Cal’s NFL Draft Picks: Jaylinn Hawkins' Emotion Heads Trio’s Headlines

Hawkins' tears, Evan Weaver's restraint, Ashtyn Davis' perspective were part of the Cal draft story
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Each of the three Cal players taken in the NFL draft has his own chapter headline in the Bears' 2020 draft story. Let's take a look at the three-word headlines for the reactions of Ashtyn Davis, Jaylinn Hawkins and Evan Weaver.

Jaylinn Hawkins' Emotion

The most dramatic and most endearing reaction belonged to Cal safety Jaylinn Hawkins on Saturday. Most experts expected him to go undrafted, but not only did he get picked, but he was chosen in the fourth round by the Atlanta Falcons.

After listening to Hawkins, tell me you are not rooting for him to make the Falcons' roster and have an impact.

His reactions atop this story and just above the subhead demonstrated how much being drafted meant to him as he talked outside his home. 

"This just hit different," he said.

Hawkins said he got so excited when he got the call from the Falcons that he nearly hung up.

"I can't explain it," Hawkins said. "I kind of froze up. I got a call from Atlanta, Georgia, so I called back. I felt like we won the Super Bowl."

You can practically see his head spinning as he recalls all the work he and his teammates put in to arrive at this moment.

"Man, it just means a lot," he said between tears. "It means a lot."

Evan Weaver's Restraint

After Evan Weaver was not selected until the sixth round, despite being a first-team All-American and the Pac-12 defensive player of the year, you would expect the outspoken Weaver to rail at the NFL scouts' stupidity for not selecting him sooner.

He did none of that. No doubt advised by his agents to toe the line in his media comments, Weaver simply talked about how pleased he was that the Cardinals selected him as he spoke from his home in Spokane, Wash. (His WiFi was spotty, thus no video.)

As the audio above indicates, however, he did decide to rearrange the furniture in his house a bit when one team he expected to pick him took someone else.

Weaver's tendency to speak his mind regardless of the ramifications had endeared him to media covering Cal. In the audio below, responding to a question from our Jeff Faraudo, Weaver said he did show his true colors in his conversation with Cardinals officials a few months ago. He wanted Arizona to know exactly what it would be getting if it drafted him.


Ashtyn Davis' Perspective

No one was hurt more by the cancellation of Cal's Pro Day than Cal safety Ashtyn Davis, who was taken in the third round by the New York Jets.

There had been questions about his health because his postseason adductor surgery had caused him to miss the Redbox Bowl and the Senior Bowl and limited his participation in the NFL Combine to bench presses.

He was expected to show his good health and sprinter speed when he ran the 40-yard dash as Cal's Pro Day, scheduled for March 20. Afterall, Davis had been the 2017 Pac-12 110-meter hurdles champion. But the COVID-19 pandemic caused Cal's Pro Day to to be cancelled, so he could not prove his speed or his health to NFL scouts, leading to Peter King to note that one GM had called Davis the mystery man.

In his story, King ran an instagram video of Davis working out.

But when asked after he was drafted whether not being able to get a recorded 40 time hurt him, Davis said this:

"Yeah, I certainly think it hurt me a bit, but like I said in other interviews -- perspective. My problems are very small compared to a lot of people. There's some other people who are dying from what's going on right now, and I think that's important to keep in mind. . . . I was still fortunate enough to be given an opportunity, and I'm going to run with it."

USA TODAY called Davis one of the steals of the draft.