Six Bruin football players were selected in the 2022 NFL draft
May 12, 2022
The 2022 NFL Draft did not go particularly well for the Pac-12 conference during the recent draft, with only 25 players selected from the conference, the lowest number in over a decade. But it did go well for the UCLA Bruin football squad, with a conference leading six players selected in the draft. The six selections were the most since 2016, when the Bruins had eight players selected in the draft.
The NFL draft capped a good season for the Bruins, who went 8-4 and were rewarded with a bowl bid. Below are the six players selected in the 2022 NFL draft and the round each was selected in:
Greg Dulcich - Tight End | Round 3, No. 80, Denver Broncos
Sean Rhyan - Offensive Tackle | Round 3, No. 92, Green Bay Packers
Otito Ogbonna - Defensive Tackle | Round 5, No. 160, Los Angeles Chargers
Kyle Philips - Wide Receiver | Round 5, No. 163, Tennessee Titans
Quentin Lake - Safety | Round 6, No. 211, Los Angeles Rams
Brittain Brown – Running Back | Round 7, No. 250, Las Vegas Raiders
Dulcich, Rhyan, and Philips were all first team All-Pac-12 selections in 2021. Philips also made second team All-Pac-12 as a return specialist. Lake was a second team All-Pac-12 selection at safety. Ogbonna led a tough run defense that ranked 2nd defensively in the Pac-12 against the run.
Brown was a graduate transfer from Duke who in 17 games for the Bruins rushed for 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown. Brown averaged 6.3 yards per carry with the Bruins in two seasons. Brown rushed for a career high 219 yards in an overtime loss to Stanford in 2020 and in 2021 he rushed for 146 yards and one touchdown in a road win over Arizona.
Philips and Ogbonna were part of the 2018 recruiting class, the first recruiting class for Bruin head coach Chip Kelly. Dulcich joined the 2018 class as a walk-on and eventually earned a scholarship. The Bruins could have as many as eight players from that class of 2018 starting in the fall, led by two-time Pac-12 all-conference quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Kazmeir Allen, a former California state sprint champion who scored three touchdowns in the rout of USC in 2021, will start at slot receiver. Michael Ezeike will start at tight end. Jon Gaines will start at right guard. Tyler Manoa moved over from the defensive line to the offensive line this spring and is in a battle for the starting right tackle position. Former Tennessee State sprint champion Keegan Jones will be a key backup at running back. All members of the 2018 recruiting class.
On defense, Bo Calvert will start at defensive end, Stephan Blaylock at safety, and Martell Irby at the Nickel/Slot Cornerback position. Calvert and Blaylock were four-star recruits in the 2018 class. On the offensive side, Thompson-Robinson, Ezeike, and Manoa were four-star recruits from the 2018 class, along with Philips.
Right tackle Alec Anderson, a member of the 2018 class, did not get selected in the 2022 NFL draft, but he did land a contract with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent. Anderson's contract is a three-year, $2.56 million dollar deal, which he will collect if he makes the Bills 53-man roster.
Kelly seems that he may now have the wind at his back, with the success of last season. He has a favorable schedule this season, with eight home games. The 2018 recruiting class and the NFL draft has shown that he can find and develop talent. Now he just needs to find a way to win the Pac-12 conference title and get the Bruins back to the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.