April 27, 2012
NEW YORK CITY - Three former Cal football players were selected Friday on the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft. Mitchell Schwartz was the first former Golden Bear taken in the second round when the offensive lineman was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 37th pick overall and was followed later in the same round by linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Philadelphia Eagles, 46th overall). Punter Bryan Anger was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round (70th overall). The trio of selections gives Cal three players taken in the first three rounds of the draft for the second consecutive year.
Schwartz is the first Cal offensive lineman selected since Alex Mack was also taken by Cleveland in the first round (No. 21 overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. He started all 51 games possible during his Cal career from 2008-11 to fall one start short of Syd'Quan Thompson's school record of 52, making all of the starts at either left tackle (35) or right tackle (16). He earned first-team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Academic in his senior season, and was also named second-team All-Pac-10 as a junior after an honorable mention selection in his sophomore campaign. He was named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic (2008-10) and earned the Brick Muller Award as Cal's Most Valuable Offensive Lineman (2009-11) for three seasons each.
Schwartz started all 13 games at left tackle as a senior and anchored an offensive line that blocked for first-year starting tailback Isi Sofele, who posted the sixth-highest rushing total in school history with 1,322 yards on the ground. He added first-team All-Pac-12 selections from the ESPN Pac-12 Blog and Phil Steele, and was a second-team all-conference pick of College Sports Madness and Yahoo! Sports.
Schwartz was a second-team All-Pac-10 choice as a junior, starting all 12 games at left tackle to anchor an offensive line that blocked for 1,167-yard rusher Shane Vereen. He earned a second-team spot on Phil Steele's postseason All-Pac-10 team as well after a first-team position on his midseason All-Pac-10 squad. In addition, he was a member of the Jewish Sports Review's 2010 College Football All-America Team.
He started all 13 games at right tackle as a sophomore and earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 and Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention selections.
In his freshman season, he began the year as the starter at right tackle for three contests before making a switch to the left side in game four vs. Colorado State and starting the remaining 10 games at that position. He was named a second-team Freshman All-American by College Football News and honored with the Bob Tessier Award as Cal's Most Improved Offensive Lineman. He also picked up honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors.
Following his collegiate career, Schwartz started at tackle in the 2012 Senior Bowl. He also participated at the 2012 NFL Combine, posting a personal best of 23 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.
"I was watching ESPN and at the bottom, it said their pick was in and then I got the call," Schwartz said. "I had a hopeful feeling when I picked up the call and it came into fruition. I'm just excited about it."
"Cleveland is getting a quality pick with Mitchell Schwartz," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said. "He's a very smart and reliable player that can play guard or tackle. They were very impressed with him when they came here to work him out. They're getting a guy who is very passionate about the game and will be a very solid player for them."
Kendricks' selection marks the fourth-highest a Golden Bear linebacker has ever been chosen following the first round selections of Les Richter (1952 - No. 2 overall, New York Yanks) and Ken Harvey (1988 - No. 12 overall, Phoenix Cardinals), and the second-round pick of Ron Rivera (1984 - No. 44 overall, Chicago Bears).
"Mychal Kendricks brings a great deal of passion to the game," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said. "Not only is he gifted physically, but he has had tremendous production being the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. The passion and the energy that he plays with, along with his versatile skills being able to play inside or outside, will give him a lot of flexibility with the Eagles."
Kendricks played in all 51 games possible and started 29 contests during his four campaigns at Cal from 2008-11, with all of the starts coming in his final three seasons (2009-11). He earned several All-American honors as a senior, including second-team selections by Phil Steele and College Sports Madness, and was a third-team choice of Yahoo! Sports and an honorable mention pick of SI.com. In addition, Kendricks was named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in his final season at Cal and a first-team all-conference selection after earning second-team all-league honors during his junior campaign. He finished his career with 259 tackles to rank ninth on Cal's all-time list, while adding 36.5 tackles for loss (-144 yards) to miss finishing among the school's all-time leaders by one-half of a tackle for loss. Kendricks also posted 13.5 sacks (-98 yards), seven fumble recoveries, four interceptions that he returned for 130 yards and a touchdown, five pass breakups and a forced fumble. He was credited with a punt return and 26 punt returns yards after he blocked a punt before teammate Bryant Nnabuife picked the ball up and ran 30 yards for a score vs. Colorado State in 2008.
