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UCLA football: Akeem Ayers picked by Tennessee Titans

April 29, 2011 |  3:52 pm

Akeem-ayers_225 UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers, whose draft stock fluctuated since he declared himself available after the season, was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the second round Thursday.

Ayers, who is 6 feet 1, 255 pounds, was the 39th player taken overall. He has shown great athletic ability on the field, which has led to momentum-shifting plays. But he also doesn’t always follow the defensive plan. Those concerns were heightened after Ayers’ poor showing at the NFL combine, where he was clocked at 4.8 in the 40.

Still, his big-play ability was too tantalizing to ignore. Ayers finished third in the Butkus Award voting last season. He finished third on the Bruins in tackles, and had four sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries despite being slowed by shoulder and toe injuries.

As a junior, Ayers had six sacks, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He also scored three touchdowns, one on an interception that clinched the Bruins’ EagleBank Bowl victory over Temple.


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Photo: UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers takes part in the NFL scouting combine. Credit: Michael Conroy / Associated Press