The last preseason game was played and on Saturday (9/1) the teams will cut their rosters from 90 players to 53. Ten players could be selected for the team’s practice squad. So for 864 players they may have played their last football game. Here is a look at the last preseason game match-ups and good players that deserve a chance to make some NFL team – either their current team or a pickup on the waiver wire.
Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions
Browns’ rookie Wide Receiver Da’Mari Scott had 57 receptions and 566 yards in 2017 at Fresno State. He had 11 kickoff returns for 260 yards and a long return of 63 yards. He loves football, has a strong work ethic and has good hands.
Lions’ running back Zach Zenner only played in 8 games in 2017 due to injury. In those 8 games he only had 14 attempts for 26 yards. This disappointing season followed his best season o in his sophomore year in 2016. Then he rushed for 88 attempts, 334 yards and a 3.8 yard average. Zenner was tied with Theo Riddick as the top two backs on the Saints in 2016. In college at South Dakota State Zenner had over 2,000 yards rushing in each of his last three years and averaged 5.74 yards per carry or better each year.
Status Update: Zach Zenner was placed in Injured Reserve and will miss the 2018 season.
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons
Dolphin rookie linebacker Frank Ginda led the FBS in 2017 in total tackles, solo tackles and total tackles per game.
Falcon linebacker Anthony Winbush was ranked fourth in the FBS in 2017 in sacks and sacks per game.
Falcons cut Anthony Winbush.
Dolphins cut Frank Ginda.
New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles
Jet linebacker Obum Gwacham converted from wide receiver to defensive end for his final year in college in 2014. That year he had 4 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, 17 solo tackles and 28 total tackles. Gwacham displayed good athleticism at his combine among defensive linemen coming in third in the forty, sixth in the vertical jump, second in broad jump, ninth in the three cone and sixth in the 20 yard shuttle. Per Lance Zierlein NFL.com scouting report prior to the 2015 NFL draft: Exceptional personal and football character with a desire to learn his new position.
Status Update: Obum Gwacham cut.
Rookie Eagle safety Jeremy Reaves was the 2017 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year. The sum of his 2017 team market share production for solo tackles, sacks, tackles for a loss, interceptions and passes defended was the second highest sum among all FBS defensive players. Reaves is team-oriented, high football character, defensive back with a strong work ethic. He has overcome adversity such as a broken the L5 Vertebra in his high school senior year, a no-invite to the combine, and going undrafted. He is a hard hitting safety. In his 2017 college senior year he had 104 tackles (70 solo), 1.5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 8 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles and 10 run stuffs.
New England Patriots at New York Giants
Rookie Patriot linebacker Christian Sam came back from a season ending injury that cut short his junior year after one game. In 2017, his senior year, Sam had 127 tackles, 87 solo tackles (4th in FBS), 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 1 pass defended and 1 forced fumble. At his combine Sam had the top bench press among linebackers and the ninth best linebacker 3-cone drill. Sam excels in coverage and almost converted to a defensive back in college.
Giant cornerback Donte Deayon was an undrafted free agent from the 2016 NFL draft. He played in four games in 2017 before getting injured. He had 10 tackles (9 solo) and one pass defensed. In his last year of college (2015), Deayon led active career leaders in Interceptions per game (.43), was fifth in career passes defensed (43) and fourth in career interceptions (17). Deayon was a ball-hawk in college and has flashed that capability when healthy in 2018 training camp. (Note Deayon probably secured a roster spot with a two interception performance in week 4).
Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals
Colt second year quarterback Phillip Walker is Temple University’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdown passes and total offense. Walker became the first Temple quarterback to lead his team to multiple bowl games. His senior year he was awarded a single number jersey which is given to the toughest players on the team as voted by their teammates. Walker had a 139.6 passer rating in his 2018 preseason opener where he completed 5 of 8 passes for 88 yards and one touchdown.
