Stampeders lose two defensive linemen to opt outs, including former NFL draft pick Dadi Nicolas

The Calgary Stampeders have lost two defensive lineman to NFL opt outs, according to Postmedia’s Danny Austin.

Defensive ends Dadi Nicolas and Da’Sean Downey have both taken advantage of the CFL and CFL Players’ Association opt out agreement to try their luck south of the border.

A high profile signing this off-season, Nicolas was selected in the sixth round, 203rd overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2016 NFL draft. He played 11 games for the Chiefs in 2016, but missed the 2017 season due to injury. He has also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Washington, Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

While in the NCAA, Nicolas played 49 games over four years at Virginia Tech University. He earned second-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honours as a junior in 2014 after recording 71 tackles including 18.5 tackles for loss while adding nine sacks and one fumble recovery. For his career with the Hokies, Nicolas had 166 tackles including 36 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception.

The Port-au-Prince, Haiti native didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school in Florida. The 27-year-old checks in at six-foot-three, 235 pounds. Nicolas recorded a 41-inch vertical jump with a 40-yard time of 4.74 at the 2016 NFL Combine. He earned over $1.1 million USD playing in the NFL and is attempting to use the cancelled CFL season to take another crack at the big league.

Downey spent all of 2019 with the Stamps, appearing in six games and recording four tackles and a sack. He was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2018, but the team waived him before training camp. Prior to going pro, Downey played 43 games for UMass and amassed 184 career tackles and 12 sacks.