Draft Picks Under Mora

Feb. 24 -- With at least another three players very likely to be drafted this year, UCLA has had an unprecedented run of NFL Draft selections under Jim Mora...

In just a short time, UCLA under Jim Mora has started to develop a reputation as a program that gets players ready for the NFL. This year, UCLA could have anywhere from three to five players drafted, with Brett Hundley, Eric Kendricks, and Owamagbe Odighizuwa all virtual locks to be drafted in the first three rounds, and Ellis McCarthy and Anthony Jefferson both having a decent shot to sneak into the late rounds.

Last year, in 2014, UCLA had five players drafted, with Anthony Barr (1st round), Xavier Su'a-Filo (2nd), Shaquelle Evans (4th), Cassius Marsh (4th), and Jordan Zumwalt (6th) all selected in the Draft. Barr was drafted higher than any Bruin since Jonathan Ogden in 1996. Su'a-Filo was the first offensive lineman drafted higher than the first round since Ogden as well.

In the 2013 NFL Draft, which came after Mora's first season at the helm, the Bruins had Datone Jones (1st), Johnathan Franklin (4th), Jeff Locke (5th), and Jeff Baca (6th) all drafted. Joseph Fauria, who was surprisingly not drafted, has probably been the most successful of the bunch so far.

So, in total, UCLA has had nine players drafted under Jim Mora, with at least three more very likely to be drafted in this cycle. While that may not be all that much compared to some of the SEC factories, let's put this in historical perspective for UCLA:

In 2012: 0 players drafted.
In 2011: Akeem Ayers, Rahim Moore, David Carter
In 2010: Brian Price, Alterraun Verner, Terrence Austin
In 2009: 0 players drafted.
In 2008: Bruce Davis, Chris Horton, Matt Slater
In 2007: Justin Medlock
In 2006: Marcedes Lewis, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jarrad Page.

In other words, UCLA, in the two drafts so far under Mora, has had as many players drafted as in the previous five drafts combined. If you factor in the three or four who are very likely to be drafted this year, UCLA will have had as many players drafted in the last three years as in the previous seven drafts combined.

Now, of course, some of that disparity is due to poor recruiting (we're looking at you, Karl Dorrell) and some is due to poor player development (take a bow, Rick Neuheisel). But as Mora continues to put players in the NFL (the 2016 and 2017 drafts should be full of UCLA's talented 2013 class), it's going to help continue to build UCLA's brand as a place where top-rated prospects can build themselves into pro-ready players.

UCLA in the Draft Through The Years

Brett Hundley
Eric Kendricks
Owamagbe Odighizuwa
Ellis McCarthy*
Anthony Jefferson*

Anthony Barr (1st)
Xavier Su'a-Filo (2nd)
Shaquelle Evans (4th)
Cassius Marsh (4th)
Jordan Zumwalt (6th)

Datone Jones (1st)
Johnathan Franklin (4th)
Jeff Baca (6th)
Jeff Locke (5th)
Joseph Fauria**

No players drafted :(

Akeem Ayers (2nd)
Rahim Moore (2nd)
David Carter (6th)

Brian Price (2nd)
Alterraun Verner (4th)
Terrence Austin (7th)

No players drafted :(

Bruce Davis (3rd)
Chris Horton (7th)
Matt Slater (5th)

Justin Medlock (5th)

Marcedes Lewis (1st)
Maurice Jones-Drew (2nd)
Jarrad Page (7th)

*may not be drafted
**was not drafted, but immediately developed into a productive player as a rookie.

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