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Former NC State Defensive End Mario Williams is hoping to leave 2015 in the past. Coming off of an All-Pro season in 2014 when he recorded 15 sacks, with Rex Ryan at the helm, and a new scheme that was devastating to Williams’ skill set, Super Mario had arguably the worst season of his career last year, ending with a measly 5 sacks.

On March 1st, the Bills didn’t feel like paying the rest of the 6-year $96 million contact they signed with him back in 2012, and released Williams to save $12.9 million against the cap.

One week later, on March 8th, Williams signed a 2-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.

Williams seems confident that this defensive scheme under Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph is right for him. The Dolphins secondary is questionable, so Joseph is going to turn Williams, Cam Wake and Ndamukong Suh loose to get anything breathing in the backfield.

Some questioned the Dolphins decision in signing Williams due to his age (31 years old) and attitude issues last year. Many accused Williams of quitting on the Bills last year. Despite the questions, the Dolphins are banking on the athletic freak still having some years left in his belt.

Williams has averaged 9.6 sacks a season over his 10 year career, named to the Pro Bowl 4 times, and dubbed 1st Team All-Pro 3 times (2nd team once).

 

Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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Pack in the Pros

Detroit Calls Up Zonovan Knight from the Practice Squad to the 53-Man Roster

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Former NC State Running Back Zonovan Knight has been called up from the Practice Squad to join the Detroit Lions’ 53-man roster.

Knight is being called up because the status of Detroit’s starting Running Back David Montgomery is unknown, after suffering a thigh bruise in last weeks game.

Last year, Knight had 85 carries for 300 yards, scoring one touchdown in 7 games, after being called up from the Jets’ Practice Squad.

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Pack in the Pros

NC State has 27th Most Players on NFL Rosters Entering Week 1 of 2023 NFL Season

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Dave Doeren’s ability to send players from NC State to the NFL during his tenure has been truly impressive. There are 18 former Wolfpack players on NFL 53-man rosters heading into Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.

Players on active NFL rosters
Alabama 57
Georgia 49
Ohio St 48
LSU 43
Michigan 38
Clemson 37
Florida 35
Notre Dame, Penn St 34
Oklahoma 32
Texas 30
Iowa 29
USC, Washington 27
Auburn 26
Oregon 25
Stanford 24
Ole Miss, Texas A&M 23
UCLA 22
South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin 21
Miami 20
Pitt, TCU 19
Cincinnati, NC State, Virginia Tech 18
Kentucky 17
Florida St, Illinois, Michigan St, North Carolina 16
Arkansas, BYU, Maryland, Mississippi St, Nebraska, Utah 15
Houston, Minnesota, Oklahoma St 14
Baylor, Boston College, Missouri, Purdue 13
Cal, Kansas State, Northwestern, UCF, Wake Forest 12
Iowa State, Memphis, San Diego St 11
Boise St, Duke, Louisville, Oregon St 10
via NCAA

(Tweet)

17 of the 18 former NC State players on NFL rosters played under Doeren. It’s noteworthy which teams NC State is ahead of in these rankings. There are more former Wolfpack players on NFL rosters right now than players from UNC and Florida State.

 

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Pack in the Pros

Which PackPros Have the Chance to Make NC State History in the NFL in ’23?

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Below, we will look at which former NC State football players have a chance to move up in the school record books in the 2023 NFL season.

Passing

Russell Wilson could catch Phillip Rivers on two possible categories in 2023. If he records one more game winning drive, he will pass Rivers for the most by a former NC State Quarterback in the NFL. If he leads Denver to three 4th quarter comebacks, he will pass Rivers in that category as well.

Rushing

If Wilson rushes for 4 touchdowns, which he has only done twice in his career (both times were with his first three years in the NFL), he will tie Roman Gabriel for the 3rd most rushing touchdowns by a former NC State player in the NFL.

