Career Recap: The redshirt senior Fauria has been a solid player for the Bruins the past two seasons. He started out his collegiate career at Notre Dame before transferring to UCLA. The Los Angeles Times wrote an article that Fauria had been kicked out of Notre Dame, but the full story hasn't been reported.
Fauria sat out the 2009 season because of the transfer, and he was mostly a backup in 2010. Fauria broke out last year with a strong performance. He was UCLA's second leading receiver in 2011, catching 39 passes for 481 yards and six touchdowns. Fauria and Corey Harkey split time while both contributed as run blockers.
2012 Season Outlook:
UCLA is expecting Fauria to take on a bigger role in 2012. Harkey has moved on to the next level, and Fauria should get to showcase more of his blocking ability in 2012. He is likely to be one of the primary receivers for the Bruins offense.
Veteran assistant Noel Mazzone is the new offensive coordinator. Last year running the Arizona State offense, he led the Sun Devils to the 10th ranked passing offense (316.7 yards per game) in college football. Mazzone was a wide receivers coach with the New York Jets from 2006-2008, so he should be inclined to pass the ball often. Fauria will benefit with increased targets.
Fauria is a well-rounded tight end. He has excellent size with real athletic ability. Fauria is a quality receiver who combines nice quickness with solid hands and route-running. He is a good red-zone threat, too. His six touchdowns last year were the most by a UCLA tight end since Marcedes Lewis (10) in 2005. Fauria's strength is his receiving ability, and with passing-threat tight ends being in vogue in the NFL, he stands to benefit from the trend.
With his size and strength, Fauria has the makings to be a good blocking tight end as well. He has a nice start as a blocker, but will need to continue to improve for the next level.
2013 Draft Expectations:
Fauria looks like a second-day pick entering his senior season. If he duplicates his junior year production, he should at least be a third-round pick. Fauria doesn't look like he has the unique athleticism that is necessary to be a first-round tight end. He has good NFL bloodlines. His uncle, Christian, had a 13-year career in the NFL.
For the Vikings it doesn't matter who our RB is if we don't improve the line first. Our first pick HAS to be an offensive lineman. Preferably an OT where we have nobody who should be starting, but it could also be an interior lineman if that's what's available. Obviously the Vikings could spend in FA and improve the line to a point where our first pick can be BPA, but the line is by far and away the number one priority.
I'm not sure why but that diagram made me uncomfortable when skeletor was too close at the end. Not super uncomfortable, but uncomfortable like that feeling you get when you know the ghosts have you cornered and you're out of those super pellets and they're just about to kill you.