The 2011 NFL Draft gets underway in about half an hour in New York City. The first round is tonight. The second and third rounds will take place tomorrow, beginning at 3:00 pm PT. Rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Both ESPN and NFL Network will be televising the event.
Akeem and Rahim are the two headliners for UCLA who will be in New York City tonight. The other two Bruins to keep an eye on are Kai Forbath and defensive tackle David Carter. The official site has a special page set up, which cannot hide the fact that Bruins have not had a first round draft pick since 2006. Marcedes is the only Bruin first rounder from Dan Guerrero's UCLA. During the 2000s Bruins have had a total of only 3 picks in the first round. Robert Thomas and Freddie Mitchell were the other guys. It is yet another telling figure on how low UCLA athletics have fallen under the leadership of Guerrero.
May be Akeem and Rahim can change things tonight. You can use this post an open thread if you are watching all the festivities on TV. I will share few more clips on Rahim and Akeem after the jump.
Here are the latest first round mock projections from SBN and NFL Network's Mike Mayock. Both of those mocks project Akeem to New York Jets at the number 30 spot. Rahim unfortunately is not in any of those projections. Jon Gold also thinks Rahim is going to fall out of the first round. Blair Angulo of ESPNLA thinks Rahim may have a shot in the first:
Moore knows he's not a top-15 pick, yet believes he's still first-round material. Whether or not an NFL team thinks the same remains to be seen. Moore could go off the board late in the first, say, to a team like the Patriots, who have the luxury of two first-round selections. If that doesn't happen, Moore will hear his name called early on the second day.
Blair thinks Akeem could be headed to Baltimore in the first:
If you recall, Ayers was projected as high as No. 13 in early mock drafts but slipped a bit following a poor showing at the combine. Unofficial 40-yard dash times of 4.83 and 4.80 in Indianapolis turned some teams off, but he made up for it slightly at UCLA's pro day workouts. Regardless of the lackluster numbers, Ayers is slated to become UCLA's first first-rounder since Marcedes Lewis (2006). We'll predict he gets nabbed by Baltimore -- looking to develop the next Terrell Suggs -- with the 26th overall pick.
For his part Rahim's spirits are high:
"I'll watch the draft, and the No. 1 team can drop down to the 25th team and pick you up. Sometimes people think you're going some place and you go nowhere near there. A lot of teams love my character, my passion for the game. It's kind of like gambling. Should I get him now? Should I trade down for him? It is scary. My main thing is, if you pick me you won't regret it. I became one of Coach Neuheisel's players. He didn't regret me. I cherished him and he cherished me. I'm going to be that same guy at Dorsey, same guy at UCLA. It's kind of scary. But when it is all said and done, it's in God's hands. Now it's all about character and how you carry yourself. I know that my hard work will pay off."
We wish Rahim, Akeem and all of the Bruins best of luck this evening in New York City and rest of this week.