Offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo was selected by the Houston Texans with the first pick, No. 33 overall, on Day Two of the NFL Player Draft. The Bruins have now had offensive linemen chosen in back-to-back drafts (Jeff Baca in 2013) for the first time since 1998 (Chad Overhauser-seventh round) and 1999 (Kris Farris-third round).
Su’a-Filo’s second-round selection is the highest for a Bruin offensive lineman since Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden was tabbed by the Baltimore Ravens with the No. 4 overall pick in 1996. It is the first time UCLA has had two of the first 33 picks since the 1991 Draft when defensive back Eric Turner went second overall to the Browns and linebacker Roman Phifer went in the second round, No. 31 overall, to the Rams.
After the first-round selection of Anthony Barr by the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, NFL teams have made 30 UCLA player selections in the first round of the draft, dating back to Cal Rossi in 1947, the No. 4 overall pick by the Redskins. UCLA also became the lone Pac-12 school to feature a first-round selection in each of the last two drafts (Datone Jones No. 26 – Green Bay in 2013).
The last Bruin selected by the Vikings in the first round was linebacker Fred McNeill (No. 17 selection in 1974). He went on to enjoy a 12-year career with the franchise and played in Super Bowls IX and XI. McNeill played on Viking defenses, nicknamed the “Purple People Eaters”, which led the NFC in fewest points allowed (1976) and fewest total yards allowed (1975).
The most recent NFL draft featuring a Bruin selection in both rounds one and two came in 2006 when the Jacksonville Jaguars chose tight end Marcedes Lewis with the 28th pick of the first round and then running back Maurice Jones-Drew with the 60th overall selection in round two.
Some other recent Bruin second-round picks include – LB Akeem Ayers No. 39 by Tennessee and S Rahim Moore No. 45 by Denver in 2011; DL Brian Price No. 35 by Tampa Bay in 2010; RB Maurice Jones-Drew No. 60 by Jacksonville in 2006; RB DeShaun Foster No. 34 by Carolina in 2002.
UCLA had four players selected overall in last year’s draft. In addition to the first-round selection of defensive end Jones by the Packers, Green Bay also picked running back Johnathan Franklin in the fourth round. The Vikings chose punter Jeff Locke in round five and offensive guard Jeff Baca in round six.
Television coverage of rounds four through seven continues on Saturday on the NFL Network and ESPN Networks (ESPN/ESPN2) beginning at 9 a.m. PT. The event will also be streamed over WatchESPN and NFL.com. There will be 256 selections, in all, by the 32 NFL teams.