UCLA football tight-end Joseph Fauria and kicker Jeff Locke are the No. 1 prospects, at their respective positions, in the 2013 NFL Draft, according to CBS Sports.
That’s not surprising, if you keep up with UCLA football. Fauria is a freaking animal at 6’8″ and has the athleticism of an agile 6-footer. He’s got great hands and he’s incredibly hard to take down most times. His biggest issue last season was, well, Kevin Prince throwing him the ball. Here’s a video of when he did, which resulted in two touchdowns for Fauria against Colorado:
Sure, Fauria didn’t get very many passes thrown his way (considering UCLA ran the pistol and either Kevin Prince or Jonathan Franklin/Derrick Coleman had possession), but this year figures to be different. Noel Mazzone is a pass-first coordinator and that figures to be the philosophy. Sure, tight ends aren’t something Mazzone uses too often, but considering he has an animal at that position, he’ll figure out how to pump up Fauria’s draft status.
And Jeff Locke? Oh. My. Goodness.
If you can use the words “stud” and “kicker” in the same sentence when talking about football prospects, then somewhere in that sentence, Jeff Locke has to be involved. Dude’s got a leg and though field position never mattered too much for our beloved Bruins (since they gave up scores anyway), he definitely made it difficult for offenses by nailing kicks incredibly deep. Plus, he’s seriously an All-World blocker on returns, too. Not really, but he’s feisty:
Other Bruins were reppin’, too: Jonathan Franklin is the seventh-best RB in the 2013 NFL draft, and for good reason — he was a third of the reason that UCLA’s run game was easily the team’s best attribute. Over the past two seasons at UCLA, he’s ran for nearly 2000 yards, and was 23 yards short of becoming the first Bruin to ever run for a grand back-to-back since DeShaun Foster did it in 2001-02. Patrick Larimore also made it as the sixth-best linebacker, a well-deserved honor as he was by far UCLA’s best tackler. (I know that doesn’t mean much since NO ONE AT UCLA KNEW HOW TO TACKLE, but come on!)
Hopefully, with all this euphoria surrounding UCLA football, we can get back on the field and we’ll see these bros’ draft stock rise throughout the course of the season.