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Bruins Shine at UCLA Football's NFL Pro Day

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UCLA held its NFL pro day yesterday. Here is some of the news from yesterday, along with photos and videos.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

"UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley had his closing argument on Tuesday, throwing the ball for a large contingent of NFL teams at the Bruins' pro day. And according to one scout in attendance, he was "on point and smooth" during his passing session, showing off footwork and plenty of arm strength to make every NFL throw."

CBS Sports NFL Analyst Dana Brugler.

According to Brugler and others, Brett Hundley looked smooth on Tuesday, completing 57 of his 60 passes (including one drop) as scouts watched UCLA's quarterback and other rising stars work out on their way to the NFL Draft.

According to many, the Bruin players really upped their stock, either validating the good that was being said or in creating even more buzz about their prospects.  Not only were scouts impressed by what they saw on the field (which we will get back to in a minute), they also seemed surprised that Bruins knew how to wear their hats.  In his interview, which you can watch below, Mora had this to say about the hat situation:

I've spent a lot of time with them up until this point talking with them about it, but everything is being evaluated.  Three teams came up to me today and commented on the fact that it was nice to see Brett (Hundley) wearing his hat the correct way, rather that wearing it backwards or cocked to the side. What these young men have to understand is that the way the walk, the way they talk, what they wear - how they present themselves at all times is being evaluated by these professional football teams.

What is surprising to me is that anyone would be surprised by how our football players carry themselves.  But I guess we have had the advantage of getting to watch them through the years.  And, it really made me wonder what is happening at other universities?

Moving on.

Brett Hundley

Great with the media and as down to earth as ever, no one was surprised with how well he interviewed, either. The only real specifics that Hundley wanted to show improvement on footwork and fundamentals from the combine, and with a smooth passing performance he's confident that he showed exactly that.

Abbey Mastracco, Fox Sports West

Brett had a few things he really wanted to feature, including his footwork which had looked like a work in progress to Kurt Warner at the Combine.  So Brett worked with Warner for a couple of weeks and came prepared to do better, showing improved footwork and skills he hadn't used at UCLA.  From NFL writer, Bryan Fisher:

Hundley worked a variety of route concepts that he had not shown very much on tape and impressed with a tight spiral and good velocity. He appeared to be on the money with all but a handful of passes. The signal-caller looked to be on the same page as his wideouts and he was particularly proud of the footwork he showed off inside the pocket while avoiding a faux pass rush.

And Brett came away feeling really good about what he accomplished:

"I'm really, really happy with what I did and satisfied with it. I felt like I put on a show today," Hundley told CFB 24/7. "I feel like I can just relax a little but there's no break. I've got to keep going and keep getting better."

Brett met with the press at the end of the day:

Thanks to Ed Lewis of rivals.com for the video.

As you can hear, Brett was also shocked scouts were impressed that he knew how to wear his hat, although he understood why, especially in a quarterback, teams are concerned with character issues and the kind of person you are on and off the field. "I feel like I'm a good guy ... so people should see that."  Brett says he will work hard for what ever team drafts him, and we can all attest to that.

If you subscribe to rivals, head on over and take a look at extended footage they have of Brett throwing yesterday.  I can't remark on what is in the video, because it's behind a firewall. However, I can pass along what I observed in my attempts to sneak a peak from a corner of lot 8.  Brett really looked poised and made a lot of really beautiful passes.  Each time he went back to throw, he worked his feet between a set of blue pylons.  He looked quick, sharp, and in control as T. Mazzone simulated a pass rusher. He quickly moved from throwing one route to another, using four different receivers, I believe, who went out one right after another.  I wish I could have seen more, but the professional guard patrolling lot 8 kept interfering with my viewing experience!

Unfortunately, while I was there trying to get a look, absent were NFL head coaches and general managers, according to Joe Platt and Peter Schrager.  I don't know who plans these things, but because of the timing, UCLA held its pro day on the first day of NFL free agency and Brett began throwing at exactly the same time free agency began.

Eric Kendricks

The meetings are intense.  There is no hiding in there. But I know my stuff...People try to tell you what to expect and how to prepare for this.  You don't know until you go through it. If you're not yourself, you'll seem like a robot.

