BERKELEY, Calif. – There is something to be said for consistency.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones caught at least five passes for 50 yards in nine games last season.
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks had at least one-half tackle for loss in 10 games.
Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz started all 51 games in his college career.
Punter Bryan Anger averaged 43.5 yards per punt in his career.
That sort of dependability will likely result in all four former California standouts being drafted over the next three days in New York City, but for Kendricks and Jones, it wasn’t until they stood out at the combine that truly elevated their stock.
Despite being named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year after recording 107 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries as a senior, Kendricks wasn’t a known commodity until posting top marks in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, and 20-yard shuttle.
His performance in Indianapolis was all the more impressive considering he was coming off a knee injury in the bowl game, head coach Jeff Tedford said.
“He is a very strong competitor,” Tedford said. “He took this process very seriously and it was great to see how he has grown as a person and been able to handle it and make good decisions and really work hard.”
Asked why observers might have glanced past Kendricks initially, Tedford pointed to his atypical size for an inside linebacker. His athletic ability supercedes his 5-foot-11, 239-pound frame.
“Speed is the name of the game,” Tedford said. “Obviously he can run, very athletic, so he can do a lot of things. He can cover. You can put him in some places coming off the edge.”
The reason Jones was beneath the radar is much clearer, Keenan Allen. With the likely first-round pick this time next year dominating looks in the passing game, Jones was a productive but clear second option.
It was a strong week at the Senior Bowl and 4.46 40-time that put him to the forefront.
“Marvin went and tested really well, ran and caught the ball,” Tedford said. “When they interview him, they are going to find what a quality guy he is.”
Jones, Kendricks and Schwartz, whose value will come as a guard or swing tackle, are all projected to be selected on day two in the second or third round.
And while only eight punters have been drafted in the last four years, Anger is so confident his name will be called he will hold a draft party Saturday.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/Scout.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.