As last season wasn't memorable in any way, this will not be a memorable draft for Cal football this season. Only two players are likely to get picked in the 2014 NFL Draft, and the rest are likely headed for unrestricted free agent status (or even worse, the undrafted pile). Not one NFL general manager or head coach participated in pro day, which was a fixture during the Jeff Tedford era.
Let's take a quick look at each of the candidates.
DeAndre Coleman, defensive tackle: Coleman is the best of the prospects out there. He performed well in the Senior Bowl, benched 225 pounds with 24 reps at the NFL Combine along with running a 4.78 40 time. He's worked out with a bunch of NFL teams and it appears as if he'll be a late round pick.
Coleman definitely has the size to develop into a monstrous defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end at the next level. He was arguably the most consistent defender on a defense that lacked defenders. He stayed upright, held his blocks, and left his back line defenders opportunities to make plays (they proceeded to make very few of them, but hey, when in doubt, blame Buh). I think of all the players floating out there.
Richard Rodgers, tight end: Rodgers had a really bad NFL Combine, but recovered at his Pro Day and has held steady as a fringe draft pick ever since then. There isn't a lot of buzz going into Draft day, but he has a definite shot at getting picked somewhere.
But he will definitely get picked up by some team. Rodgers is too athletic a talent to pass up on, and athletic tight ends are the vogue look in modern football. Rodgers had trouble producing at the collegiate level (he was good at catching passes but struggled more with the blocking aspects in 2012, and was really mismatched for the Bear Raid).
Khairi Fortt, linebacker: Fortt came to Cal for one season of work and performed alright on a defense filled with holes everywhere. He is a capable linebacker in a draft full of capable linebackers, which is probably why I sort of lean toward Fortt being a very late selection or a quick UFA signing. I imagine Fortt will feel pretty comfortable that he'll get a shot at an NFL roster though.
Vincenzo D'Amato, kicker: Love Vincenzo. He's not getting drafted. But he was a very consistent placekicker his final season and participated Imagine someone is going to take a flyer on him after the draft as a UFA and see how his leg will work.
Chris McCain, linebacker: Someone might be intrigued by the Inspector Gadget arms and hope that he can grow into his gangly figure. He was a capable pass rusher in 2012 and was a big loss for our 2013 team.
Brendan Bigelow, running back: Go try and look up news for Bigelow since he declared for the draft. The only thing you'll find on Twitter is that Ohio State run getting Vine'd up day after day after day. So at least that lives on. Bigelow might have to look toward the CFL or the AFL, because there is literally zero buzz on him.
Kameron Jackson, cornerback: Then again, I guess Bigelow ran a 40 time at Pro Day before straining his hamstring. I have nothing on Jackson since he declared. I do not expect him to go anywhere.
Vei Moala, defensive tackle: Ugh. Just why.