-Eric Kendriks after his pro day work out.

Eric came into pro day with a still recovering hamstring.  He wanted to continue to show scouts what he can do, without causing further injury.  It seems EK succeeded:

Linebacker Eric Kendricks. He did perform positional drills at UCLA's pro day, showing well and cementing his status as a top-50 prospect.

and:
Inside linebacker Eric Kendricks (6-0 1/8, 235) went through some drills despite a nagging hamstring that flared up at the combine. Kendricks did the 20-yard short shuttle in 4.17 seconds and the three-cone in 7.16 seconds. He also performed 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Check Eric out:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Check out how Eric Kendricks performed at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBruins?src=hash">#GoBruins</a> <a href="http://t.co/B895DOaWew">pic.twitter.com/B895DOaWew</a></p>&mdash; UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) <a href="https://twitter.com/UCLAFootball/status/575500578211676160">March 11, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Eric also met with the press after his workout:

<iframe width="600" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wiQPYn3if6Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Again, thanks to Ed Lewis for the video.

EK's intelligence, speed, and consistency are impressing scouts:

I talk to everyone and they say it doesn't really matter what film they turn on.They see a guy that goes sideline-to-sideline and makes plays.


Owamagbe Odighizuwa

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Get the sense out of UCLA Pro Day that momentum is building for Owa Odighizuwa. Mora thinks teams could consider him as early as late 1st.</p>&mdash; Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) <a href="https://twitter.com/BryanDFischer/status/575403120714366976">March 10, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Owamagbe Odighizuwa continues to impress scouts with his speed, power, and athleticism.  Dallas Cowboys website says that Owa stole the show at pro day:

He really demonstrated his power working the sled but the highlight of his day came in linebacker drills. While he primarily played with his hand in the ground at UCLA, Odighizuwa moved well in space and showed that he is able to drop into coverage and proved that his impressive measurables in Indianapolis can translate to field.

According to CBS Sports:

Pass rusher Owa Odighizuwa performed drills at defensive end and standing up at linebacker at the Bruins pro day and attracted a lot of attention. He was considered as a mid-to-late first round pick by NFL teams prior to the draft process with the one caveat being his medical reports.

Video of Owa working:

<blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p>&quot;<a href="https://twitter.com/UCLAFootball">@UCLAFootball</a>: Get a quick look at Owamagbe Odighizuwa <a href="https://twitter.com/LPJ_Odighizuwa">@LPJ_Odighizuwa</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a> <a href="http://t.co/MDiHgr4OvY">pic.twitter.com/MDiHgr4OvY</a>&quot;</p>&mdash; Angus McClure (@Angus_McClure) <a href="https://twitter.com/Angus_McClure/status/575501941498777602">March 11, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Owa meets the press:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLA?src=hash">#UCLA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LPJ_Odighizuwa">@LPJ_Odighizuwa</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork">@nflnetwork</a> now! <a href="http://t.co/gnmdpHZTFV">pic.twitter.com/gnmdpHZTFV</a></p>&mdash; Angus McClure (@Angus_McClure) <a href="https://twitter.com/Angus_McClure/status/575389208723873792">March 10, 2015</a></blockquote>

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By the way, Angus McClure tweeted a lot of great stuff yesterday, you might want to take a look.

Owa's post day interview (via Ed Lewis):

<iframe width="600" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bB6h7dM14gs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

