Another linebacker with local ties, Mountlake Terrace High product Devante Downs, is drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round.
Washington linebacker Azeem Victor, once considered a fringe first-round prospect, was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round (pick No. 216 overall) of the NFL draft Saturday.
One pick later, Victor’s close friend and fellow linebacker Keishawn Bierria was selected by the Denver Broncos.
Another linebacker with local ties, Mountlake Terrace High product Devante Downs, was drafted by the Minnesota in the seventh round. Downs starred at Cal and was leading the Pac-12 in tackles last fall when he suffered a season-ending leg injury in October.
The Huskies have now had five players selected in this draft as Victor and Bierria join Vita Vea (first round, Tampa Bay); Dante Pettis (second round, San Francisco); and Will Dissly (fourth round, Seattle).
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An Associated Press preseason first-team All-American going into the 2017 season, Victor had a tumultuous senior season at UW that ended prematurely after his November arrest for suspicion of DUI. He was handed a season-ending suspension by UW coach Chris Petersen.
Victor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving last month and sentenced to two days on a work crew.
Last September, Victor was suspended for the Huskies’ season opener at Rutgers for a failed drug test, sources told The Seattle Times.
In October, he lost his starting job at middle linebacker and was asked to transition to a edge-rusher role. He played only limited snaps in his final game for the Huskies, a loss at Stanford, though he did have a sack that night.
In 2016, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Victor was a first-team all-Pac-12 selection at linebacker after posting 67 tackles in 10 games, and his physical presence in the middle of the field typified the personality of the conference’s best defense the past two seasons.
But Victor missed the final month of the 2016 season with a broken tibia, a major blow for him and for a UW team that was headed to the College Football Playoff.
Off the field, Victor started his own foundation — Azeem’s Dream Foundation — to provide tutoring and supplies for middle-school students.
In 2016, Bierria and Victor formed one of the most productive linebacker tandems in program history.
Bierria was a three-year starter for UW at inside linebacker and one of the most respected players in the locker room.
“Bierria doesn’t do any one thing at an elite level, but he does everything well,” one AFC scout said earlier this year. “I see him as a core special-teams guy and a backup linebacker who could wind up playing in the league for six or seven years.”