Receiving

If Jakobi Meyers has 60 receptions, which he has done in the past 2 seasons, he will pass Koren Robinson, moving into 5th place. It’s also pretty much a guarantee that he will pass Ted Brown in career receiving yards, moving into 6th place in school history. If Meyers picks up 2 touchdown receptions, he moves into 9th. If he snags 5, he moves into 8th.

Tackles

If Linebacker Germaine Pratt matched his 99 tackles from last year, he would pass Mario Williams, Jesse Campbell and Ray Agnew, moving into 7th place.

Sacks

It seems very likely that Linebacker Bradley Chubb will finish the year with at least 4 sacks, which would move him past Darwin Walker and Willie Young, giving him sole possession of 3rd place in NC State history.

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Pack in the Pros

Former NC State Players on 53-Man NFL Rosters & Where They are on the Depth Chart

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The 2023 NFL season starts tonight. Here’s a look at which NC state players are on 53-man rosters entering Week 1, and where they find themselves on the depth chart.

Quarterback

Russell Wilson enters his 2nd year as the starting Quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Hopefully, year 2 will be better than year 1 for Wilson, this time playing under Sean Payton as Head Coach. The past 2 seasons haven’t been kind to Wilson. After finishing as a Top-10 QB according to ProFootballFocus in 7 of his first 9 seasons, he ranked 19th and 29th the past 2 years respectively.

Wilson is beginning his 12th year in the NFL. In 11 seasons, Wilson has made the Pro Bowl 9 times, and earned 2nd Team All-Pro honors once. In 2015 he led the NFL in QB Rating, and in 2017, he led the league in touchdown passes.

Passing Table
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Y/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk 4QC GWD
2012* 24 SEA QB 3 16 16 252 393 64.1 3118 26 10 7.9 12.4 194.9 100.0 72.7 33 3 4
2013* 25 SEA QB 3 16 16 257 407 63.1 3357 26 9 8.2 13.1 209.8 101.2 67.2 44 3 4
2014* 26 SEA QB 3 16 16 285 452 63.1 3475 20 7 7.7 12.2 217.2 95.0 69.7 42 1 4
2015* 27 SEA QB 3 16 16 329 483 68.1 4024 34 8 8.3 12.2 251.5 110.1 68.6 45 2 2
2016 28 SEA QB 3 16 16 353 546 64.7 4219 21 11 7.7 12.0 263.7 92.6 57.1 41 4 3
2017* 29 SEA QB 3 16 16 339 553 61.3 3983 34 11 7.2 11.7 248.9 95.4 61.9 43 2 2
2018* 30 SEA QB 3 16 16 280 427 65.6 3448 35 7 8.1 12.3 215.5 110.9 63.3 51 2 4
2019* 31 SEA QB 3 16 16 341 516 66.1 4110 31 5 8.0 12.1 256.9 106.3 71.5 48 4 5
2020* 32 SEA QB 3 16 16 384 558 68.8 4212 40 13 7.5 11.0 263.3 105.1 67.1 47 3 3
2021* 33 SEA QB 3 14 14 259 400 64.8 3113 25 6 7.8 12.0 222.4 103.1 54.7 33 0 1
2022 34 DEN QB 3 15 15 292 483 60.5 3524 16 11 7.3 12.1 234.9 84.4 36.7 55 3 3
Care Care 173 173 3371 5218 64.6 40583 308 98 7.8 12.0 234.6 100.2 482 27 35
10 y 10 y SEA 158 158 3079 4735 65.0 37059 292 87 7.8 12.0 234.6 101.8 427 24 32
1 yr 1 yr DEN 15 15 292 483 60.5 3524 16 11 7.3 12.1 234.9 84.4 55 3 3
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/7/2023.
Jacoby Brissett is entering his first year in Washington, and enters Week 1 as Sam Howell’s backup at Quarterback. Last year, Brissett ended up starting 11 of the 16 games he played for the Cleveland Browns, posting a decent QB Rating of 88.9. 2023 will be Brissett’s 8th season in the NFL. For what it’s worth, I think it’s sad that Brissett isn’t starting for an NFL team in 2023. In 2022, he posted the 6th highest PFF grade by a QB.
Passing Table
Year Age Tm No. G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Y/A Y/C Y/G Rate QBR Sk NY/A ANY/A 4QC GWD AV
2016 24 NWE 7 3 2 1-1-0 34 55 61.8 400 0 0 7.3 11.8 133.3 83.9 40.2 6 5.80 5.80 2
2017 25 IND 7 16 15 4-11-0 276 469 58.8 3098 13 7 6.6 11.2 193.6 81.7 43.3 52 5.36 5.26 0 1 11
2018 26 IND 7 4 0 2 4 50.0 2 0 0 0.5 1.0 0.5 56.2 100.0 0 0.50 0.50 0
2019 27 IND 7 15 15 7-8-0 272 447 60.9 2942 18 6 6.6 10.8 196.1 88.0 52.1 27 5.87 6.06 2 2 10
2020 28 IND 7 11 0 2 8 25.0 17 0 0 2.1 8.5 1.5 39.6 58.3 2 0.20 0.20 0
2021 29 MIA 14 11 5 2-3-0 141 225 62.7 1283 5 4 5.7 9.1 116.6 78.1 48.2 19 4.72 4.39 2
2022 30 CLE 7 16 11 4-7-0 236 369 64.0 2608 12 6 7.1 11.1 163.0 88.9 60.0 24 6.23 6.15 2 2 10
Care Care 76 48 18-30-0 963 1577 61.1 10350 48 23 6.6 10.7 136.2 84.4 130 5.58 5.54 4 5 35
4 yr 4 yr IND 46 30 11-19-0 552 928 59.5 6059 31 13 6.5 11.0 131.7 84.2 81 5.53 5.56 2 3 21
1 yr 1 yr CLE 16 11 4-7-0 236 369 64.0 2608 12 6 7.1 11.1 163.0 88.9 24 6.23 6.15 2 2 10
1 yr 1 yr MIA 11 5 2-3-0 141 225 62.7 1283 5 4 5.7 9.1 116.6 78.1 19 4.72 4.39 2
1 yr 1 yr NWE 3 2 1-1-0 34 55 61.8 400 0 0 7.3 11.8 133.3 83.9 6 5.80 5.80 2
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.
Running Back
Nyheim Hines will miss the entirety of the 2023 football season after suffering an ACL injury on a Jet Ski. This would have been his 6th season.
Rushing & Receiving Table
Game Game Rush Rush Rush Rush Rush Rush Rush Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Tota
Year Age Tm No. G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% YScm Fmb
2018 22 IND 21 16 4 85 314 2 18 3.7 19.6 5.3 81 63 425 6.7 2 28 3.9 26.6 77.8% 739 1
2019 23 IND 21 16 2 52 199 2 18 3.8 12.4 3.3 58 44 320 7.3 0 21 2.8 20.0 75.9% 519 1
2020 24 IND 21 16 2 89 380 3 31 4.3 23.8 5.6 76 63 482 7.7 4 29 3.9 30.1 82.9% 862 0
2021 25 IND 21 17 4 56 276 2 34 4.9 16.2 3.3 57 40 310 7.8 1 36 2.4 18.2 70.2% 586 3
2022 26 2TM 16 5 24 33 1 9 1.4 2.1 1.5 37 30 241 8.0 1 22 1.9 15.1 81.1% 274 2
BUF 20 9 1 6 -3 0 3 -0.5 -0.3 0.7 9 5 53 10.6 1 21 0.6 5.9 55.6% 50 1
IND 21 7 4 18 36 1 9 2.0 5.1 2.6 28 25 188 7.5 0 22 3.6 26.9 89.3% 224 1
Care Care 81 17 306 1202 10 34 3.9 14.8 3.8 309 240 1778 7.4 8 36 3.0 22.0 77.7% 2980 7
5 yr 5 yr IND 72 16 300 1205 10 34 4.0 16.7 4.2 300 235 1725 7.3 7 36 3.3 24.0 78.3% 2930 6
1 yr 1 yr BUF 9 1 6 -3 0 3 -0.5 -0.3 0.7 9 5 53 10.6 1 21 0.6 5.9 55.6% 50 1
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Wide Receiver

Jakobi Meyers is entering his first season as a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, after spending his first 4 seasons in the NFL in New England. Meyers is starting on the other side of Davante Adams. Meyers led the Patriots in receiving yards the past three seasons, and led them in receptions in 2 of the past 3 years.

