As a starter, some background of UCLA's history in the NFL Draft, courtesy of Coach Angus McClure. UCLA will likely add to this total, hopefully twice, later this evening at 5 PM on NFL Network (for the good of humanity, avoid Mel Kiper, Chris Berman and Todd McShay on ESPN).
- Xavier Su'a-Filo is going to be selected before Saturday, and sentiment is moving towards an early 20's to late 1st round pick, which means he'll be stepping in as a starter for a likely playoff team in the 2014 season. As the offseason and evaluation process has gone on, it's become a near-consensus that XSF is the top interior lineman prospect. Walter Football gives a breakdown of why that is and it is a fairly large gap from XSF down to Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State), Cyril Richardson (Baylor), David Yankey (Stanford) and Trai Turner (LSU). I think that Brandon Thomas from Clemson would be a real challenge to XSF's ranking if he hadn't torn his ACL in training.
- XSF also dropped in on NFL AM on NFL Network early this week and you can follow the link here to check out his segment on the show. Unsurprisingly, XSF does an awesome job and comes across as an excellent person as well as a football player.
- Bleacher Report gives a sobering look at how awful the UCLA Bruins were in the last decade at developing/producing NFL draft picks. Southern Cal leads with 48 (a surprise to no one considering the Pete Carroll era), UC Berkeley is tied for 11th with 29 players (a promising thing from my perspective as a Tampa Bay fan considering that Jeff Tedford is the new offensive coordinator for Lovie Smith and the Bucs) and Oregon is the only other Pac-12 school listed in a tie for 18th with 25 players. I''d expect a massive leap in the upcoming years as, apart from the 5 players likely to be drafted this year, I can pick out around 20 guys on UCLA's roster that are NFL players without noting any incoming freshman.
- The OC Register has a nice piece giving a general preview of landing spots and testing results for the two Bruins who will get their names called on Thursday (or perhaps early Friday). The article also points out that UCLA hasn't had two first round picks in one season since 1984 (Paul Bergmann and Don Rogers) although Bergmann was a supplemental draft pick out of the USFL. Ryan Kartje also notes that Anthony Barr could be UCLA's first top 10 selection since Jonathan Ogden in 1996.
- This is must-read on Anthony Barr from Inside the Film Room (as site that I'll vouch for)
- Also, some other Anthony Barr links are this LA Times piece by Chris Foster tracking the well known story of Barr's journey to being a first round pick in the NFL. A disappointing quote comes from former coach Rick Neuheisel in that he felt handcuffed by a recruiting promise to stick Barr at RB. One of many odd decisions that led to the undoing of CRN at UCLA. Another link here is a very popular landing spot for Barr by ESPN's Tennessee Titans blog where Barr could team up on the outside with another former Bruin star outside linebacker in Akeem Ayers.
- An uplifting note on Barr's escape from Adidas:
Nike has also signed Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Anthony Barr & Eric Ebron to endorsement deals— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 7, 2014
- I'm also going to slide in this piece by Stephen White (seriously, if you want to read evaluations on NFL games and NFL prospects then check out White's work for SB Nation) on Anthony Barr that I've shared before. Great work and actually a former player that writes in a way that makes things easy to understand even if the concepts aren't.
- Rounding things up with perhaps the most disturbing image I've seen in 2014 (and perhaps much longer than that). For context, Subway apparently is adding Barr as a spokesperson or something and showed their appreciation in this way: