With offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz and linebacker Mychal Kendricks each selected early in the second round, the 2012 NFL Draft was playing out as expected for California.
But then the Jacksonville Jaguars threw everyone for a loop by selecting punter Bryan Anger with the seventh pick in the third round and 70th overall, including the three-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection himself.
“I felt kind of numb for a second,” Anger said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “My heart started racing a little bit. It’s been a long process, but it is great to get some certainty in my life.
“I’m excited to be a Jaguar. I’ve heard plenty of good things about their organization.”
Anger became the highest-drafted punter since Todd Sauerbrun went 56th overall in 1995.
After averaging 43.5 yards per punt for his career, Anger expected to be taken at sometime this weekend.
“I really had no clue what was going to happen. There were a handful of teams I thought it could be. I hit it off with the Jacksonville coach when he came out for the workout,” Anger said.
However, reports of a draft party were blown out of proportion, he said.
“It’s just a get together with close friends and family,” Anger said. “Unfortunately, that story got twisted from something that didn’t get said.”
Anger will hold a get-together with family and friends Saturday, but instead of waiting to be picked, he can consult former Golden Bears defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and punter Nick Harris for information about his new destination.
The two specialists worked together at times during Anger’s freshman and sophomore seasons, “so I’m close with Nick,” he said.
Schwartz will have his own reunion, joining former Cal center Alex Mack with the Cleveland Browns after being selected 37th overall.
They played together in 2008 when Schwartz was a redshirt freshman and have remained in touch throughout Mack’s pro career.
“He’ll show me the best places to eat,” Schwartz joked.
After starting all 51 games of his college career, the last two seasons at left tackle, Schwartz will begin his career on the right side for the Browns blocking for former Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
“I’m sure he’ll make me look pretty good and I’ll make him look pretty good and we’ll help the team out,” Schwartz said.
“I had a pretty good feeling about Cleveland throughout the process. It came to fruition and I’m excited for it.”
Kendricks, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, will also move outside to start his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Selected with the 14th pick in the second round, 46th overall, Kendricks is part of a dramatic overhaul of the Eagles’ defensive front seven after trading for middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and drafting defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and end Vinny Curry.
Under head coach Jeff Tedford, Cal has had 39 players drafted in the past 10 years.
Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/Scout.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.