Receiving & Rushing Table
Game Game Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece
Year Age Tm No. G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Fmb
2019 23 NWE 16 15 1 41 26 359 13.8 0 35 1.7 23.9 63.4% 0
2020 24 NWE 16 14 9 81 59 729 12.4 0 35 4.2 52.1 72.8% 1
2021 25 NWE 16 17 16 126 83 866 10.4 2 39 4.9 50.9 65.9% 1
2022 26 NWE 16 14 13 96 67 804 12.0 6 48 4.8 57.4 69.8% 2
Care Care 60 39 344 235 2758 11.7 8 48 3.9 46.0 68.3% 4
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Offensive Line

Joe Thuney is entering his 8th year in the NFL, and his 3rd year with Kansas City. Thuney has been a starter from Day 1 (112 games), and will continue to start at Left Guard. Last year, Thuney earned All-Pro honors for the 2nd time, and made the Pro Bowl for the 1st time. In 2022, Thuney was the 5th highest graded Guard in the NFL according to ProFootballFocus, marking the 2nd time in his career he’s ranked 5th. Thuney has ranked in the Top-10 at the Guard position for the past 5 seasons consecutively.

Garrett Bradbury is entering his 5th season in the NFL, playing every single game (57) for the Minnesota Vikings. Bradbury has been the starting Center for Minnesota since the day he was drafted, and he retains that position. In 2022, Bradbury posted his best PFF grade of his career (67.5), which was the 11th best grade by a Center.

Ikem Ekwonu started every single game (17) at Left Tackle as a rookie for the Carolina Panthers last season. Ekwonu posted an admiral PFF grade of 65.3.

Rookie Chandler Zavala just earned the starting job at Right Guard for the Carolina Panthers. The starting opportunity was made available for Zavala due to the fact that starter Austin Corbett is still recovering from offseason ACL surgery, and will miss at least the first 4 games. Carolina drafted Zavala in the 4th round earlier this year.

Defensive Line

B.J. Hill is entering his 3rd season in Cincinnati (6th overall), and his 2nd year as their starting Defensive Tackle. In 2022, Hill posted a career high 68 tackles.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2018 23 NYG LDE 95 16 12 2 0 0 5.5 48 32 16 6 8
2019 24 NYG LDE 95 16 5 0 0 1.0 36 15 21 2 2
2020 25 NYG DT 95 16 0 1 0 0 1.0 32 15 17 2 3
2021 26 CIN DT 92 16 2 0 0 5.5 50 29 21 6 12
2022 27 CIN DT 92 16 16 4 1 3 3.0 68 30 38 4 11
Care Care 80 35 7 1 3 16.0 234 121 113 20 36
3 yr 3 yr NYG 48 17 3 7.5 116 62 54 10 13
2 yr 2 yr CIN 32 18 4 1 3 8.5 118 59 59 10 23
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Justin Jones is entering his 2nd year in Chicago (6th year overall) as the Bears starting Defensive Tackle. Jones has been a starter ever since his 2nd year in the NFL. 2022 was a year of career bests for Jones, posting a career high in tackles (52), sacks (3), tackles for loss (12) and QB Hits (7). Oddly enough, it was the lowest PFF grade of his career (45.8), which ranked 111th in the interior defensive line group.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2018 22 LAC DT 91 15 0 0 0 0.5 17 7 10 0 1
2019 23 LAC LDT 93 12 12 1 1 0.0 30 18 12 2 3
2020 24 LAC LDT 93 13 12 0 0 1.0 34 19 15 5 4
2021 25 LAC RDE 93 11 11 1 0 2 3.0 37 19 18 5 5
2022 26 CHI DL 93 17 17 4 0 1 3.0 52 28 24 12 7
Care Care 68 52 6 1 3 7.5 170 91 79 24 20
4 yr 4 yr LAC 51 35 2 1 2 4.5 118 63 55 12 13
1 yr 1 yr CHI 17 17 4 0 1 3.0 52 28 24 12 7
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Alim McNeil is entering his 2nd year as a starting Defensive Tackle in Detroit (3rd season overall). He made a jump in Year 2 last year, earning a PFF grade of 69.8 (59.8 as a rookie), which ranked 33rd out of 127 interior defensive linemen.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2021 21 DET NT 54 17 6 1 0 0 2.0 39 15 24 3 3
2022 22 DET DL 54 17 17 0 0 1.0 41 17 24 6 7
Care Care 34 23 1 3.0 80 32 48 9 10
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