Kendricks, who played outside linebacker for most of his career before moving inside as a senior, joined six previous Cal players to earn Pac-10/12 Player of the Year honors in 2011 and was the first since 2006 when Daymeion Hughes (Defensive) and Marshawn Lynch (Offensive) both earned the honor. He also picked up a pair of team honors, winning the Bear Backers Co-MVP Award on the defensive side of the ball along with fellow linebacker D.J. Holt and the Berkeley Breakfast Club Award as the Outstanding Player in the Big Game on the defensive side of the ball. Kendricks played in all 13 games with 11 starts, leading the team in tackles with a career-high 107, while ranking fifth in the Pac-12 and tied for 70th nationally with his average of 8.15 stops per game. He also led the team with 14.5 tackles for loss (-59 yards) for an average of 1.12 per game that was third in the Pac-12 and tied for 55th in the nation, while co-leading the squad with a pair of interceptions (0.15 per game, No. 24 Pac-12) that he returned for a team-high 62 yards and a pair of fumbles that he returned for a team-high 33 yards. In addition, he posted 3.0 sacks (-30 yards) and two pass breakups. Kendricks had double-digit tackles five times, including a career-high-tying and team season-high 15 stops at Washington and 13 at Stanford including a sack of 2012 NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck for a 14-yard loss.
During his second-team All-Pac-10 junior season he earned a reputation as one of the league's top big-play players with career highs of 8.5 sacks (-57 yards) and 15.0 tackles for loss (-69 yards), ranking among the conference and national leaders with per-game averages of 0.71 sacks (No. 2 Pac-10, No. 26-T NCAA) and 15.0 tackles for loss (1.25 per game, No. 4 Pac-10, No. 28-T NCAA). He also had three fumble recoveries and tied for first in the Pac-10 with an average of 0.25 per game, while his 66 tackles was fourth on the team and his average of 5.5 stops per game ranked No. 31 in the Pac-10. He posted a season-high 12 tackles, along with 2.5 tackles for loss (-11 yards), 1.5 sacks (-10 yards) and a fumble recovery vs. Colorado. He also had a huge game in the season finale vs. Washington, recording eight tackles, a career-high-tying and season-high 3.0 tackles for loss for a season-high-tying -16 yards, and a season-high and career-high-tying 2.0 sacks for a career-high-tying 14 yards. He came up with his lone interception of the season vs. Arizona State.
Kendricks first moved in to Cal's starting lineup as a sophomore when he started six of the 13 games he played in and finished the season second on team in tackles with 71 stops to rank tied for 33rd in the Pac-10 with an average of 5.5 per game, while sharing the club lead in fumble recoveries with two. He added 6.0 tackles for loss (-6 yards), 1.0 sack (-1 yard), one interception that he returned a career-long 68 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal a victory at UCLA, three pass breakups, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, including one that he returned 45 yards vs. Eastern Washington before he was tackled five yards shy of pay dirt. His biggest game came against Eastern Washington when he recorded a career-high-tying and Pac-10 season-high-tying 15 tackles. He combined for 27 tackles in his first two games, picking up a game-high 12 and 1.0 tackle for loss (-1 yard) in the season opener against Maryland. In the Poinsettia Bowl against Utah, he had a career-high-tying and season high 3.0 tackles for loss (-3 yards).
He began his collegiate career with a promising rookie campaign, playing in all 13 games off the bench on special teams and as a reserve linebacker. He recorded 15 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss (-10 yards), 1.0 sack (-10 yards) and a blocked kick backing up a talented group of linebackers that included three senior.
