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Former Bruins Greg Dulcich, Sean Rhyan selected in 3rd round of NFL Draft

Redshirt junior tight end Greg Dulcich (left) and junior offensive lineman Sean Rhyan (right) were both selected in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday. (From left to right: Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff and Anika Chakrabarti/Assistant Photo editor)

By Sam Settleman

April 29, 2022 8:31 p.m.

Once a walk-on in Westwood, Greg Dulcich is the first Bruin off the board in 2022.

The redshirt junior tight end was the first UCLA football player to be selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, picked in the third round at No. 80 overall by the Denver Broncos on Friday. Dulcich was one of two Bruins selected on day two of the draft, as junior offensive lineman Sean Rhyan was picked up by the Green Bay Packers shortly after at No. 92 overall.

A former three-star recruit, Dulcich elevated himself to a scholarship player with the Bruins, becoming a regular starter across his final two seasons with the blue and gold. After seeing limited action in his first two years with the program, Dulcich led UCLA in receiving in 2020 and ranked second in the country among tight ends with 19.9 yards per reception.

The 2021 season began on a high note for Dulcich, who hauled in a 75-yard touchdown reception after breaking multiple tackles in the first half of UCLA’s win over then-No. 16 LSU on Sept. 4. The victory over the Tigers would mark one of two 100-yard receiving games for the tight end in 2021, who wound up second among the Bruins in receiving and was ultimately named as a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end.

Dulcich is set to join a new-look Broncos offense spearheaded by quarterback Russell Wilson, who was traded to Denver in a blockbuster offseason trade in March. That trade also featured the departure of the Broncos’ top tight end Noah Fant, a former first-round pick in 2019.

Twelve picks after Dulcich was drafted, Rhyan was scooped up by the Packers.

One of the top prospects to make his way to Westwood in recent years, Rhyan ranked as a four-star recruit and the No. 56 overall player in the country coming out of high school, according to 247Sports. Rhyan became an opening-day starter for the Bruins in 2019 – the first true freshman tackle to start a season opener for UCLA in seven years.

After starting his first game with the blue and gold, Rhyan did not miss another start in three years. A Freshman All-American after his first year in 2019, Rhyan would go on to help lead the Bruins to two straight seasons of averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground in 2020 and 2021, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors in the process.

While Ryhan lined up primarily as a left tackle in his collegiate days, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman could potentially move to the interior as an NFL lineman. Green Bay currently touts a three-time Pro Bowler at left tackle in David Bakhtiari – who missed much of the 2021 season because of a knee injury – while it started a pair of young guards a season ago.

Friday marks the first time since 2018 that multiple Bruins have gone off the board before day three of the draft. Dulcich is the first UCLA tight end drafted since Devin Asiasi was picked by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, while Rhyan is the first Bruin offensive lineman to be selected in four years.

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Sam Settleman | Sports editor
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
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