I know I'm about a week and a half behind, but I need to re-cap the 2010 NFL Draft for our Golden Bears.
The 2010 NFL Draft included 3 Golden Bears, and 2 of them heard their names called in the first round. The surprise of the draft undoubtedly was the 10th overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cal's DE Tyson Alualu. No disrespect to Tyson, but nobody had him going #10 overall and I think even he was a bit surprised to hear his name called so soon. Alualu is the highest drafted Golden Bear since Andre Carter was taken 7th overall in 2001 by the San Francisco 49ers. Alualu was a 1st team All-Pac 10 selection and really played well for Cal last season as the anchor of the D-Line; he's got his work cut out for him in Jacksonville though as the Jags have little else besides RB Maurice Jones-Drew (who also hails from the Pac-10, UCLA).
Joining Alualu in the first round was RB Jahvid Best, going 30th overall to the Detroit Lions, who traded back in to the 1st round to get Best. While that must feel nice that he's wanted so badly, it's also got to be a little bittersweet as usually the 30th overall pick goes to a pretty good team who made the playoffs the year before. That's certainly not the case as Best heads to woeful Detroit to try and turn things around with #2 overall pick Ndamukong Suh and last year's #1 overall pick Matthew Stafford. It was an interesting pick as the Lions have a pretty full backfield with Kevin Smith and Maurice Morris already, but I guess Best's speed and agility was too much to pass up on as Smith is coming off of knee surgery and Morris being more of a power back. The Bears were the only Pac-10 school to have any players chosen in the first round (take that USC) and now brings Jeff Tedford's total number of first round picks to 6 (Kyle Boller, Nnamdi Asomugha, Aaron Rodgers, & Alex Mack).
Rounding out the Cal 2010 Draft class is DB Syd'Quan Thompson who was the 225th overall pick, selected in the 7th round by the Denver Broncos. Thompson was a 4 year started for the Golden Bears and showed flashes of being a lock down corner, but some nagging injuries and his lack of size hurt him once teams could break him down on tape. I was at the 2006 Tennessee-Cal game in Knoxville when Thompson was a freshman and got absolutely lit up by the Vols for two huge TD's. Robert Meachem had his way with Thompson, and I thought he may never recover from the humiliation. Nonetheless, Thompson was an electric punt returner and quality corner in the Pac-10 for 4 years.
Having 2 guys go in the first round is a very nice accomplishment for the Bears, and along with their 3 drafted players, 6 other former Bears signed free agent deals. WR Verran Tucker, OL Chet Teoflio, and OL Mike Tepper signed with Dallas, LB Devin Bishop joins Thompson in Denver, and S Brett Johnson joins former Bear Marshawn Lynch in Buffalo. Both Marcus Ezeff and Nyan Boateng have had a few NFL workouts but have not signed contracts anywhere yet.
Congrats to all former Golden Bears and good luck in the NFL.