UCLA’s Kenny Young, Jordan Lasley drafted by Ravens
During the Baltimore Ravens’ first NFL draft in 1996, Ozzie Newsome made UCLA All-American offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden his first selection at No. 4 overall. Ogden would play 12 seasons and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.
On Saturday, in his final draft as the Ravens’ general manager, Newsome went back to his UCLA connections hoping to hit gold again.
The Ravens chose two Bruins, linebacker Kenny Young in the fourth round and receiver Jordan Lasley in the fifth.
Young didn’t have to wait long at his home in New Orleans to learn the news. “Hey, man, you’re about to be a Baltimore Raven,” an assistant coach told Young as they talked on the phone before he was selected with pick No. 122.
Young is the final UCLA player to wear No. 42. The Bruins retired the number for all of its sports teams in honor of Jackie Robinson but allowed Young to keep wearing it. He was a four-year starter who had 110 tackles this past season as a first-team All-Pac-12 honoree.
“I’m happy. I’m extremely happy,” he said. “I’m happy to call Baltimore my new home.”
It’s been quite a venture for Young, who left Louisiana for Westwood, adapted, adjusted and made an impact on and off the field.
“It’s been a beautiful journey,” he said.
He was one of the Bruins’ team leaders and also focused on earning his college degree.
He said he’s ready to do whatever the Ravens need. He runs a 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and is known for his athleticism.
“I’m a guy who will always be available to fill spots,” he said. “I’m a natural playmaker, a guy who should be a starter day one and a special teams contributor. I want to leave my mark with guys like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed.”
Lasley was arrested twice in 2016, once for possession of alcohol by a minor and once for presenting a fake ID at a Hollywood club. He was suspended three games last season for an unspecified rules violation.
His high school coach, Scott Altenberg, said last November, “He was always kind of a three-steps-forward, two-steps-back kind of guy. Tremendous athlete, a lot of personality, but every now and then would make a decision not so smart. He’s not a bad kid, he just made some choices and made it harder on himself.”
UCLA center Scott Quessenberry went to the Chargers in the fifth round at No. 155. Dane Cruikshank, a defensive back at Arizona who attended Chino Hills Ayala and Citrus College, was chosen by the Tennessee Titans at No. 152. Defensive lineman Kylie Fitts, from Redlands East Valley and Utah, went to the Chicago Bears in the sixth round at No. 181.
Receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, from Anaheim Servite and Notre Dame, was chosen by the Green Bay Packers at No. 207. Linebacker Keishawn Bierria became the second player from Narbonne High selected in this year’s draft, going to the Denver Broncos at No. 217. He was a standout at Washington. He played on the same 14-1 Narbonne team in 2012 as USC’s Uchenna Nwosu, a second-round pick.
Among seventh-round picks: Defensive back Jermaine Kelly (L.A. Salesian, San Jose State) to the Houston Texans; kicker Jason Sanders (Villa Park, New Mexico) to the Miami Dolphins, and linebacker Leon Jacobs (Santa Clara Golden Valley, Wisconsin) to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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