James Smith-Williams is the 2nd string Defensive End behind Chase Young for the Washington Commanders. He started in the 14 games he played in last year for Washington, but with Young back from injury, he is back in a reserve roll. Smith-Williams is entering his 4th season in the NFL (all in Washington). His PFF grade in 2022 was 59.8.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2020 23 WAS DE 96 14 0 0 0 0.5 10 8 2 3 2
2021 24 WAS RDE 96 14 6 1 0 0 2.5 30 11 19 4 5
2022 25 WAS DE 96 14 14 1 0 0 3.0 23 12 11 5 16
Care Care 42 20 2 6.0 63 31 32 12 23
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Larrell Murchison is the 2nd string Defensive Tackle behind Aaron Donald for the Los Angeles Rams. Murchison spent his first 2.5 seasons in the NFL in Tennessee, but midway through last year, he joined the Rams. Combined, he played in 8 games in 2022, totaling 102 snaps. His PFF grade was 56.2.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2020 23 TEN DT 91 10 0 0 0.0 5 1 4 1 0
2021 24 TEN DE 91 11 5 0 0 0.0 8 4 4 1 0
2022 25 2TM 8 0 0 0 2.0 8 6 2 2 2
TEN DT 91 5 0 0 0 0.0 2 1 1 0 0
LAR DT 69 3 0 0 0 2.0 6 5 1 2 2
Care Care 29 5 2.0 21 11 10 4 2
3 yr 3 yr TEN 26 5 0.0 13 5 9 2 0
1 yr 1 yr LAR 3 0 2.0 1 2 2
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Kentavius Street enters the 2023 season as a third string Defensive Tackle for the Eagles. After spending his first three seasons in San Francisco, Street spent 2022 in New Orleans, where he saw action in all 17 games as a reserve, posting career highs in tackles (29), sacks (3.5), tackles for loss (5), and QB Hits (8). His PFF grade was 49.2.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2019 23 SFO DE 95 3 0 0 0.0 4 4 0 1 0
2020 24 SFO DE 95 15 2 0 0.0 11 5 6 1 0
2021 25 SFO DE 95 17 2 1 0 3.0 27 15 12 6 5
2022 26 NOR DT 69 17 0 1 0 0 3.5 29 13 16 5 8
Care Care 52 4 1 1 0 6.5 71 37 34 13 13
3 yr 3 yr SFO 35 4 1 0 3.0 42 24 18 8 5
1 yr 1 yr NOR 17 0 1 3.5 29 13 16 5 8
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Linebacker

