Mason Thompson Aug 12th, 2019
Football is back after a five and a half month hiatus! All 32 teams have played a preseason game. Preseason is a time for all fans to take a look at some of the unknown talents on their favorite team’s roster, whether they make the roster or not. Last week I highlighted six players that improved their stocks heading into roster cuts in a few weeks from the Hall of Fame game. Today I will highlight ten players who made the most out of their opportunities this past week and will look for sustained success in the weeks to come.
Keelan Doss, WR, Oakland Raiders
The undrafted rookie from UC-Davis didn’t have a spectacular game but earned high praise from head coach Jon Gruden. Many had Doss as an early day three prospect going anywhere between the fourth and sixth rounds including myself, so it was a surprise to see him go undrafted. He joined the Raiders as he was already familiar with the system since he had been with the Raiders staff during the Senior Bowl. He finished the game catching two passes for four yards and a touchdown but has impressed during camp, although he has reportedly been inconsistent. Doss will have to compete against the likes of Marcell Ateman, J.J. Nelson, Ryan Grant, and Keon Hatcher for one of the final spots on the roster. He should make the Raiders practice squad if he doesn’t make the cut.
Jazz Ferguson, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Ferguson has had a long road to NFL success. After being a top-100 National recruit, he went on to LSU to be suspended for failing two drug tests and being forced out to compete at a lower level school. Ferguson then went on to Northwestern State where he posted 66 receptions for 1,117 yards and 13 touchdowns. He would declare for the draft along with his brother Jaylon who would be drafted by the Ravens. Unfortunately for Jazz, he went undrafted but was signed by the Seahawks shortly after. He finished his first preseason game with four catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. Ferguson will have to compete with the likes of Malik Turner, Amara Darboh, and fellow rookie John Ursua for a receiver spot, as it is unlikely that Seattle will be able to retain him on the practice squad.
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers
The second-year receiver from Iowa State has had an up-and-down journey to start his career. Lazard went undrafted during the 2018 draft and would later be signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was signed off the Jaguars practice squad last December and recorded a catch for seven yards in the Packers season finale against Detroit. Lazard made the most of his opportunities Thursday night as he was the first man down on kickoffs as well as catching a touchdown. He finished the night with one catch for 27 yards and a touchdown. Lazard will have to compete with Jake Kumerow, Darrius Shepherd, Trevor Davis, and J’Mon Moore to have a shot at making the roster in a crowded receiver room.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots
Meyers, the undrafted rookie from NC State has received a lot of buzz from Patriots beat reporters and he showed why on Thursday night. Reports from camp have said that he has already mastered the playbook and has a good connection with Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, and rookie Jarrett Stidham. He finished his first preseason game with eight targets, catching six of them, for 69 yards and two touchdowns. If Meyers already has a good connection with Brady, it will be hard for the Patriots to cut him, especially considering their depth at the position. Julian Edelman is already nursing a finger injury, while veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas, and newly-signed Cameron Meredith are also injured and learning the playbook.
Jimmy Moreland, CB, Washington Redskins
The Redskins might have found a steal in the seventh round with Moreland. The seventh-round pick out of James Madison was an outstanding pick as many insiders had him going much earlier around the fifth round. Dubbed “The People’s Corner” following the draft, Moreland recorded three interceptions in a single OTA session earlier during the offseason. In his NFL debut, he boasted five tackles, three pass breakups, and forced two fumbles. Moreland has a chance at lining up for starting snaps in a Redskins secondary that needs help, whether it be in the slot or outside. He should challenge Fabian Moreau for the starting slot position to open the season.
Nathan Peterman, QB, Oakland Raiders
Peterman has been subject to much criticism from his time with the Bills, to the point where some fans have called him the worst quarterback in NFL history. So, it was a curious move for the Raiders, and specifically, Jon Gruden to give him another chance. He is currently in a battle with journeyman Mike Glennon for the backup job behind Derek Carr. Peterman was a bright spot for the Raiders, especially with the recent development of Antonio Brown. He finished the night completing nine of his 12 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, while also adding a game-high 56 yards rushing. Glennon went 17 for 25 for 200 yards but threw two interceptions. Early on it looks like Peterman has the edge for the backup role which could leave Glennon searching for another team.
Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi, WR, Cleveland Browns
In one of the most inspiring stories the league has ever seen, Sheehy-Guiseppi made the most of his playing time. He last played football at the junior college level for Phoenix college and had spent two years getting ready for his last shot for an NFL team. He showed up to a workout and spent his last $200 to train with well-regarded trainer Pete Bommarito, where he spent two nights outside the facility where he was training and one night in a 24-hour fitness center. Once he showed up to the workout, he convinced the doorman that he was friends with Alonzo Highsmith, which was a lie at the time. Once in front of Highsmith, he would run a 4.38 40-yard dash time which would earn him an invite to the Browns training camp. Sheehy-Guiseppi would then lose his cleats before the game started but star receiver Odell Beckham Jr.would lend him his for the game. He would be targetted four times in the game, catching two of his targets for 12 yards. Late in the game, he would line up as a punt returner and would use his 4.38 speed for an 86 yard punt return touchdown where most of his teammates would dogpile on top of him in the endzone. He is still a longshot for the team but the Browns don’t have a ton of depth behind Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Rashard Higgins, especially considering Antonio Callaway has been suspended. It would be an incredible story if he were to make the team and John Dorsey has shown he is fearless enough to make this story complete.
Trent Sherfield, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Sherfield made the Cardinals squad last year and ended the year with 19 catches. The reason he is on this list is because of what the team did in the offseason when they added two receivers via free agency and took three receivers in the draft. Sherfield caught four passes for 44 yards and scored a touchdown and also had a big special teams tackle where he tackled return man Artavis Scott for no gain. Sherfield has most likely earned himself a roster spot after not only showing he can be a key part in the offense but on special teams as well.
Chandon Sullivan, CB, Green Bay Packers
The former Georgia State corner had himself a night on Thursday. He joined the Eagles as an undrafted free agent after last year’s draft and signed with the practice squad until injuries forced him onto the roster. He had 13 tackles last year and a pass breakup. He signed with the Packers this May and has impressed during offseason workouts. Sullivan read Joe Webb‘s pass perfectly and broke off the route of his receiver early and jumped up to get the pass for the interception. Earlier, he broke off a block and made a tackle near the line of scrimmage as well, showing he isn’t afraid to get physical. The Packers are looking for depth behind Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Kevin King. Sullivan and rookie Ka’dar Hollman could be the eventual depth behind the three if Sullivan keeps this up.
Logan Woodside, QB, Tennessee Titans
The former seventh-round pick from Toledo showed that he could be developed into a capable quarterback. Woodside spent time with the Titans last year before playing in the AAF for the San Antonio Commanders before the league folded. He was drafted by Cincinnati where many thought he could have an opportunity to develop into a serviceable backup that could threaten Andy Dalton for the starting role. Instead, the team opted for Christian Hackenberg over him. Woodside completed 15-of-20 for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He is in an interesting room in Tennessee as starter Marcus Mariota hasn’t lived up to potential as well as suffering multiple injuries, while backup Ryan Tannehill was acquired in the offseason and had a great game as well. Woodside is a player that needs to be developed over time and could finally have some continuity with Tennessee as they may keep three quarterbacks considering Mariota’s injury history.
Stay alert for next week’s batch of players that also helped their cases to be on rosters.
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