INDIANAPOLIS — Guard Jeff Baca, a sixth-round pick by Minnesota last season, is the only UCLA offensive lineman drafted since 2000. In that sense, former Bruins lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo could be a trendsetter. He's considered among the top interior linemen in this draft class and is a potential first-round pick.
Su'a-Filo said Thursday that the lack of NFL linemen from the school during the past decade attracted him to UCLA.
"That was one of the big reasons I went there," he said. "I love the school. I love the area. I love the place. But I went there to go start a legacy, really to just establish that as an offensive lineman and create a culture there where offensive linemen could be coming out and be pumped out to the NFL again. I think, to me, I wanted to do that.
"I heard of a lot of guys — Kris Farris [third round, 1999], Jonathan Ogden [first round, 1996] — some of those guys back then wanted to be, necessarily, one of those, but someone remembered as who left their mark over there at UCLA."
Longtime draft guru Gil Brandt predicts Su'a-Filo will be the breakthrough player of the combine.