The Cal football team notched two first-rounders in this weekend's NFL Draft, and didn't see another pick until the seventh and final round, when cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson was chosen by the Denver Broncos with the 225th overall pick.
"There are a lot of people who enter this draft that didn't get chosen, and it's a blessing for them to take me," Thompson said.
Thompson had minimal contact with the Broncos during the time between the NFL Scouting Combine in February and the Draft, but apparently his interview in Indianapolis sealed the deal.
"I just had one good meeting with them at the Combine, and they were really impressed with my knowledge of the game," Thompson said. "They already knew my background and felt that I was a good kid. In the meeting, they just wanted to test my knowledge, and I answered all of their questions right and they really thought highly of me, and they talked to my agent and said that if they had a chance to get me, they would."
Thompson did not run a 40-yard dash during the Combine, and his time at Cal's Pro Day was not impressive, as he was working through a balky hamstring. Thompson said that, at this point, the hamstring is nearly healthy, and pegs his status at 90-95 percent.
"I think my time on Pro Day, running, and not being healthy enough to run a good time, I think that's what caused me to slip down, but everything happens for a reason," Thompson said. "I'm happy that, even with my times, Denver still came and picked me."
Thompson was satisfied with his destination, especially with the prospects of learning from the same coaching staff that has produced several big-name defensive backs.
"I got the chance to talk with the coaches at the combine and I've watched a lot of their games on TV. I think it's going to be a good fit," Thompson said. "They've had Champ Bailey, who's a Pro Bowl cornerback, and Brian Dawkins. They've got a lot of leaders there that I can learn from. I felt really comfortable talking with the coaches, so I think it'll be a really good fit."