Bradley Chubb spent his first 5.5 seasons in the NFL in Denver, including half of the 2022 season, but he spent the 2nd half in Miami. Obviously, Chubb enters Week 1 as a starting Outside Linebacker for the Dolphins. Chubb finished last year with 8 sacks and 20 QB Hits, earning him his 2nd trip to the Pro Bowl. His 8 sacks were the most since his rookie season when he had 12. His PFF grade in ’22 was 65.5.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Int PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2018 22 DEN LOLB 55 16 16 0 1 2 1 12.0 60 41 19 14 21
2019 23 DEN DE 55 4 4 0 1 1 0 1.0 21 16 5 5 6
2020* 24 DEN ROLB 55 14 14 1 0 7.5 42 26 16 9 19
2021 25 DEN LOLB 55 7 7 1 2 0 0 0.0 21 9 12 1 4
2022* 26 2TM OLB 16 15 0 1 3 0 8.0 39 20 19 5 20
* DEN OLB 55 8 8 0 1 2 0 5.5 26 15 11 4 8
* MIA LB 2 8 7 1 0 2.5 13 5 8 1 12
Care Care 57 56 1 5 7 1 28.5 183 112 71 34 70
5 yr 5 yr DEN 49 49 1 5 6 1 26.0 144 92 63 33 58
1 yr 1 yr MIA 8 7 1 0 2.5 8 1 12
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Germaine Pratt once again will be one of the starting linebackers for the Cincinnati Bengals, which he has done in a full time role for the past three seasons. Even as a rookie, he started 9 out of the 16 games he played in. In 2022, Pratt exploded for his best year yet, proving himself to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL. Pratt’s PFF grade of 78.4 ranked 11th out of 81 linebackers, and his coverage grade of 87.2 ranked 3rd. He recorded career bests in tackles (99) interceptions (2), pass breakups (10), and tackles for loss (6).

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Int PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2019 23 CIN RLB 57 16 9 0 0.0 76 50 26 4 0
2020 24 CIN MLB 57 16 15 0 2 0 0.0 89 55 34 5 0
2021 25 CIN MLB 57 15 15 1 2 2 2 0.5 91 57 34 5 2
2022 26 CIN LB 57 15 15 2 10 1 1 1.0 99 50 49 6 1
Care Care 62 54 3 14 3 3 1.5 355 212 143 20 3
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Rookie Drake Thomas enters Week 1 as a 3rd string Inside Linebacker for the Seahawks. Thomas went undrafted, but was picked up as a free agent by the Raiders. Despite being one of the best linebackers in the NFL during the Preseason, Las Vegas waived him, with the hopes that he would clear waivers, so they could add him to their Practice Squad. Well, he was claimed off of waivers by Seattle, and made their 53-man roster.

Defensive Backs

Nick McCloud is entering his 3rd year in the NFL. As a rookie, he bounced between Cincinnati and Buffalo, seeing action in 2 games for the Bills. McCloud fortunately found a much more established situation in year 2, playing 14 games for the Giants, starting in 8. His PFF grade in ’22 was 65.6, ranking 51st out of 118 cornerbacks. Entering Week 1, McCloud is the 2nd string left cornerback. McCloud went undrafted in 2021, but has found a home in the NFL it seems.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Game Game Def Def Fumb Fumb Tack Tack Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Int PD FF FR Sk Comb Solo Ast TFL QBHits
2021 23 CIN CB 29 2 0 0 0 0.0
2022 24 NYG CB 36 14 8 0 7 0 0 1.5 43 35 8 2 2
Care Care 16 8 0 7 1.5 43 35 8 2 2
1 yr 1 yr CIN 2 0 0.0
1 yr 1 yr NYG 14 8 0 7 1.5 43 35 8 2 2
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2023.

Rookie Derrek Pitts exceeded all expectations, making the 53-man roster for the Bucs after going undrafted earlier this year. Pitts enters Week 1 as a third string cornerback.

Punter

AJ Cole enters year 3 in the NFL, after making the Pro Bowl in year 1 and year 2. After reading that sentence, it goes without saying that Cole is the starting punter for the Raiders. I forgot to mention, he did earn All-Pro honors as a rookie in 2021. Cole went undrafted in 2021, but signed with Las Vegas as a free agent.

Trenton Gill enters his 2nd season in the league, and the 2nd season as the starting punter for the Bears. Chicago selected Gill in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Practice Squad

Safety Tanner Ingle (Rams)
Wide Receiver Thayer Thomas (Vikings)
Running Back Zonovan Knight (Lions)
Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill (49ers)

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