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Football: Junior exodus continues — linebacker Khairi Fortt to declare for NFL draft

Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt announced via twitter this morning that he “is declaring” for the NFL draft.

That makes three Cal juniors who will leave school early for the pros. Fortt joins cornerback Kam Jackson and tight end Richard Rodgers.

Will be curious to see how many of them actually are drafted. How many NFL players can a one-win team have?

Fortt, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound native of Stamford, Conn., and transfer from Penn State, tied for third on the Bears this fall with 64 tackles.

I like Fortt — he’s a good guy, a smart guy. I wish him well, but curious to see what kind of reaction he will get on draft day.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    I predict he will be the first cal guy drafted.

    Makes sense he goes pro too given his knee issue. Go for it while youre healthy.

  • Larry

    Did he graduate?

  • Juancho

    I hope bigelow declares next. Kid shouldnt risk an injury given his knee issues as well. If school is big to you one can always go back.

    But another torn acl and thats all she wrote.

    Just remember jahvid best to see how an injury in college can change your life.

  • Wehofx

    Juancho, I’ll bet u 10 buhs or 2 coronas at the btb beer bash that r Rodgers will b drafted before k fortt.

    Wow! Can u say bubble screen? Twitter: jt is bringing kiffin onto his staff.

  • Eric

    My prediction, subject to weird numbers coming out of a combine:

    Rodgers (drafted 2-3 rounds), Jackson (drafted 4-5), Fortt (drafted 5-7), Bigelow (free agent). I had forgotten that Fortt was a transfer from Penn State – he doesn’t have ties to the program.

  • Juancho

    Offer accepted wehofx. Fortt will shine at the combine lifting weights. Just how i think bigelow will combine his way into being drafted.

    Let us not forget about deandre coleman. Maybe a fourth rounder?

  • Juancho

    Do you think harper, treggs and lawler all get drafted in the first three rounds next year?

  • Eric

    Coleman likely goes in round 3 or 4. He has talent that an NFL coaching program can exploit.

    Next season, I don’t think any of the three are drafted in the first three rounds of the 2015 draft. Lawler is the biggest of the three and big WRs are the flavor of the month, but he is still raw. Harper is very small (I was surprised how small he is) and Treggs is middle of the road, but none are blazing fast. Why waste a high draft pick on a guy that, if everything goes well, may turn out to be the next Wes Welker or James Jones

  • The Wisdom Cow

    The exodus continues.

    This feels more like taking the better option available because staying won’t do any good. At least Sonny won’t have to worry about playing guys that he didn’t recruit much longer, right?

    Eric, all those predictions seem a round+ higher than I’d expect (though Coleman may well make the 3rd round). To think Rodgers goes in the 2nd or third is saying he’s one of the best TE/WRs in the nation. He’s a project, 5th round, maybe squeaking into the end of the 4th if he has great combine numbers. I won’t be shocked if he goes undrafted should the combine not go produce impressive numbers.

    Look at past drafts. There are guys that dominated their BCS conferences that fall into the late 3rd to 4th, even 5th, rounds. No one here is a standout player, and that next teir is full of players from all over the nation, most with better resumes than our guys. Granted, the combine can change things and open some eyes.

    Different sport, but people were dillusionally thinking Crabbe was going to be a top 15 pick in the NBA and start right away. You know, cause he was our guy.

  • Juancho

    Well, as a fan of the Raiders of Oakland California, I’d take James Jones with a third round pick. Maybe it’s because of the massive swing and misses the beloved silver and black have given us in the draft.

    Where is my brother Boalt? Brother Boalt where are you?

  • Larry

    I think it will go Fortt & Coleman in the 5th-6th rounds,Rodgers in the 7th rd.

    All the others Free agents.

  • Rob Bear

    “How many pros can a one win team have?” Spot on. These guys are long shots at best. Unfortunately most do not return to school on their own to finish either. Best of luck to them, but they are long shots at best.

  • Eric

    The reason why I think Rodgers can go much higher than 5-7 is because NFL offenses pretty much require fast/strong TEs who are integral to the passing game. Of the play-off teams, a majority have that kind of player (even if currently injured): SF (Vernon Davis), Green Bay (Finley), New England (Gronk), San Diego (Davis and the second guy), New Orleans (Graham), Cinci (Grishom), Philly (Celek isn’t as good but clearly part of the passing game, but they have the other Stanford guy)), Indy (Fleener). Rodgers shocked me at how well he played as a very big WR and I wish he was more involved in the offense. If I were an NFL coach, I would salivate at the prospect.

    Going back to my lengthy post where I discuss injuries, over the course of the season several would comment that injuries are simply an excuse. I tried to point out that the argument is specious.

    In last night’s games, Alabama was missing four of their five starting OL. McCarron was sacked seven times. Ohio State was missing all but one of their starting secondary. Boyd and Watkins made mince meat of them. Excuses? Perhaps. But when double-digit favorites lose (and OU handily beating Alabama) sometimes the “excuses” require deeper analysis.

    Love the youtube highlights of the Alabama woman’s fight against the OU student. Watch it set to “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

  • 707 Bear

    Alex Mack second team all-pro center.

    Other O linemen in The NFL:

    De La Puente
    Gibson
    Schwartz
    Schwenke

  • Easy Ed

    Talented juniors and Red Shirt sophomores in skill positions leaving Cal is nothing new, Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, Desean Jackson, Jahvid Best and Keenan Allen. You can’t blame this on Sonny, deal with it.

  • Juancho

    Crazy to watch today’s Army all american game. Seems like a lifetime ago that we were the star of the show with all those star commitments. A week away from the # 3 ranked recruiting class in the country. The class I feel would have changed Cal football history and more or less put us on the path that Stanford has been on.

    Now we’re hoping for JC transfers that will help us avoid getting blown out this coming year.

    The sonny money man is truly going to earn his money. Because he is in a tough spot.

  • Juancho

    Based on this year’s recruiting cycle I think our worry that the southern staff of coaches wouldn’t connect well with the CA recruits is proving true.

    I think without Dykes making a few changes to his staff we’re not going to recruit at the level Tedford did.

    Say what you will about Tedford, but his staff had so many CA connections. Just Kenwick Thompson alone was probably a better recruiter than Dykes entire new staff. And Kenwick is now the d coordinator at San Jose, and is making them a relevant recruiting player.

    Right now our strongest recruiter is the success of the offense. How that fluctuates next year will immediately reflect in our offensive recruits.

  • Juancho

    It’s amazing seeing the physique of some of these kids. Wow. I bet I was better at calculus though than most at that age.

  • Juancho

    Easiest brother.

    Rodgers first round pick. Desean second round? Marshawn first round. Keenan second round or third? Jahvid first. Boller, first.

    The difference is this year’s guys are fleeing to other programs – the transfers, as well as retiring, and those entering the draft are flirting with being undrafted players.

    If there was a risk scale that measured how much risk these kids are exposing themselves to, they would be way more at risk than those talented guys you mention. Which to me intimates they want out more so than they want the pro game.

  • Juancho

    Jaleel Wadood’s is looking like the real deal in this game.

  • Juancho

    Mixon’s first touch goes for about 30. And he’s wearing #28. Which I believe falls in line with my prediction that all along he’s been going to Oklahoma to emulate his hero Adrian Peterson.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Jauncho @10:19, EXACTLY.

    With the possible exception of Fortt, the early entries would all be MUCH better served with another PRODUCTIVE year before going pro (that means learning and improving, not just numbers).

    Under the Dykes paradigm – “You were a TE. Now you are a WR. Oh, wait. Let’s use you at RB.” – a guy like Rodgers (who does have the POTENTIAL to be a productive NFL player) has to take his chances now.

    While Eric makes some points, I just can’t imagine (absent ridiculous combine numbers) that Rodgers goes very high. Consider how much Zach Ertz struggled for the first 12+ weeks of this season, and he had MASS experience in college with receiving routes and run blocking. Rodgers got ZERO run blocking this year and very unconventional WR training, not to forget RB touches.

    NFL teams cannot risk a 1-3 round pick on a player that has little to no run/pass blocking experience for a TE spot unless the guy is a freak of nature (like Gronk, though he had prodigious receiving numbers coming out).

    Anyways, back to my agreement with Juancho, there can be no doubt Sonny enters the calculus of these guys’ decisions, and not in a good way.

    Though, I am curious to see what the mock drafts that include underclassmen have to say about our boys, given they tend to have some amount of credibility. If anyone gets any of that info, please relay it here.

  • Juancho

    Mccain. Wilkerson. Fortt. Whitener. Ragin. All linebackers. So really the trend is that position and coach. Buh.

    And on offense the guys who were moved positions. Rodgers and bigelow.

  • Easy Ed

    Juancho I was going heart over head, logically, I cannot disagree with you. I can only hope that Sonny is following Mike Leach’s example and he is weeding out those who cannot adapt to what he wants to do…I hope it works, heart over head again

  • Juancho

    Mixon to oklahoma.

  • Easy Ed

    Oklahoma, no surprise there. I have to admit my heart skipped a beat when I saw the Cal hat on the table.

  • Juancho

    Would rather not seen cal hat.

    What message does that send? Me and the other local guys wanted to go to cal until the disaster of a season?

  • Easy Ed

    Now, can we keep Tre Watson?

  • Juancho

    Now that mixons gone ucla will move for watson. The other battle is koa farmer. Ucla or usc.

  • Easy Ed

    I agree, it was kind of a slap to the face. Interesting to see what happens if Stoops goes to Cleveland. My guess is that UCLA would be his back up plan.

  • stay golden

    It was a nice gesture by Mixon but I agree that it hurt more that it helped.

  • al

    None of the early entrants are “NFL ready.” People can blame any & everyone but really don’t know why they’re leaving. Most of you have been on the anti-Dykes train since he was hired. No one expected the season to suck that bad. We’re all pissed about it. Keep in mind that Dykes inherited the team we saw play in ’13 – what Tedford left him. They had the least experienced team & 1 of the most difficult schedules in the country – that was known before the season started. And then the injuries. I have NEVER seen a team have so many injuries & most of them were season-ending. So, Cal had to replace inexperienced players with…….freshmen. Aren’t freshmen expected to make mistakes? YES, that’s why a blueshirt is preferred but was damn near impossible in ’13. The offense showed promise. The OL left a lot to be desired but they got some experience. In the very first game Goff gave Cal fans something they hadn’t seen in several years – a QB who could hit a receiver IN-STRIDE! If Goff gets more time to throw it’ll only improve the offense. The run game was terrible & never got going. The blocking was why. Now, if a RB has a lot of talent he’s going to find a way to succeed – this did not happen. And all those pining for Bigelow just remember that he lost his job to a true freshman! Muhammad had the same blockers as Bigelow but did better. Bigelow is nuts if he thinks he’ll get drafted should he leave Cal. Look at his career stats & ask yourself if you’d draft him. Rodgers has the most potential of of these guys. He didn’t put up decent stats under Tedford but got action with Dykes. The biggest question mark for him is blocking. I can’t recall him standing out as a blocker. I know he was considered a “WR” but a TE in the NFL must block! Under-sized CBs like Kam are not in demand. The league is trending towards bigger, more physical CBs to cover the huge, fast & strong WRs. Fortt is delusional thinking he’ll get drafted. He played 1 season at Cal, didn’t play every game & did nothing that stood out – & with a porous defense like Cal had, a good player would have stood out. Look, no DC would have succeeded at Cal in ’13. Buh did nothing to stand out & the defense didn’t show improvement. Is it Buh’s fault the players kept getting injured? Is it Buh’s fault the tackling sucked? Guys have already learned how to tackle in high school. The players just sucked. What is his fault is all of the mental mistakes made in coverage, assignments & placement. In ’12 Cal didn’t have many sacks & in ’13 I believe they only had 18. 18! And that’s with a 4 man DL. They couldn’t blitz because their coverage was so terrible. The historically bad defense was not all Buh, just some of it. They lost guys before the season started & pretty much every game. It appeared to be contagious. We all expected transfers. Obviously, Kline was leaving as he was told it was Goff’s job to lose. I hate to see him leave but it’ll be better for him – & will likely come back to haunt Cal. Tagaloa was ass-hurt because he lost his job. I expected big things from him but he was disappointing. No one can honestly say he did a good job at LT. Sadly, all of the backups are freshmen, inexperienced or both. With Ragin & Whitener we don’t know if they were homesick, had trouble with academics or clashed with the coaches. WE DON’T KNOW! Both of those guys are from other states. And the same goes for those leaving early – it could have been academics or coaching clashes. Again, WE DON’T KNOW! It does appear that ’13 is playing a huge factor in recruiting. Some are up to the challenge (Rubenzer – my favorite – & Enwere) & some aren’t. Cal needs guys who want to be at Cal. Also, Dykes is trying to clean up the academic mess Tedford & to$h left. He has to recruit players who’ll make it academically. I know other schools have been able to do it but Cal has not. With most of the P12 on the upswing Cal has had a lot of trouble with recruiting. Everyone loves a winner. Dykes struck out with all of the local talent but it wasn’t from a lack of effort. Harvey admitted it was too stressful to qualify & I give him a lot of respect for that. The arizona schools aren’t hard to get into & both are winning so that hurt Cal. Still, it’s really disappointing to miss out on every top bay area recruit. Right now Cal is not a desirable destination for recruits even though they have a new stadium, training facilities & 1 of the best educations in the world. It won’t change until they start winning. All of their offense, minus Rodgers, is returning. They’ll have to just be better on offense & out score their opponents in shootouts to win games. If they win some & show progress then more recruits will be receptive. Dykes has 2 more years to get it going. If it doesn’t happen then it’s next man up. Sometimes I wonder if most of you guys even want Cal to succeed…..

  • Juancho

    Anyone else catch how all the cal guys said the school name different in the announcements? I wonder if they talked about it.

    Cal berkeley, cal, uc berkeley and california.

  • SteveNTexas

    Wow Al I think that was the longest paragraph in BearTalk History. I don’t know which shows more endurance – still supporting Dyke after this season of disappointments or being able to type 1000 words without taking a breath or hitting the “return” button.

    Anyway I’m just teasin ya Al. The first half provided plenty of information- then my eyes starting hurting…

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Wow…Andrew Luck cattoused KC. HAHAHAHHA

  • Dan

    Al – return key? I would have liked to read your post, but it just looked too ominous as the world’s longest paragraph. My apologies if I’m being a jerk pointing it out.

  • http://ContraCostaTimes EastCoastBear

    Agree with Post #17. So far Dykes and Co do not appear to be making the recruiting in roads we need. Still time until Feb, but not much.

    As we wait and hope. Hundley staying at UCLA. UCLA get commits from 2 4 star LBs. USC on the move. AU building a killer class — Rich Rod looking a very good hire. ASU not far behind.

    Oregon State has more local kids from the Bay Area than Cal this year.

    Doesn’t really matter what we all think about the coaches at the end of the day, it is what the kids think that is important. And I don’t see much confidence being expressed int he future of our program just now.

    Will tune back in Fbe.

  • Steve W

    I will admit I tried to blot out my memories of last season, but I truly cannot recall a memorable play that Fortt made all season. The only thing I remember was an episode of that Pac 12 TV show where Dykes was giving Fortt a pep talk and telling him he had to play stronger, faster and smarter.

    Not exactly following in the footsteps of Ortega, Willard, Nickerson, Rivera, et al, but these days the kids think if they can post a good 40 time and leap over a few benches stacked together, they are ready for the NFL.

  • BlueNGold

    Moron, the Colts-Chiefs game ended about 5 pm Saturday afternoon. It took you until 9 pm to post THAT?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • al

    Yeah, I wasn’t in the mood to make it all pretty. I only wanted to state my case & ended up getting a little carried away. Either way, I continue to support Cal football no matter what!