Rookie Bengal quarterback Logan Woodside put up some impressive numbers in college. In 2017 he was 20th in completion percentage (64.2%), fifth in passing yards per attempts (9.4 yards), fifteenth in passing touchdowns (28), sixth in passer rating (162) and 17th in passing yards per game (277 yards). He was ranked second in career passing efficiency (162.9), seventh in career passing yards (10,514 yards), third in career completion percentage (65.1%) and third in career passing yards per attempt (9.02 yards). Per Pro Football Focus Woodside was calm under pressure in 2017 ranking second in adjusted completion percentage (70%) and fourth in passer rating (96.5). Woodside has yet to have any meaningful playing time in the preseason having only 9 snaps so far in the Dallas game.
Status Update: Phillip Walker was cut.
Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens
After a redshirt freshman season in college, Washington rookie offensive Tackle Timon Parris started all 41 games of his other four years playing at both tackle positions. Parris shows some nastiness in his play, carrying blocks thru the whistle.
Rookie Raven cornerback Darious Williams had a decent sophomore season at UAB in 2014. In 2015 UAB shutdown their football program for financial reasons. Two years later it started up. Williams stayed with UAB during the shutdown and continued to workout. When it restarted for William’s senior year he had a breakout season. He had 50 tackles (38 solo), 4 tackles for loss, 5 run stuffs, 5 interceptions and 15 passes defended. His 2017 sum of team market share percentages for solo tackles, sacks, tackles for loss, interceptions and passes defended was ranked third among FBS defensive players. Williams made the Pro Football Focus 2017 All American 1st Team .
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jaguar linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka was impressive in coverage per PFF. He led all FBS linebackers in fewest yards allowed per snap in coverage (0.21) and had most snaps per reception allowed (49.9). He was also good at rushing the passer. On 82 pass rushes he had 24 quarterback pressures.
Buccaneer safety Godwin Igwebuike started 43 games at safety at Northwestern. In 2016 Igwebuike was fifth in the FBS in solo tackles with 78. His college career solo tackles of 214 is fourth in the Big Ten since 2005. Pro Football Focus had Godwin posting three straight years of 80.0-plus grade.
Status Update: Godwin Igwebuike was cut.
Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Panther Tight End Cam Serigne had 44 receptions in 2017 over 11 games. Thirty percent of his receptions were for 15+ yards and he got a first down on over half of his receptions. Per Pro Football Focus Serigne had a 76.9% catch rate from the slot which was third among 2018 draft tight ends. Serigne had nine receiving touchdowns in 2017 which tied for second among draft eligible tight ends. He made the Pro Football Focus 2017 All-ACC first team.
Status Update: Panthers waived Cam Serigne
Steeler Quarterback Joshua Dobbs has had a good preseason to date. He has achieved a 67.7% completion rate on 31 attempts, an average of over 9 yards per passing attempt, a 38.7% 1st down conversion rate, five passes of 20+ yards including a long of 54 yards, a 101.9 passer rating, a 13.5 yards per completion and has three touchdowns with two interceptions. In my post on rookie and second year quarterbacks, Dobbs is ranked number one. The Steelers will have some tough decisions to resolve their three quarterbacks behind Roethlisberger of Dobbs, Landry Jones and Mason Rudolph.
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints
Ram linebacker Travin Howard has had to deal with a preseason injury that kept him out of the first two preseason games. He had 12.2% team market share of solo tackles in 2016. That percentage is indicative of a potential All-Pro to Pro Bowl players since the 1989 NFL draft class. Howard led the team in total tackles for three years.
Saints quarterback JT Barrett was a four year starter at Ohio State and has a record of 38-6. His Ohio state career statistics include 63.5% completion percentage, 2.4 touchdowns per game, 0.68 interceptions per game, 3.5 touchdown to interception ratio, 152.3 passer rating, 74 rushing yards per game and 0.98 rushing touchdowns per game. Barrett holds the Ohio State record for passing yards and passing touchdowns.
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears
Bills’ Defensive End Mat Boesen was fourth in the FBS in sacks in 2017 with 11.5. He is one of only 14 FBS defensive ends that met the following defensive market share criteria – 6% solo tackles, 25% sacks and 15% tackles for a loss. Those percentages are indicative of a potential Pro-Bowl or All-Pro player.
