Hopefully, Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels didn't have anything important to say in his phone call to Cal cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson on Saturday. Thompson heard McDaniels' first few words and that was about it.
"I just went blank," said Thompson, who was a seventh-round pick of the Broncos during Saturday's final day of the 2010 NFL draft. "All I heard was the head coach say they were going to take me in the next couple minutes, and then I just kind of blanked out. I really couldn't hear anything else."
Thompson was one of three local players taken during the final four rounds Saturday. Stanford tight end Jim Dray also went in the seventh round to the Arizona Cardinals, and Stanford defensive end Erik Lorig was picked by Tampa Bay as the third-to-last player chosen.
Thompson was considered by many to be a midround pick, but his stock slipped after he wasn't able to participate in draft workouts because of a pulled hamstring. Thompson is a two-time All-Pac-10 first team selection.
Thompson originally hurt his hamstring during practices for the Senior Bowl in January. It prevented him from running the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in February. He tried to run the 40 at Cal's Pro Day in March but aggravated the injury as he was running, giving him a less-than-desirable time of 4.75 seconds.
"Not being healthy and not being able to compete at my highest level made me slip to the end," Thompson said. "I ran the 40 and finished the 40, so that's what time they had on me, whether I was hurt or not. I want to work out now as much as I can to show them. All I can do is go there and compete. That's what I plan on doing."
Dray was known more for his blocking exploits at Stanford, where he was a big part of the Cardinal's dominant offensive line. The Cardinals expect Dray to come in and compete for a starting job.
"He's a very intelligent kid," Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said. "We feel like he has the chance to develop into a pretty good blocking tight end. He's a good athlete with pretty good hands. So we feel like this was a good opportunity for us to address that position. He was the best tight end on the board at that time."
Thompson's selection gave Cal three players taken in the draft — defensive lineman Tyson Alualu and running back Jahvid Best went in the first round. Stanford also had three draft picks. Running back Toby Gerhart, a second-round pick, was the first Cardinal player chosen.
Notes: Two Cal offensive linemen — Chet Teofilo and Mike Tepper — signed free-agent contracts with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday afternoon. Former Bears safety Brett Johnson signed with the Buffalo Bills.