Schwartz, Kendricks first Bears off the board
Mychal Kendricks (US Presswire)
Mychal Kendricks (US Presswire)
Posted Apr 27, 2012

Selection of All-Pac-12 offensive tackle and linebacker push total number of California players drafted under head coach Jeff Tedford to 38.

The first half of the second round belonged to the Bay Area, with four of the first 14 picks Friday coming from archrivals California and Stanford.

Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz was the first Golden Bear selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, going to the Cleveland Browns with the 37th overall pick. The four-year starter will be reunited with former Cal center Alex Mack. They played together during the 2008 season when Schwartz was a redshirt freshman.

Schwartz, who started all 51 games during his college career, is projected as a right tackle at the next level but could also play guard.

The pick came as a surprise with another, more well-known swing tackle in Cordy Glenn of Georgia still on the board.

Cal head coach Jeff Tedford praised Schwartz before the draft, pointing to the intelligence of the first-team All-Pac-12 and All-Academic selection as a senior.

“You are not going to find a guy who is more prepared than he is,” Tedford said. “I don’t care if we did something his freshman year, whether it was on travel or something happened at the hotel, he remembers everything. He is just very bright and analytical.”

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks went nine picks later to the Philadelphia Eagles, continuing an overhaul of their front seven. They traded for DeMeco Ryans in March and added Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in the first round.

With Ryans entrenched in the middle, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year will start his career as an outside linebacker in the 4-3 scheme after three highly productive seasons as an inside linebacker for the Bears.

Kendricks had 259 tackles and 36.5 tackles for loss in his career, 14.5 coming during his outstanding senior season.

“They will be getting a guy who is going to give it his all, a guy who is very serious, a guy who likes to compete,” Tedford said of Kendricks.

Kendricks and Schwartz become the first pair of second-round selections in school history and increased the total number of Bears drafted since Tedford became head coach to 38.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/ Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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