Dec 31, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Taylor Embree (82) catches a pass for a touchdown past Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Tavon Wilson (3) during the second quarter at AT

San Diego Chargers: A note on UFAs Taylor Embree and Mike Harris of UCLA

I’m the editor of Fansided’s UCLA blog, Go Joe Bruin. After going totally nuts after we had zero NFL draftees, I was excited to find out that some of our Bruins made it to my favorite football team as undrafted free agents: the Oakland Raiders.

OUCH. Sorry, but my spleen popped as I wrote that. It was meant to be a joke, but somehow a Raider fan must’ve overheard and wound up shanking me. I never learn my lessons with these guys, do I?

Anyway, the Chargers managed to sign two Bruins from our 2012 class: WR Taylor Embree and OG Mike Harris.  I thought I’d give my thoughts on them:

WR Taylor Embree

Embree’s story at UCLA is a typical one that you’d expect from an undrafted free agent: Talented as hell, but lacking in the work ethic to have a legit season. That’s not to say he has a bad attitude, but rather, much like his counterpart at UCLA, Nelson Rosario, he suffered from not being the workhorse that most NFL draftees are. He’s got “serviceable” capabilities, I’m sure, but he’s also slightly lazy, a result of head coach Rick Neuheisel’s lackadaisical tenure as “The Man.”

Of course, we know that San Diego is incredibly thin at wide-out, with Robert Meachem and Malcom Floyd being the immediate primary targets (don’t get me wrong, I dug Meachem at New Orleans, but is he really going to replace Vincent Jackson?). With that, and the fact that his only competition among undrafted free agents is a UNLV wide-out, I’m sure Embree is going to break into the rotation of wide-outs … if he applies himself.

(Although, Embree wouldn’t have been my first choice: UCLA wide-out Nelson Rosario really has all the physical abilities that Justin Blackmon has, but was a total lazy-butt while playing for UCLA. It should also be noted that neither had a half-decent QB throwing to them for all four years in Westwood.)

OG Mike Harris

The dude’s pretty durable, and hasn’t missed too many games in his time at UCLA.

That said, I didn’t scout Harris all that much last season, but I do know this: Our offensive line sucked. Teams easily rammed through the line and inhibited much of our passing game (which isn’t hard, mind you), although our running game wasn’t too awful.

Obviously, I can’t blame or credit Harris for much of anything, nor can I say it’s a reflection of his talent. I do know that this dude is big: He’s 6’5”, 310 pounds, so he’s definitely made to be an offensive lineman.

Beyond that, I can’t tell you much.

***

I know not many care, since there are so many undrafted free agents that are signed. However … well, there’s no caveat. Let’s just leave it at that before it gets awkward.

(Oh, and for bragging rights: No Bruins, thankfully, were signed by the Oakland Raiders, a team associated with crime and filth. How funny: Our rivals, U$C, is a school that’s associated with crime and filth and as it turns out, they’ve managed to sign yet another failed Trojan: Matt Leinart. Just a thought!)

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Tags: Mike Harris Taylor Embree Ucla Bruins Undrafted Free Agents

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