LOS ANGELES — UCLA’s top NFL Draft prospects who showcased their skills in front of scouts on Pro Day Tuesday noted a common theme: how impressed NFL teams are with their preparation.

Players praised head coach Chip Kelly and his pro-style offense as UCLA welcomed a large group of players and guests to its pro day at the Spaulding Field campus. a partly cloudy morning.

Participants included offensive lineman Sean Rhyan, tight end Greg Dulcich, wide receiver Kyle Philips, defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia and defensive back Quentin Lake, all of whom also participated in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis more early this month. The Bruins don’t have any picks scheduled for the first round, but those five players could see their names called on Day 2 or later.

On-court activities at Pro Day included the 40-yard dash, a shuttle drill and a cone drill, as well as stance drills.

Philips, who declared for the draft after his redshirt junior season, said Pro Day in sunny Southern California had a different energy than the combine.

“Absolutely, because it feels like home,” Philips said. “There are no nerves, just completely comfortable, surrounded by a group of good people who you are close with.”

UCLA hasn’t had a receiver drafted higher than the fifth round since 2014, but the slot receiver could change that. Philips led the Pac-12 last season with 10 touchdowns and finished his career at UCLA fourth on the program’s career receiving list. He thanked Kelly and the rest of the UCLA coaching staff for preparing him for the interview process with NFL teams.

“With the way Coach Kelly runs this place, we all felt extremely prepared for the bowling games, for the combine, talking to the teams, talking about football and everything,” Philips said. “Right now it’s really difficult. But when you look back, he prepared us so well, so it was great.

For example, Philips pointed to Kelly’s “48 Hour Question Game”, where two days before a game day, players were called upon by coaches to stand in front of the team and explain in detail the outline of the game. upcoming match.

“It was honestly more nerve-wracking than anything I’ve had to do with (NFL) teams, so I felt very well prepared,” Philips said.

Philips said he spent a lot of time meeting the Bills and Eagles, which was a joint reunion with Dulcich.

Dulcich could be the second Bruins tight end to be selected in the third round or higher in the last three drafts, after Devin Asiasi was selected by the Patriots in 2020. It would be another triumph for Dulcich, who rose from making the team as a walkout receiver to be a semi-finalist last season for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end.

“A lot of teams appreciate that work ethic and it gets a lot more buzz around me, which is cool,” Dulcich said on his run.

Dulcich agreed with Philips that NFL teams have been impressed with UCLA’s offensive program.

“It’s a nice pro-style look, the things we race,” Dulcich said. “You’re talking to teams that are like, ‘You can’t imagine how many guys we’re talking to and they just don’t have as good of an understanding as you guys do.’ And it’s a credit to Coach Kelly.

Other Pro Day attendees were: running backs Brittain Brown and Ethan Fernea, linebacker Jordan Genmark Heath, defensive back Obi Eboh, offensive lineman Paul Grattan Jr., defensive lineman Datona Jackson, running backs defensemen Cameron Johnson and Qwuantrezz Knight and offensive lineman Alec Anderson.

Two UCLA alumni – defensive back Rahim Moore (2008-2010) and linebacker Tyree Thompson (2018-19) – also participated in Pro Day, as did two guests: former UCLA quarterback Washington State Anthony Gordon (2018-19) and Azusa Pacific defenseman. return Lee Pitts (2019).

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

Even players on the periphery of being drafted extended platitudes toward their former coach. Fernea, who has also spent time on special teams, called Kelly “one of the smartest coaches in the business.”

“They throw it at you quick, I hear, in the NFL,” Fernea said. “But that’s how we do business here at UCLA. That’s how you learn plays. So I think Coach Kelly really prepared me for that ending.