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Pro Bruins: Future UCLA NFLers compared to current, past greats

Devin Asiasi, Darnay Holmes, Joshua Kelley & JJ Molson all find themselves compared to favorable NFL stars

NFL Combine - Day 3 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft is this week and though Bruins Nation likely won’t hear a former Bruin’s named called on Day 1, it’s growing increasingly likely that we’ll hear at least one name on Day 2, if not three during Rounds 2-3.

With the draft growing closer and closer, Rotoworld’s Thor Nystrom took the painstaking time and effort to rank all 500 potential draftees giving us all a look into his pro comparison for each athlete as well. Four UCLA Bruins found themselves on Nystrom’s list that went as follows.

Tight end Devin Asiasi topped the list as he came in as the fourth-ranked tight end prospect and 93rd-ranked overall player in the draft. Perhaps the most favorable comparison out of the entire list of UCLA players is his comp to Alge Crumpler, the former tight end who played 10 seasons in the NFL and totaled 39 receiving touchdowns in stints with the Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots.

Crumpler was a dynamic pass-catching tight end in an era of football that was transitioning away from heavy tight end utilization at the tail-end of his career so his 4,743 career receiving yards is ultra impressive. Asiasi draws this comparison likely on the fact that he can be a dynamic pass-catcher with solid straight-line speed but also because he can get after it in the run game as well with his blocking skills.

Cornerback Darnay Holmes was next on the list, coming in as the 147th-best prospect overall and CB20 on Nystrom’s rankings. His NFL comp was that of Darqueze Dennard, who was selected in the first round of the 2014 draft and played six seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Though he’s a free agent right now, he was the Thorpe winner in 2013 and recorded three picks and 22 pass breakups during his time with the Bengals. Injuries have hampered him as of late but this is still an incredibly positive sign for Holmes, to be compared to a first-round pick who had solid upside despite injuries.

Running back Joshua Kelley checked in at 155th overall, just behind Holmes and as the 14th-ranked running back in the class. His pro comparison was to John Kelly, the former Tennessee running back who is in his third year with the Los Angeles Rams after being selected in the sixth round of the 2018 draft. Kelly has only run the ball 30 times for 83 yards in his NFL career to date but was a dynamic threat with the ball in his hands during his college days.

Not sure how I feel about this comp here but I do remember vividly loving John Kelly’s tape more so than most in the 2018 class.

And then rounding out the four Bruins on the rankings is kicker JJ Molson, who drew a comp of Cody Parkey. Undrafted out of the 2014 class, Parkey has made 102-of-121 career kicks but is famously known for his ‘Double Doink’ kick that missed in the 2018 NFC Wild Card game against the Eagles, that would have won the Chicago Bears the game. Still, a six-year pro, this is a favorable comp for a kicker at this stage of the game.

So there they are, the comps for your UCLA Bruins:

Devin Asiasi = Alge Crumpler
Darnay Holmes = Darqueze Dennard
Joshua Kelley = John Kelly
JJ Molson = Cody Parkey

What do you think of those?