Sunday, March 29

Multiple UCLA football players to show strong presence in NFL draft

Receiver Jordan Lasley is one of three UCLA football players who have decided to enter the 2018 NFL draft despite the fact that they have another year of NCAA eligibility. (Aubrey Yeo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Josh Rosen should be the first Bruin drafted in this year’s NFL draft.

But he won’t be the only one.

The former junior quarterback will be joined by offensive lineman Kolton Miller and wide receiver Jordan Lasley, who also chose to forgo their final years of NCAA eligibility to go pro.

Miller figures to be the second Bruin off the board in April’s draft. The 6-foot-8, 310-pound left tackle allowed 15 quarterback pressures in 544 pass-block snaps in his redshirt junior season, per Pro Football Focus. That performance gave him the 10th-best pass-blocking efficiency score among 121 qualifying offensive tackles and earned him a spot on top-32 draft prospects board.

Lasley managed to make a strong case for his NFL draft stock over the course of his redshirt junior season despite off-field issues. He only played in nine games, sitting out four times because of disciplinary issues.

Nonetheless, Lasley ended up leading the Bruin pass catchers with 1,264 yards, 140.4 yards per game and an average of 18.3 yards per reception. He was the leading receiver in seven of the nine games he played, including the Bruins’ final four games of the season. has the 6-foot-1, 210-pound receiver as a fourth-round pick.

Two more Bruin football players – rising redshirt senior defensive back Adarius Pickett and rising senior Nate Meadors – also had the opportunity to leave Westwood and enter the draft.

Only Pickett’s future is known, as the safety announced that he will return to UCLA for another year on Twitter last week. Meadors has yet to decide, and the cornerback has until the Jan. 15 deadline to make up his mind.

Pickett finished second on the Bruins with 85 total tackles, including 63 unassisted. He also returned 10 punts for the Bruins, averaging 7.2 yards per return. He and Meadors – who finished fourth on the team with 55 tackles – both had one interception.

If Meadors stays, he’ll get to play under a new defensive coordinator. Tom Bradley held that position since February 2015, meaning he has been in charge of the UCLA defense throughout Meadors’ UCLA career. But UCLA’s new head coach Chip Kelly replaced Bradley with Jerry Azzinaro, who has coached both in the NFL and the Pac-12.

Sports editor

Gottlieb is the Sports editor. He was previously an assistant Sports editor in 2016-2017, and has covered baseball, softball, women's volleyball and golf during his time with the Bruin.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.