NFL draft: Brian Price, Taylor Mays and Jimmy Clausen selected in second round
Although no players with strong local connections were selected in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday, UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, USC safety Taylor Mays and Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen have been chosen during this afternoon's second round.
Also selected in the second round were running back Toby Gerhart of Stanford and offensive tackle Charles Brown of USC. Trojans receiver Damian Williams and cornerback Kevin Thomas were selected in the third round.
Price, a 6-foot-1, 300-pounder who can play both nose tackle in a 3-4 alignment and defensive tackle in a 4-3, was selected with the third pick of the day by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who chose Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with the third overall pick in the first round. Price was the heart of the Bruins' defense, winning Pacific 10 Conference defensive-player-of-the-year honors.
Mays, a hard-hitting All-Pac-10 defensive back, was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers with the 49th overall selection. Although he has the speed, size (6-3, 230 pounds) and strength to play in the NFL, his playmaking ability -- particularly to make interceptions -- has been questioned.
Clausen, a former All-American player at Westlake Village Oaks Christian High, went to the Carolina Panthers with the 48th overall pick. Carolina released longtime quarterback Jake Delhomme and the 6-3, 220-pound Clausen will enter a competition with former Oregon State quarterback Matt Moore, who is from Newhall Hart High.
Gerhart, a former Norco High standout and all-conference tailback with the Cardinal, was chosen with the 51st overall selection by the Minnesota Vikings. The powerful 6-foot, 230-pounder was runner-up to Alabama's Mark Ingram for the Heisman Trophy.
Brown, a 6-5, 303-pounder who anchored the Trojans' line by starting all 26 games at left tackle in his final two seasons, was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the final choice (64th overall) in the second round. Williams, a 6-1, 195-pound possession-type receiver, went to the Tennessee Titans with the 77th overall selection. Thomas, an athletic 6-foot, 190-pound defender, was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the 94th overall pick.
-- Dan Loumena
Photo: UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price performs a drill during the NFL combine. Credit: Scott Boehm / Getty Images