UCLA Bruins in the NFL: 2009 draft recap
And then it still ain't over.
UCLA didn't have any players picked in the 2009 NFL draft. It was just the school's second fruitless weekend since 1963 (the other being 1997). Within a few hours, Pat Cowan, Brigham Harwell and Kahlil Bell all found themselves with free-agent contracts.
Cowan signed with New Orleans, where he hopes to hold a clipboard behind Drew Brees. Fellow Pac-10 quarterbacks Mark Brunell and Joey Harrington are already on the Saints' roster, but Cowan may be able to unseat one of the veterans. He turned some heads at UCLA's pro day after missing his entire senior season to an injury and was listed No. 9 on a Sports Illustrated list of unheralded potential draft picks.
Harwell landed in Washington, where the Redskins pick up a reliable defensive tackle. With obvious talent, a great attitude, 41 career starts and UCLA's defensive MVP award, he seemed like the most likely Bruin to hear his name called during the draft. In fact, the same SI list that mentioned Cowan had Harwell at No. 1.
Bell will head to Minnesota, where he will compete with Chester Taylor to back up Adrian Peterson. Eric Bieniemy, Vikings running backs coach, held the same job at UCLA when Bell was a freshman.
UPDATE: Punter Aaron Perez will attend New England Patriots mini-camp and safety Bret Lockett has been invited to mini-camp with the Green Bay Packers.
-- Adam Rose
Photo: New Orleans Saints quarterback Pat Cowan with UCLA in 2006. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Associated Press.