Georgia Football Players in the NFL: Who’s Going to Make the Cut?
Per yesterday’s post, 43 former Georgia Bulldogs are currently on NFL rosters. By my estimation, 32-34 players should make final 53-man rosters when the preseason wraps up. Here’s some analysis on that.
Barring injury or otherwise unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, conventional wisdom would suggest that a starter at this point (heading into the second week of preseason games) would hold onto a roster spot in some capacity. Therefore, I’m comfortable suggesting the following players will remain active.
- Thomas Davis, LB, Carolina Panthers
- Leonard Floyd, LB, Chicago Bears
- Cordy Glenn, OT, Cincinnati Bengals
- Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
- Clint Boling, OL, Cincinnati Bengals
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- Shawn Williams, S, Cincinnati Bengals
- Isaiah McKenzie, PR, Denver Broncos
- Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
- Abry Jones, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Justin Houston, LB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Todd Gurley, RB, L.A. Rams
- Reshad Jones, S, Miami Dolphins
- David Andrews, C, New England Patriots
- Benjamin Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints
- Alec Ogletree, LB, New York Giants
- Jordan Jenkins, LB, New York Jets
- Ben Jones, C, Tennessee Titans
I could give more analysis, but do you really need a rationale as to why Todd Gurley is going to make the final cut in L.A.? Didn’t think so. These 18 former Bulldogs are safe. In theory, McKenzie might be a “bubble” player if his skill-set was isolated to wide receiver, but he’s electric as a return man. He returned a kick for 78 yards and a score in the Broncos’ first preseason game.
The second-most obvious collection of players likely to survive roster cuts are newly-acquired players. A portion of these folks are rookies but some were acquired through alternative means.
- Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots: Though he’s been banged up, Michel wasn’t drafted in the first round to be cut. He will make the roster and he will be a stud.
- Isaiah Wynn, OL, New England Patriots: He may be more of a project than Michel, but his spot on the roster is safe – even if he gets bounced around along the line and struggles to start as a rookie.
- Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns: Though low on the depth chart in Cleveland, it’s hard to imagine Chubb not breaking into the two-man rotation and eventually earning the starting spot. The depth chart thing is a formality at this point.
- Roquan Smith, LB, Chicago Bears: He’ll start Day 1 now that he’s signed a contract.
- Lorenzo Carter, LB, New York Giants: Carter is already in the two-deep hunt.
- Ramik Wilson, LB, L.A. Rams: After three seasons with the Chiefs organization, Wilson signed a 1-year deal with the Rams this off-season and has worked his way into a #2 LB spot.
- Tavarres King, WR, Minnesota Vikings: After suiting up for five teams in five seasons, King signed a sizable contract with the Vikings this offseason. He picked up some guaranteed money at signing ($90k is decent for a journeyman like King) and will earn $790k if he stays on the roster all year. If he stays healthy, he’ll make the cut. The Vikings clearly wanted him.
I would expect these seven players to survive cuts.
The Steady Role Players
These players aren’t new to their team and they’re not starters, but their dependability should keep them on a roster.
- Maurice Smith, S, Miami Dolphins: As an undrafted free agent who played just one year with Georgia (he was a graduate transfer from Bama), Smith contributed as a rookie last year. He backs up fellow-former Bulldog Reshad Jones and should have a #2 safety spot on lock.
- Chris Conley, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: Conley is a great locker room guy and still has tremendous upside if he stays healthy. He’s slated to make $1.8 million this year and that could work against him if a more cost-effective option becomes available and there may be lingering injury concerns, but it would be a surprise if he was looking for work at the end of final cuts.
- Corey Moore, S, Houston Texans: Another undrafted player from years past, Moore is a staple of the Texans’ two-deep and signed his first non-rookie contract this off-season.
- Cornelius Washington, DE, Detroit Lions: Though not a starter, Washington has historically played quite a bit. That shouldn’t change.
- John Jenkins, DT, Chicago Bears: Quietly productive, Jenkins has the size, strength and athleticism to remain in the league for a long time.
- Garrison Smith, DE, Atlanta Falcons: Smith has been all over the place over the course of a four-year career, but he’s a pro’s pro and OK with coming off the bench, playing DE or DT and bouncing between non-active/practice squad and active duty. I think his adaptability will keep him on the Falcons’ roster.
- Tyler Catalina, OL, Washington Redskins: Much to my surprise, Catalina caught on with the Redskins last year and stuck around for most of the season. He’s firmly claimed a spot on the two-deep and should make the roster again. Good on ya, Cat.
These seven players should be playing in the fall.
If I was a betting man, I’d place the 32 players above on an NFL roster. So who’s not making the cuts? I’ll touch on that tomorrow.
Before we get there though, I think two players are on the bubble.
- Reggie Davis, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Davis spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad in Atlanta but could get called up this year. That being said, his first preseason game wasn’t all that productive and the receiving unit is increasingly crowded.
- Javon Wims, WR, Chicago Bears: Wims will, at a minimum, make the Bears practice squad, but he’s making a strong push for a real spot on the roster thanks to a big Hall of Fame Game performance. I think he may open the year on the practice squad before being moved up.
That’s all I got/