It took until the third day of the 2018 NFL draft for a Cal football alumnus to hear his name called, but the moment arrived Saturday afternoon for inside linebacker Devante Downs.
With the 225th pick, the Minnesota Vikings made their seventh-round selection, selecting the 6’3”, 245-pound native of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, whose stellar collegiate career was cut short during his senior season because of injury.
Downs led the Bears with a career-high 84 tackles during his junior year in 2016 and was in the running for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year prior to his 2017 injury in a game against Washington State.
He received Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors in two of Cal’s first three games last season and was nominated as a team captain for the remainder of the season between the team’s sixth and seventh games.
The Vikings finished as runners-up in the NFC last season, falling just short of a Super Bowl appearance to the eventual champions, the Philadelphia Eagles. Minnesota kicked off its draft by selecting former UCF cornerback Mike Hughes in the first round.