At one point during their reign together at the University of Washington, this was a defense no one wanted to acknowledge. The Huskies were that bad.
But as fortunes began changing – the UW went 5-7 under new coach Steve Sarkisian last season – so did the draft outlook of middle linebacker Donald Butler and defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.
On a day that saw a flurry of minor second-day trades, Butler benefited from one by the San Diego Chargers, who moved up 12 spots after a deal with San Francisco to select the UW standout with the 79th pick Friday.
And a short time later in the third round, so went Te'o-Nesheim amid heavy activity by the Philadelphia Eagles, who made the Hawaii product – and the Huskies all-time sack leader with 301/2 sacks – their selection at No. 86 after making three separate deals to move down.
For Butler, it's a bit of a homecoming being a California native.
“It’s a dream come true,” Butler told San Diego-area reporters on Friday. “I really wanted to go to the Chargers from day one. I’m close to home and they’re a great organization, and they have a great team that really gets after it on the defensive side of the ball.”
Te'o-Nesheim, who has been a regular visitor to UW spring ball the past two weeks, said he visited the Eagles earlier this month. His agent also indicated that sometime during the weekend, it might be Philadelphia which would be calling his name.
"I love how rabid the fans are and I love watching their defense play," Te'o-Nesheim told Philadelphia-area reporters on Friday. "We watched a lot of their defensive line when I came on my visit and it was just really exciting to see how hard they play. Even when I talked to Washington (defensive coordinator) Coach (Nick) Holt about it, he said that they are a great defense to play for and I would love to go there. That's what I was thinking as soon as I watched that film."
Te'o-Nesheim figures to be a situational pass rusher, much like Oregon's Nick Reed is for the Seahawks.
"I think I am tough and definitely durable," Te'o-Nesheim said. "I think of myself as a high-effort guy and I'll do whatever is asked on or off the field."
The last time a Husky product was drafted was 2007 when Isaiah Stanback went in the fourth round (103rd overall) to the Dallas Cowboys.