A quick scan of UCLA's draft history shows how successful the Bruins have been at sending defensive talent into the NFL ranks via the NFL Draft. Takkarist McKinley could be the next in a storied history of first-round draft picks out of the Bruins defense.
Since 2002 UCLA's defense has produced four first-round picks, five second-round picks and four third-round picks. They've failed to have a defensive player drafted in the top three rounds just five times since 2002.
Last year, Kenny Clark was the 27th overall selection by the Green Bay Packers. Myles Jack went 36th overall, and would have certainly been drafted higher if not for injury concerns.
Other highlights of UCLA's defensive draft history include the ninth overall pick in 2014 — Anthony Barr — and the 39th overall selection in 2011 — Akeem Ayers.
|Draft year||Round||Round pick||Overall pick||Player||Team||Position|
|2015||3||10||74||Owa Odighizuwa||New York Giants||DE|
This year, EDGE rusher Takkarist McKinley is primed to be the next first-round defensive selection from the Bruins.
McKinley is projected a late first or early second round selection by CBS Sports' and is considered the third best outside linebacker in the draft class.
Last season at UCLA he had 50 solo tackles (61 total), 10.0 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss. He also defended six passes, forced three fumbles and recovered a fumble.
For his three-year career, McKinley totaled 80 solo tackles (99 total), 28.0 tackles for a loss, 16.0 sacks, 10 passes defended and six forced fumbles. The vast majority of that production came in his junior year, and he only played four games his freshman season.
While McKinley looks like the next first round draft pick for the UCLA defense, he won't be the only member of the Bruins defense to hear his name called in the 2017 NFL Draft.
UCLA will likely see cornerback Fabian Moreau and outside linebacker Jayon Brown selected within the first three or four rounds, and could also hear defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes called late in the draft. A few other UCLA defensive players have a shot at undrafted free agecy, too.