Today we look at the offensive players drafted in the past decade from Cal. We'll get to defense/special teams and undrafted players in future posts.
10. Richard Rodgers, picked 98th in 3rd round by Green Bay Packers in 2014: There’s still a lot of time left to figure out what Rodgers is capable of, but he has become one of Aaron Rodgers’s favorite targets in only two years in the league. Also, he now has his own great moment in football history.
9. Marvin Jones, picked 166th in 5th round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. Jones has seen his contributions rise each season in Cincinnati, and got a big contract in Detroit for his efforts. Expect Jones to keep rising on the list as the years pass.
8. Shane Vereen, picked 56th in 2nd round by New England Patriots in 2011. It was pretty clear Bill Belichick was not going to give Vereen much reps in his multilayered running back setup, but it paid off with one of the most clutch Super Bowl performances ever and a ring for Vereen.
7. Craig Stevens, picked 85th in 3rd round by Tennessee Titans in 2008. Has Stevens had the quietest career in NFL history? He’s logged over 60 starts the past six seasons and has just quietly done his job in Tennessee as a blocker who occasionally catches passes since he entered the league.
6. Justin Forsett, picked 233rd in 7th round by the Seattle Seahawks in 2008: Forsett has enjoyed a solid NFL career, breaking out in 2014 with one of the best rushing seasons in the league that year and his first Pro Bowl appearance. Forsett has often been the perfect second back, so seeing him be that productive isn't a surprise to us.
5. Mitchell Schwartz, picked 37th in 2nd round by Cleveland Browns in 2012. Schwartz is considered one of the best right tackles in the game, but has unfortunately been buried his entire career in the mess that is Cleveland. Hopefully he gets more recognition for his talents in Kansas City.
4. Keenan Allen, picked 76th in 3rd round by San Diego Chargers in 2013. Allen is already on his way to a fine NFL career, earning Rookie of the Year honors from numerous media people who bestow such awards. Allen has 215 catches in three seasons and is on pace to a great pro career.
3. Desean Jackson, picked 49th in 2nd round by Philadelphia Eagles in 2008: A lot has been said about Desean (believe me, I’ve been writing about Cal since 2007. I’ve heard it all.), but there’s no denying he’s been an electric talent for most of his career and has super charged offenses his entire career. He’s a three time Pro Bowler and he can probably keep playing as long as he hits R1 on the controller.
2. Alex Mack, picked 21st in 1st round by the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Mack Daddy! One of the best offensive linemen in football, Mack was recognized for his efforts despite being in the pit of despair that is Cleveland. Now he moves to a hopefully more stable situation in Atlanta.
1. Marshawn Lynch, picked 12th in 1st round by Buffalo Bills in 2006: Beast Mode. Undoubtedly the greatest running back this decade, has one Super Bowl ring and came oh so very close to another before hanging it up with his health mostly intact. I expect his legend to only grow post-career.