Rookie Bear Running Back Ryan Nall had an 85% conversion rate on 3rd down with 1-3 yards to go in 2017.
Status Update: Ryan Nall was cut
Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans
Quarterback Kyle Sloter has a preseason passer rating of 111.4 which is best among Vikings quarterbacks and ninth in the league. This preseason he has three passing touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Titans Quarterback Luke Falk had a good college career. He had a career 68.3 completion percentage, 345 passing yards per game, 2.8 passing touchdowns per game and a 3.1 touchdown to interception ratio. This carried on a high school career where he averaged 232 yards per game and 2.4 touchdowns per game.
Status Update: Luke Falk was cut.
Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
Rookie Cowboy Safety Kameron Kelly had eight pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 2017. Opposing team success rate of 55.4% when Kelly made a tackle is good and low for a safety.
Rookie Texan Cornerback Andre Chachere in 2016 had 27 solo tackles, four interceptions and fourteen passes defended. Per Pro Football Focus in his sophomore 2015 season he allowed only 37% of passes into his coverage to be caught. That was tied for best among 2016 returning cornerbacks.
Status Update: The Texans cut Andre Chachere
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs
Packer Quarterback Tim Boyle through the first three preseason games has the second best passer rating of the four Packer quarterbacks with 105.7. Only Aaron Rodgers had a better rating.
Rookie Chief’s Cornerback Arrion Springs had a college career high 44 passes defended which was seventh best in career leaders for the 2017 season.
Status Update: Arrion Springs was cut.
Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals
Rookie Cardinal Quarterback Chad Kanoff in 2017 completed 73.2% of his passes setting a Princeton and Ivy League record for single-season completion percentage. Chad tied the Ivy League record for most 400-yard passing games (three) and 300-yard passing games (eight) in a single season.
Bronco Running Back Phillip Lindsay averaged 5.4 yards per rushing attempt in the first three preseason games on 13 attempts. That was 8th best among rookie backs. His 30.8% first down conversion rate was ranked fourth among rookie backs.
Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers
Rookie 49er Wide Receiver Steven Dunbar ha. d 1,070 receiving yards in 2017 for a 34% team market share of receiving yards. That is indicative of potential Pro-Bowl or All-Pro players. He also had a 14.1 yards per catch and 9.6 yards per target with a 69.7% catch rate.
Rookie Charger Running Back Detrez Newsome had the second longest kick return in the preseason with 63 yards. For rushing Newsome averaged 3.6 yards on 42 carries. His long was 31 yards. In college at Western Carolina University he had a career 3,728 yards rushing which was second in program history and had 46 touchdowns which is the school record. Newsome had 2,279 career kickoff return yards and two for touchdowns.
Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks
Raider Running Back DeAndre Washington only played in one preseason game due to injury and arthroscopic knee surgery. He had a good rookie year in 2016 when he averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 87 attempts. His 2017 season did not go well with only 57 carries and a 2.7 yard average. His long was only 11 yards. Washington was a beast in college. In the 2016 draft class he led all prospects in scrimmage plays of 10+ yards with 66 and averaged 5.08 ten plus yard scrimmage plays per game. Weighting the long plays for each 10 yards over 10 and averaging them per game, Washington ranked second among draft prospects. Scrimmage yards per play had Washington second with 6.9 yards. For touchdowns per game he came in 5th with 16 touchdowns or 1.23 per game. He has a respectable one fumble per 104 touches good for 6th in the draft class. Pro Football Focus had him ranked third among draft prospects in elusiveness rating.
Rookie Seahawks Quarterback Alex McGough has had a strong preseason. He has demonstrated that he should be the backup quarterback in Seattle. He has a preseason completion percentage of 61.5%, a 7.3 passing yards average, four passes of 20+ yards and a 90.2 passer rating. In college McGough was a four year starter at FIU and only missed 3 games due to injury. Alex holds eight FIU records including career passing TDs (48), single season passing yards (2722) and single season passing TDs (21).