AJ, Ellis, Jordan, and Malcolm

Anthony Jefferson, Ellis McCarthy, Jordan James and Malcolm Bunche also participated yesterday and did well for themselves.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Ellis McCarthy Pro Day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BruinRevolution?src=hash">#BruinRevolution</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a> <a href="http://t.co/fFHBELZ7mz">pic.twitter.com/fFHBELZ7mz</a></p>&mdash; Sal Alosi (@Coach_Alosi) <a href="https://twitter.com/Coach_Alosi/status/575473241801670656">March 11, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Eillis is showing his skills on both sides of the ball:
Junior defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy ... Exclusively a defensive player at UCLA, McCarthy worked out on both offense and defense on Tuesday for scouts.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>&quot;<a href="https://twitter.com/UCLAFootball">@UCLAFootball</a>: Check out Ellis McCarthy <a href="https://twitter.com/footballgod18">@footballgod18</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBruins?src=hash">#GoBruins</a> <a href="http://t.co/A9I5EMeXhc">pic.twitter.com/A9I5EMeXhc</a>&quot;</p>&mdash; Angus McClure (@Angus_McClure) <a href="https://twitter.com/Angus_McClure/status/575504544437833728">March 11, 2015</a></blockquote>
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I got a chance to see McCarthy as he walked from the weight room to the field and he looked to be in great shape.  While Mora believes it is really difficult at this level to move to the other side of the ball, it still may be a good move for him, his size and strength being his best physical attributes.



<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Anthony Jefferson Pro Day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BruinRevolution?src=hash">#BruinRevolution</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a> <a href="http://t.co/UDq0MaZCu7">pic.twitter.com/UDq0MaZCu7</a></p>&mdash; Sal Alosi (@Coach_Alosi) <a href="https://twitter.com/Coach_Alosi/status/575437775664603136">March 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
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According to Coach Mora, Anthony did really well yesterday, improving his running time from the Combine.  Whether Anthony Jefferson plays at safety or cornerback at the next level is not an issue for AJ:
Wherever the needs are for the team, that’s where I’ll be. A lot of team’s like me at safety so (we’ll see).
He also met the press yesterday:

<iframe width="600" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nDC9DRw9zMk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Video courtesy of Ed Lewis.

Cornerback Anthony Jefferson (6-0 7/8, 195) ran the 40 in 4.64 and 4.62 seconds. He had a 20-yard short shuttle time of 4.5 seconds and a three-cone time of 7.01 seconds. Jefferson demonstrated that he's a really smooth athlete in the positional drills.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p>Anthony Jefferson on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a>: &quot;I take it as a job interview.&quot; <a href="http://t.co/NZEqNEnSV8">pic.twitter.com/NZEqNEnSV8</a></p>&mdash; UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) <a href="https://twitter.com/UCLAFootball/status/575494135626358786">March 11, 2015</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Jordan James Pro Day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BruinRevolution?src=hash">#BruinRevolution</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a> <a href="http://t.co/ARbJAdrUae">pic.twitter.com/ARbJAdrUae</a></p>&mdash; Sal Alosi (@Coach_Alosi) <a href="https://twitter.com/Coach_Alosi/status/575434315254734849">March 10, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Jordan James got his first group tryout yesterday.  James only started one game last year but he has showed he has talent. NFL media analyst Gil Brandt thinks that James' performance yesterday will interest NFL teams:

Running back Jordan James (5-8 1/2, 195) ran the 40 in 4.42 and 4.44 seconds. He had a 34 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-11 broad jump. He did the three-cone in 7.19 seconds and the 20-yard short shuttle in 4.45 seconds. He performed 18 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. James was a backup running back for the Bruins (13 games, but one start), but he has very good speed and explosion. That could intrigue an NFL team enough to bring him into camp as a rookie free agent.



<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Malcolm Bunche Pro Day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BruinRevolution?src=hash">#BruinRevolution</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCLAProDay?src=hash">#UCLAProDay</a> <a href="http://t.co/TvuafdeHS1">pic.twitter.com/TvuafdeHS1</a></p>&mdash; Sal Alosi (@Coach_Alosi) <a href="https://twitter.com/Coach_Alosi/status/575473020543741952">March 11, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Malcolm Bunche also participated in yesterday's pro day and we wish him and all our other Bruins best of luck moving forward.

We have already cited many comments Jim Mora made yesterday. Here is the complete video where he evaluates the players performances and the draft.

<iframe width="600" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/p3HTROAnfNs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Video courtesy of Ed Lewis.

And on a whimsical note:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>UCLA has to be the only Pro Day in the country where media members skateboard to it.</p>&mdash; Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) <a href="https://twitter.com/BryanDFischer/status/575373631775055872">March 10, 2015</a></blockquote>

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We wish all our Bruins the best as they work to make their dreams come true.

Go Bruins!