Anger's selection is the highest for a punter since Todd Sauerbrun of West Virginia was drafted in the second round (56th overall) by the Chicago Bears in 1995. He is only the second Cal punter to ever be drafted following the fourth-round selection (120th overall) of Nick Harris by the Denver Broncos in 2001.
"I've just briefly spoken with the coaches," Anger said. "I think in any situation I'll have to compete. I'm workout out hard now and looking forward to going in and taking over the spot."
"Bryan Anger will be a weapon for the Jacksonville Jaguars," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said. "He's a guy that can change the game with field position. He's athletic and has a big leg, but he also has touch to be able to place the football anywhere he wants to on the field. He should have a long career in the NFL."
Anger is only the second player in Cal history to earn first-team all-conference honors for three consecutive seasons (2009-11), joining Alex Mack (2006-08) as the only other Cal player with the same distinction. He also won the J. Scott Duncan Award as Cal's Most Valuable Special Teams Player for each the same three seasons and was awarded with the College Football Performance Awards' Elite Punter Trophy for his combined performance during the 2010 and '11 seasons.
Anger played in all 51 games possible as Cal's starting punter from 2008-11 to equal the most by any active Golden Bear player during the period, posting an average of 43.5 yards per punt that ranks second all-time at the school behind Scott Tabor's 44.0 (1986-87). He holds Cal's single-season record for punt average with the 45.6 yards per punt he posted as a junior in 2010 and boasts three of the top six seasons ever by a punter in Cal history, adding a 44.2 average in 2011 that is fifth and a 43.1 average in 2008 that is sixth. Anger totaled 11,094 yards on 255 punts, including 72 boots of 50 or more yards. He pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line on 90 occasions and forced opponents to make fair catches 75 times. Anger has four of the 12 longest punts in school history, including a career-long punt of 76 yards at Stanford in 2008 that ranks fourth all-time and a 75-yarder in the same contest that is tied for fifth. He was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award given annually to the nation's top punter twice in 2008 and '10 as well as on the watch list in each of his four collegiate campaigns.
Anger ranked No. 13 nationally and third in the Pac-12 with a 44.25 yard per punt average as a senior after breaking a 23-year-old single-season Cal record during his junior season with a 45.6 yard punting average to rank second in the Pac-10 and sixth nationally. He was an honorable mention All-American choice according to College Football Insiders and a first-team All-Pac-10 selection as a sophomore after finishing the season with a 41.5 yards per punt average to rank fourth in the Pac-10. He established himself as one of the top punters in the country as a rookie when he was named a first-team Freshman All-American by College Football News, Rivals and Sporting News Today, and was also a second-team All-Pac-10 choice, and the only freshman in the country as well as the only Pac-10 player to be named a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award. He also won the Bob Simmons Award given to Cal's Most Valuable Freshman. Anger ranked third in the Pac-10 and 18th nationally with a 43.1 yards per punt average in his rookie season. He set a school single-game record when he averaged a Pac-10 season-high 60.2 yards per punt on four tries vs. Stanford, including two of the longest punts in school history - a 76-yarder on his first boot (No. 4) that was a new Big Game record and a 75-yarder on his second (No. T5) that along with the 72-yarder vs. Arizona State were the three longest in the Pac-10 in 2008.
Following his collegiate career, he had a strong performance in the 2012 East-West Shrine Game by averaging 60.0 yards per punt on three attempts for a West team that won 24-17. He was not involved in measurable drills at the 2012 NFL Combine but did attend and take part in a punting session.
Visit the 2012 Cal NFL Draft Central page for extensive coverage of the selection of former Bears selected in the three-day 2012 NFL Draft that concludes with rounds four through seven Saturday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. ESPN and NFL Network are televising the event live.
CAL FOOTBALL NFL DRAFT NOTES (THRU SELECTIONS OF SCHWARTZ, KENDRICKS AND ANGER)