On Thursday night, three former Pac-12 players saw their football dreams come true as they heard their names called in the 1st Round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Anthony Barr, who was recruited by the UCLA Bruins to play running back, switched over to linebacker when Jim Mora took over in 2012. Yeah, that turned out OK, didn't it Barr? Anyway, the former Bruin was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings after the Vikes traded down with the Cleveland Browns (who selected CB Justin Gilbert). The Vikings also received a late 5th-round pick. He was the 3rd Bruin to be selected by the Vikings in 3 years, and was the highest draft pick for a UCLA player since 1996.
When USC's Marqise Lee set Pac-12 records in 2012 with 118 receptions for 1,728 yards, nobody expected that record to be broken. Except for the 2013 Biletnikoff Award Winner, Brandin Cooks. The Arizona Cardinals traded their #20 pick to the New Orleans Saints (who gave the Cardinals their #27 and #91 picks). Simply put, the Oregon State star possesses all the necessary tools wanted in an NFL WR: speed, quickness, good hands, smarts, strenght, worth ethic, and drive.
The surprise of the day came when the Arizona Cardinals selected Washington State safety Deone Bucannon at #27, passing over Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. He's the first Cougar to be selected in the first round since Marcus Trufant. Bucannon is headhunting, physical player, and I can't wait to see him in action.