The 2011 season ended in disappointment for the Cal football team as the Golden Bears lost to Texas in the Holiday Bowl.
While Jeff Tedford's team will look to be a factor in the Pac-12 Conference in 2012, they will have to do so without a lot of talent who will be moving on.
As many as seven former Golden Bears could hear their names called by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during this weekend's NFL draft, led by linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who's likely to be selected during Friday's second round.
I will have all of your NFL draft coverage as it pertains to the Cal Golden Bears, so check back early and often to find out exactly where each former Cal player will be continuing his football career.
Cal Players Expected to be Selected in 2012 NFL Draft
LB Mychal Kendricks
DE Trevor Guyton
WR Marvin Jones
P Bryan Anger
S D.J. Campbell
DE Ernest Owusu
A four-year starter at Cal, Mitchell Schwartz projected as a Day 2 pick. Schwartz has experience at both right and left tackle but will probably man the right side in the NFL.
At 6'5", 318 pounds, Schwartz is big and relatively athletic. He isn't elite in any particular area, however, and that kept him from being selected on Day 1.
National Football Post writes about Schwartz,
Routinely is able to get into opposing defenders quickly and create a push at the point. Plays through the whistle and takes pride in finishing blocks. However, also looks effective on the move, displays good body control off the snap with the initial quickness to get around on reach blocks and seal. Displays good coordination down the line on slide down blocks as well and can reach opponents at the second level. Lacks ideal body control when looking to drop his pad level and cut down on contact, but stays low off the ball into space, extends his arms and can seal backers down the field.
Schwartz possesses good size, but his arms are a bit on the short side. Schwartz' lack of elite athleticism and footwork also hurt him in pass protection, and he is more of a run-blocker.
An aggressive player, Schwartz plays with power and attacks defenders. At right tackle, Schwartz can play in the power-run game while handling slower defensive ends in pass protection. Results won't be so favorable on the blind side.
Schwartz utilizes solid technique, so he should be able to start as a rookie. He'll probably contribute at guard or right tackle.
After stunning the NFL Draft world by reaching for Brandon Weeden in the first round, the Cleveland Browns went for a less controversial pick and grabbed tackle Mitchell Schwartz out of California. He might not be the most athletic offensive lineman in the class, but he gives Cleveland another strong, talented body up front who should contribute immediately.
Cal's Mychal Kendricks put on a show during the combine, which really increased his draft stock. His 4.47 40-yard dash showed teams that he's capable of covering a lot of ground, and this speed helps make him a fit in multiple defensive styles.
Kendricks makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage, which is supported by his career 35.5 tackles for loss. However, he also does a good job taking proper angles in pursuit, while his explosiveness and balance help him hold up in pass coverage.
Prior to Kendricks' spectacular combine workout, Mel Kiper Jr. had this to say:
He's my second highest rated ILB. He's not a first or second round guy but is definitely a mid-round guy. The senior ILB group is not the best. He's first or second in that group. It's like the RBs
Kendricks shouldn't have a hard time working his way onto the field in the 2012-13 season. He has the experience, athleticism and motor to make an early impact. He's a versatile player who's capable of lining up on the outside, manning the middle, or blitzing the QB.
He'll bring four-down production, as he's capable of dropping back in coverage and contributing on special teams. However, he's more than a situational player. Kendricks is the type of player coaches will have a hard time keeping off the field.
While Kendricks might not have the body to be an every-down player right off the bat for the Eagles, he's a super-fast playmaker who will be an exciting addition to Philly's defense.
Bryan Anger is considered the top punting prospect in the 2012 draft and is coming off an outstanding career at California and a tremendous performance at the East-West Shrine Game, in which he averaged 60 yards per punt.
Anger became only the second player in school history to be named a three-time First-Team All-Pac-12 honoree after averaging 44.25 yards per punt.
Anger used a ruby-punting style a majority of the time at Cal, which can be seen as both a positive and negative. While he didn't get the experience using a traditional form for the entirety of his career, he is more than capable of doing that if he is asked to scrap the rugby style.
