Cal Football: Where are former Cal Bears going in the draft?
The NFL Draft is now upon us, cue the millions of sports fans around the world celebrating. In the past few drafts, Cal has done extremely well as 20 players have been selected from Berkeley since the 2007 NFL draft. However, this draft week, all the Cal fans should be rejoicing as many former Golden Bears (potentially up to 8) may be selected in the 7 rounds. Here’s a list of all the draft eligible prospects from Cal.
ILB Mychal Kendricks – The former Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year led Cal this past season to a 7-6 finish while compiling 106 tackles and 2 interceptions. Throughout his Cal career, Kendricks compiled 258 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and 4 picks. Kendricks is expected to be the third inside/middle linebacker taken in this draft after Boston College’s Luke Kuechly and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower, but could easily prove to be a great success to whatever team drafts him. The Scouting Combine did wonders for Kendricks after posting a 4.47 40-yard (best for any ILB), a 4.19 20-yard shuttle, and 24 reps in the bench. Kendricks now figures to go to a hybrid 3-4 team like the Baltimore Ravens somewhere in the late 1st round to early 2nd. The latest Kendricks will last would probably be the end of the 2nd, but regardless someone will get a real skilled football player if they select Kendricks.
OT Mitchell Schwartz – Schwartz is a mammoth of a OT and has started 51 games for the Golden bears at either RT or LT, showing tons of versatility. At 6’5 3/8″ and 318 lbs, Schwartz has the protypical size to be either a starting RT or LT in the NFL. While his 5.45 40-yard dash won’t impress anyone, he showed decent strength with 23 reps at the bench. Schwartz will need to work on his leverage in the pros as smaller DE might be able to get under him. However, Schwartz could potentially be moved to guard like his brother Geoff (currently penciled in as a starting guard for the Minnesota Vikings). Schwartz profiles somewhere between the 7th – 10th best OT in a deep draft, but that doesn’t mean he can’t go off the board in the middle of the 2nd, with teams like Buffalo, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, or San Francisco potentially being interested. I think he’ll go somewhere between the middle of the 2nd and middle of the 3rd.
DE/DT Trevor Guyton – Guyton is a very intriguing prospect who has the versatility to fit multiple defensive schemes. Known as a hard worker, Guyton has fastly improved over his years as a golden bear and it showed when he posted a 5.07 40-yard. To me, Guyton profiles a protypical defensive end in a 3-4, which over half of the NFL teams now run. He can also kick in to be a pass rushing DT in a 4-3 on 3rd down. Teams like New England and Green Bay are drooling over the prospect of Guyton being on their 2012 roster, expect him to go late 2nd to early 4th.
WR Marvin Jones – Jones had an extremely productive four years for the Golden Bears, posting 62 receptions for 846 yards in his senior campaign, but those numbers could have been even stronger throughout his career if he had stronger QB play. The WR who came to Cal as a 4 star recruit has done everything to fulfill his potential, and now looks to help the next team he’s drafted to. At almost 6’2, Jones has drawn comparisons to Chad Johnson as a strong possession receiver who can play all over the field at multiple receiver positions. One of the main problems facing him in this draft is the strength of the position, as he only ranks as being somewhere between the 10th and 15th best available at his position. Ultimately, I think this could cause him to slide to the middle of the 3rd round, with the end of the 4th being the latest he could go.
P Bryan Anger – While Cal fans may have not been happy to see Anger take the field during his magnificent campaign as our punter, at least we would know we would put our opponent in the worst possible starting position for our defense to take the field. Punter is a weird position to mock as teams normally don’t draft punters until the 4th at earliest. However, Anger is one of the best punter prospects to come along in the past few drafts which will help his round position. Profiling similarly to former Michigan and current Patriot punter Zoltan Mesko, I expect Anger to go somewhere in the 5th or 6th rounds.
S Sean Cattouse – An extremely productive safety for the Bears, Cattouse faces an uphill battle of being selected in the first few rounds. Cattuouse finished his career with 7 picks, recording at least one every season he was active. While former Cal safeties like Thomas Decoud and Chris Conte went in the 3rd round, Cattouse will go somewhere between the 5th and 7th rounds. This is a fairly weak draft for safeties, which will help Cattouse’s cause, but he still ranks somewhere in the 15th-25th prospect at his position.
ILB DJ Holt – Despite lining up next to the Pac-12 defensive player of the year, Holt had an great 4 years as a Golden Bear. He’s an above average athlete and has strong leadership measurables, however he’s undersized to be an full-time NFL starter. He profiles as a special teamer on the next level, but could still be drafted somewhere in the 6th to 7th round. At worst, he’ll receive a call on Sunday for a team with interest and could break camp with a spot on the special teams roster as an undrafted free agent rookie.
DE Ernest Owusu – While Owusu may have not seen regular playing time until his Junior season, he was also backing up future 1st round picks in Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan at defensive ends. At 6’4, 266 lbs, Owusu was undersized to play defensive end in the 3-4 but could become a pass rush specialist in a 4-3, and potentially a 3-4 OLB and special teamer. The Tennessee Titans have brought Owusu to visit, so while he may not get drafted on Saturday I expect him to sign with a team soon after.
OG Justin Cheadle – The former Cal right guard profiles as an undrafted free agent rookie, but if he adds size could be signed to a practice squad due to his above-average technique and strong pass protection. He needs to get stronger and add to his 6’2 ½ , 282 lbs frame.
TE Anthony Miller – Miller never posted amazing numbers in his 4 seasons as a Cal Bear, but he was also playing behind former bears and future draft picks Craig Stevens and Cameron Morrah. Miller has good size at 254 lbs, but is on the shorter side at 6’3. He does have natural hands, and could be a practice squad candidate or even a special teams member on the next level as anundrafted free agent rookie.
FB Will Kapp – fairly underdized at 5’9 ½ , Kapp was a team leader and has a high football IQ. While he doesn’t project to be drafted, he should be brought into camp as an undrafted free agent rookie.
WR Michael Calvin – Calvin shot onto scouts’ radars after posting a fast 4.32 40-yard at Cal’s Pro Day, which would have been the fastest at the NFL Combine. Calvin further showed off his athleticism after posting a 11’1 broad jump and a 40.5” vertical. However, Calvin wasn’t productive as a Bear as he posted 42 career receptions and just 1 touchdown in his 5 seasons on campus. While he’s an intriguing prospect, I doubt he’ll be drafted but I expect him to be brought into someone’s May rookie camp on a tryout basis. Perhaps he’s the next Boateng?
S DJ Campbell – While Campbell spent most of his career as a special teamer and reserve for the Bears, he did impress with a great pro day when he registered 22 reps at the bench, posted a 4.51 40-yard and recorded a 38 inch vert. While special teams may not be the flashiest area of football, Campbell’s experience will help him find a job playing on Sundays.
S CJ Moncrease – Primarily a backup as a Golden Bear, this transfer student has above-average athleticism but little experience. His best shot is to impress at camp with his work ethic and try to make a team as a special teamer as a undrafted free agent rookie.
WR Coleman Edmond – After mostly getting reps as a kick returner, Edmond faces an uphill battle to make a team as a WR after posting just 1 career reception in his 2 seasons as a golden bear. Hopefully he’ll receive an invite to a rookie camp.