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Cal football starters in the NFL: The Takers thrive – Write For California

January 31st 2020
The starters
Jake Curhan, offensive tackle, Seattle Seahawks
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Curhan was an undrafted free agent in Seattle, but eventually won his way onto the 53-man roster, played in 15 games, and started the final five games of the season. Curhan won offensive rookie of the year honors from the Seahawks. More from Pete Carroll:
“There were a couple players in there that he didn’t control real well, but overall he played really well,” Carroll said in his postgame press conference on December 12. “We ran his way a lot and Jake’s a good prospect. I was really proud of what he did, he pulled it off today.”
Ashtyn Davis, safety, New York Jets
Davis played in 13 games and started ten at safety for the Jets, logging 62 tackles, sixth-most on the team. Davis had early struggles last year in dealing with multiple injuries, but finished strong.
December 23rd 2021
Jared Goff, quarterback, Detroit Lions
After an early season struggle, Goff righted the ship, with three wins in his final four starts. Goff completed 67% of his passes, with 3245 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
His offseason is looking quite strong:
The Lions’ coaching staff has already seen the fruits of Goff’s labor. Lions quarterback coach—and former 18-year NFL quarterback himself—Mark Brunell said this is the best Goff has looked to him. While the two have only been together for just over a year, Brunell stopped his media session to really reiterate how much growth he’s seen in the 27-year-old quarterback.
“When I say he’s had an excellent spring, I’m not kidding,” Brunell said. “He really has done very well with just the learning, his work ethic. He comes out here and he works. He puts the time in, it’s very, very important to him, and just his ability to throw the ball. He has elite arm talent and it’s been fun to watch. I think he’s in a great place right now. Just from last year to this year, he’s better at every aspect of his game as a professional. He’s killing it, he really is.”
Also, Jared got engaged! Congrats!
June 21st 2022
Marvin Jones, wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones signed a two-year, $14.5 million deal last season in northern Florida, and struggled through a pretty tumultuous season with the tyrant Urban Meyer. Jones still managed 73 catches for 832 yards and four scores and led the Jaguars as their most consistent offensive weapon.
Here’s offensive coordinator Press Taylor:
He’s always got a smile on his face in the meeting rooms. Very engaged, he asks great questions, and he kind of speaks up. Some of those times you see these veterans ask questions in a meeting room, that I bet you he probably knew the answer to but he knew that somebody probably needed clarity on that, so he’ll ask it on behalf of other people. And that’s what you’d like to see in guys that are the leaders in the position room.
Alex Mack, center, San Francisco 49ers
Mack came back home last season after over a half-decade with the Atlanta Falcons, and locked into his usual reliable steady place in the middle. Mack started and played in all his regular-season games for the 11th time in 13 seasons, and San Francisco enjoyed one of the most prolific run attacks in the league.
The 36-year-old Mack did sign a three-year, $14.85 million contract and had two seasons left, but he opted to retire, ending an NFL career that will put him on the edge of NFL Hall of Fame contention.
Patrick Mekari, offensive tackle, Baltimore Ravens
Mekari spent most of 2021 in a new position, moving to right tackle after spending 2020 at right guard and center and 2019 at center, playing in 36 games, starting in 23. Mekari started ten games at RT, battling through injuries much of the year.
After the year, Mekari earned a three-year, $15.4 million contract extension, running through 2024.
December 30th 2021
Stephen Anderson, tight end, Arizona Cardinals
Anderson continues to plug away in H-back/tight end roles in the league. Last year in Los Angeles, Anderson compiled a steady 16 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown last year playing around 20% of the team’s offensive snaps.
Anderson left the Chargers this offseason to sign a one-year, $1.2 million deal with the Cardinals.
April 4th 2022
Camryn Bynum, free safety, Minnesota Vikings
It was a very strong rookie year for Bynum. The former taker started three games at Cal and played in 14 contests, and logged a sack and pick in his first two starts. Bynum compiled 28 tackles.
Part-Filipino, Bynum also recently went to the Philippines to contribute to typhoon relief.
June 8th 2022
June 8th 2022
Jaylinn Hawkins, safety, Atlanta Falcons
This could be the year Hawkins makes the leap to be a starter in Atlanta. He was a solid contributor last season
In 2021, Jaylinn Hawkins took the field for 49 percent of the Atlanta Falcons’ defensive snaps, though he made enough plays on the ball to earn consideration for an expanded role in the upcoming season. The 2020 fourth-rounder finished with 24 tackles, one for loss, three pass breakups and two interceptions through 14 games (four starts).
Desean Jackson, wide receiver, free agent
After a tumultuous 2020 rife with questions of anti-Semitism, Jackson had a quiet 2021 with only four starts, bouncing between the Rams and the Raiders. But he was still explosive in his moments, logging 20 catches for 454 yards for a ridiculous 22.7 yards per reception.
Jackson currently is available on the market, but has said it’d have to be the right fit for him to come back.
"I’m not really sure if I’m going to play next year or not," Jackson said in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Ashley Nicole Moss. "I know I announced and said I was going to play. It’s just really at this point where I’m at in my life, it’s gotta be the right fit.
Next up, the other Cal Bears who are contributing on various teams.
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