The Ravens drafted UCLA linebacker Kenny Young with the No. 122 overall pick in the fourth round Saturday, a productive four-year starter who disappointed some with his play in his final Bruins season.
The 6-foot-1, 236-pound Young, who projects as a weak-side linebacker next to C.J. Mosley, had 200 tackles over his two final seasons, earning second-team All-Pac 12 Conference honors as a junior and first-team distinction as a senior. He finished his career ranked 13th all time in school history in tackles (304).
But his play recognition “seemed to take a step backward on tape,” according to his NFL.com draft profile, and was slow to diagnose plays at times. Still, he’s considered a smooth athlete and rangy linebacker who should be able to contribute immediately on special teams.
“I couldn't tell you how I felt after that [pick], man,” Young told reporters in a teleconference. “My family was excited. I was excited. It's just this big boulder lifted off my shoulders, and I love that type of defense that they have, man. I fit perfect with that as far as character-wise, what I bring to the table, my speed, my tackling, my discipline.”
During his childhood, Young lived with a friend when his mother, a single parent, had trouble paying the family’s rent. During his sophomore season at UCLA, he battled through the death of his grandmother and a cancer diagnosis for his father. The New Orleans native was one of the last Bruins athletes to wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, one of the school’s most notable alumni.