However, his ability using the rugby-style kick helped him pin teams deep inside the 20-yard line.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
CBSsports.com via nfldraftscout.com pointed to Anger's athleticism and size (6'4", 208) as a huge plus in his overall game.
Good athleticism for the position. Played three sports (football, baseball, basketball) in high school and was a wide receiver as well as specialist in high school. Possesses excellent leg strength and the ability to send booming kicks deep and high to flip the field.
CBS also pointed out that Anger takes his punting job seriously and sees punting as a science.
Has shortened his approach from a three step to two step approach. Has had just two punts blocked (out of 246 attempts) over his career. Very committed to his craft. Has redefined his punting technique, shaving a step and nearly half a second from his drop and kick. Characterized by Cal coaches as "scientific" about his preparation and improvement.
NFL.com sees Anger's accuracy as his main strength as a punter.
EXPECTED IMPACT AS A ROOKIE
Anger is expected to have an immediate impact as a rookie and could develop into a great weapon in the NFL. He can expect to be in a competition during camp, but as long as he shows promise, the job should be his to lose. Teams simply don't spend draft picks on punters only to cast them aside after their first camp.
It figures that Anger will continue to develop due to the elevated level in coaching he will receive in the NFL. He is clearly dedicated to his craft and, with his athleticism, he has tremendous potential to grow.
A great punter can be a serious game-changer, and the Jaguars are hoping he has that kind of influence from the get-go.
A talented player, Marvin Jones was hindered by poor quarterback play at Cal and didn't produce at an elite level. Jones isn't huge, but he's relatively big and can win battles with his size.
Jones' stock rose after running a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash in Indy. That answered questions about his straight-line speed, but it doesn't remove the doubts about his upside.
National Football Post wrote about Jones,
A tall, leaner athlete who for his size possesses natural fluidity in the hips both as a route runner and with the ball in his hands. Isn't as physical off the line as his frame would suggest vs. press. However, displays the ability to set up defenders with a stutter step and then use his length to get into his route. Isn't a dynamic straight-line athlete but plays faster than he times because of his ability to generate a burst initially out of his breaks. Doesn't create a ton of separation vertically, but exhibits good awareness and body control when asked to locate the football.
At 6'2", 199 pounds, Jones has a good frame, but he could stand to add bulk and strength. Jones' slender build hurts him some at the line of scrimmage, and he doesn't dominate like he could.
Jones does possess big, natural hands as a big plus, and is a smooth route-runner. The question with Jones isn't whether he will catch the ball or make plays with the ball, but whether he will get open.
Though he is a good route-runner, Jones isn't talented enough to offer much in 2012. After he adds bulk and improves as a player, Jones could develop into a solid No. 2 option.
The Bengals have standout A.J. Green and Jordan Shipley holding down their receiving corps. Jones could possibly compete for a starting spot this year but we can expect him to mature with playing time.
D.J. Campbell was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft. More information will be forthcoming.
A defensive end from Cal and Redmond, Wash., Trevor Guyton came on strong for the Bears in his final year, registering 47 tackles—12 behind the line of scrimmage—and six sacks, terrific production for a player at his position.
He is a prototypical 3-4 defensive end at 6'3" and 285 pounds, and though he isn't likely to put up huge sack totals in the NFL, he will be successful as an anchor on the defensive line.
NationalFootballPost.com sums up its evaluation of Guyton:
A guy who can fill a number of roles on a defense, but he's a naturally powerful kid who can anchor and overwhelm vs. the run game. Needs to improve hands and awareness, but the upside to make a roster.
CBSSports.com highlights Guyton's positive and negative traits:
Positives: Good not great quickness and change-of-direction agility. Chases, using a long spin move to clear blocks. Low, strong off the line. Played with good leverage, even on the nose, despite average bulk. Hustle defender with a good bull rush inside can close and get home when quarterbacks leave the pocket. Praised for attitude and work ethic.
Negatives: Must improve hand use and read-and-react skills. Lacks the violent hands to shed and can be eliminated by double-team blocks. Might be limited to one-gap systems. Agility isn't a question but misses tackles when he doesn't square and break down.
Guyton may not crack the starting lineup in 2012, but he could become a regular contributor, rotating into the lineup to keep the rest of the men fresh.