WR Prospect Receives Hall-Of-Fame Advice

Everyone has heard of east coast bias. Well, perhaps only people on the left coast have heard it. Fans on the east side of the world don't hear nearly as much about people on the west side. But that doesn't mean NFL teams aren't aware. If they can find Tuskugee, they can surely find the Pac-10.

When he arrived in Mobile, Craig Bragg was an unheralded prospect that was lost among the names of receivers such as Mike Williams and Braylon Edwards.

Lost in the translation was a solid career at UCLA, despite a program in turmoil. He's the only player in UCLA history catch more than 50 passes in two different seasons, and is the first Bruin to ever lead the team in receiving for four years.

With 193 catches (first in school history) for 2,785 yards (second in school history) and 12 career touchdowns of longer than 40 yards, Bragg has lived in obscurity. He has been linked to a former Pac-10 receiver that burst onto the scene as a rookie with Carolina last year, Keary Colbert.

Bragg also averaged 15 yards per punt return as a senior and owns an 11.58 career average on punt returns.

His versatility has scouts and coaches excited. He has played on coverage teams at UCLA and will be an immediate contributor at the next level because of that experience. He is also expecting to run his forty yard dash in the 4.3 range and currently says he runs in the 4.4's.

A shoulder injury, which he says is fully healed, limited him during his senior campaign, making it vital that he come to Mobile for Senior Bowl week.

"The competition level, to be able to compete against the best in college football and to show I can play with these guys," Bragg explained. "Going to the next level is taking another step and for me to come out to Mobile to compete is to know I am going to step my game up as well."

A former baseball prospect (he played centerfield), Bragg has the athleticism and ability to be a solid receiver at the NFL level.

While being hidden from the public eye for much of his career, he believes the people that matter, scouts and coaches, have seen what he can do. Mobile was a chance to see the man behind the statistics.

"Playing at this level as well as being able to take in the media attention and the coaches coming at you with different kinds of questions," Bragg said of the importance of Senior Bowl week. "Being yourself."

A polished receiver that runs crisp routes, Bragg feels he has already gained knowledge under the tutelage of the Raiders' coaching staff. While getting advice from one Hall of Famer is nice, getting advice from two is even sweeter.

The first bit of advice came from San Diego Chargers wide receivers coach and Hall of Famer James Lofton:

‘To mentally stay focused and understand that everything out here is not going to be easy,' the coach relays to Bragg. ‘You are going to have to work hard and take the good with the bad and learn from both of them. Just keep your head up.'

Coaching the North squad's wideouts, Raiders' wide receiver coach Fred Biletnikoff is also a Hall of Famer that has an award named after him, given annually to the Nation's top collegiate receiver.

"One of the greatest coaching staffs I have ever been under," Bragg said. "Coach Biletnikoff talked so much in a short span and I can only imagine how much he could teach me in years."

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