank you to the Buffalo Bills for this opportunity.”