Only one former Cal player was selected in this weekend’s NFL Draft, but offensive tackle Jake Curhan and defensive end Zeandae Johnson announced on social media they expect to sign free-agent contracts with teams.
While cornerback-turned-safety Camryn Bynum was draft in the fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings, Curhan said he will join the Seattle Seahawks and Johnson indicated he will team up with Bynum in Minnesota.
Neither player was considered a lock to be drafted but both were considered good bets to sign free-agent deals. Those arrangements may be finalized for several days, and no official announcement have come from either franchise.
Curhan was perhaps more likely to be a late-round pick, but that may have changed because of news reported several days ago by Ian Rapoport that the North Bay native may be dealing with a heart condition.
Curhan was at Cal for five years and was a starter for his final four years at Cal, and there was never any report of any such condition, and he never displayed any symptoms, according to the report. Players eligible for the draft must undergo extensive medical testing.
Here’s Curhan’s bio from Cal:
Jake Curhan, OL, 6-6, 330, Larkspur, CA (Redwood HS)
Cal – 2016-20; Undergraduate Degree – Business Administration (December 2020)
– A two-time honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection in his final two campaigns as a 2019 junior and 2020 senior
– Started 40 of 42 possible games all at right tackle including a career-high-tying all 13 as both a 2018 sophomore and junior
– Had a string of 39 consecutive starts that spanned all 38 games of three consecutive seasons from 2017-19 and his 2020 season-opener as a senior at UCLA snapped when he did not start the next two back-to-back contests at Oregon State and vs. Stanford due to COVID-19 protocols but did return to the starting lineup for the final collegiate contest of his career in a home win against Oregon
And here’s a thumbnail on Johnson’s accomplishments:
Zeandae Johnson, DL, 6-4, 290, Fresno, CA (Central HS)
Cal – 2015-20; Undergraduate Degrees – American studies and Legal Studies (December 2020)
– Played in 41 career games and started 18 contests during six seasons at Cal from 2015-20
– Posted career totals of 59 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss (-40 yards), 5.5 sacks (-32 yards), one forced fumble, nine quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two passes defended
– Granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA in 2020 due to a medical hardship that caused him to miss both the entire 2015 and 2017 campaigns due to injury
– Had career highs of 29 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss (-26 yards), 3.5 sacks (-25 yards), two pass breakups, two passes defended, one forced fumble and five quarterback hurries while playing in a career-high-tying all 13 games for the second consecutive campaign as a junior in a season that culminated with a Defensive Player of the Game performance in a Redbox Bowl victory over Illinois
– Started all four games in a 2020 senior season shortened by COVID-19 and contributed eight tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss (-1 yard) and one quarterback hurry
Cover photo of Jake Curhan, Camryn Bynum and Zeandae Johnson courtesy of Cal Athletics
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo