Four UCLA Bruins picked in NFL Draft

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
A few draft-hopeful UCLA Bruins had their dreams come true when they were selected during the NFL draft.

LOS ANGELES — The 2022 season felt like the turning of a chapter for the UCLA Bruins. With starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson in his final year and many other Bruins graduating, the first cycle of head coach Chip Kelly’s reign ended.

And when the season finished devastatingly against the Pittsburgh Panthers, most graduating Bruins became NFL Draft hopefuls, including Thompson-Robinson. 

Thompson-Robinson finished his time in Westwood as one of UCLAs most prolific quarterbacks by breaking numerous records, including total passing yards. Despite his productivity, Thompson-Robinson’s draft projections varied from early second day to undrafted. But, the Cleveland Browns believed in his talents and selected him in the fifth round with pick No. 140. 

Thompson-Robinson will join a quarterback room occupied by Deshaun Watson, Joshua Dobbs, and Kellen Mond. 

Before him, a couple of Bruins were taken, though. 

Leading that group was running back Zach Charbonnet, who, after transferring from Michigan, became a force for the Bruins’ offense. He ran for almost 2,500 yards and scored 27 touchdowns in his two seasons in Westwood. He rarely fell on first contact, leading to a 7.0 yards per attempt average last season.

Clearly, the Seattle Seahawks were interested in the Bruins’ leading rusher, as they selected Charbonnet in the second round with pick No. 52. He was the third running back drafted, with Texas’ Bijan Robinson and Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs being taken before him.

Charbonnet joins a backfield with Kenneth Walker, a second-round pick last year, and DeeJay Dallas. The Seahawks also drafted Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh. 

Two UCLA offensive linemen were also selected in the draft. First, Jon Gaines was picked by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round with pick No. 122. Later, Antonio Mafi joined the New England Patriots after they selected him in the fifth round with pick No. 144. 

The rest of the draft-hopeful Bruins were not selected, but some signed to NFL teams as undrafted free agents. This group included wide receiver Jake Bobo, who signed with the Browns, and wide receiver/running back Kazmeir Allen, who joined the Washington Commanders. 

The other signed Bruins include tight end Michael Ezeike, who the Los Angeles Chargers picked up, defensive back Azizi Hearn, who signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, and defensive back Mo Osling, who joined the Seahawks.