Tag: Terrell Suggs

Arizona State Football Players in the NFL

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The NCAA football season is upon us with the first full slate of games being played on September 2nd. That date looms large for many former ASU football players that are looking to make NFL rosters for the first time.

Or the 10th time.

Unlike previous years, NFL teams aren’t required to cut in stages, they can keep the entire squad until 4pm EST on Saturday when they are required to trim to the final 53-man roster.

The Ravens have stashed away WR Tim White

A total of 22 former Arizona State footballers started the 2017 preseason hoping to realize their dreams and as of this writing, only three have been given their walking papers.

So far.

Earlier this year, defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry was waived in Oakland after spending the previous year on the practice squad.

Journeyman receiver and kick returner Rashad Ross found himself back in another training camp this summer, this time in Buffalo. The Bills would be Ross’ seventh team in four years, but he found himself released prior to playing in the final preseason game.

For those that have followed the Rudy-esque saga of safety Jordan Simone, this one hurt. The oft-injured Simone with more heart and desire than most was waived earlier this month from his beloved Seahawks after being knocked out in the team’s first game.

Rookie speedster, Tim White was shining for the Baltimore Ravens but suffered a season-ending injury during the preseason. White was sent to the Injured Reserve with the silver lining being that he will basically be red-shirting in preparation for the 2018 season.

Locks to Return

Sizzle ready to light it up in B-More

Currently, there are 12 NFL teams that have a Sun Devil on their roster, but who are the real locks to return?

Terrell Suggs – Outside Linebacker – BALTIMORE RAVENS

Suggs is heading into his 15th year with the Ravens and the elder statesman of the Ravens is not ready to ‘Gentle Into That Good Night’ just yet.

Vontaze Burfict – Outside Linebacker – CINCINNATI BENGALS

Yes, he will begin the 2017 season where he spends a little too much time – suspended, but hopefully the veteran entering his sixth season will eventually come to his senses and learn to play nice.

Damarious Randall – Cornerback – GREEN BAY PACKERS

The third-year cornerback is making quite a name for himself in the Packers’ secondary starting all three postseason games in 2016, racking up 12 tackles, 10 of them solo.

More Than Likely

There are no guarantees in like much like making an NFL roster but these guys will more than likely find themselves a confirmed spot on Saturday.

Brock Osweiler – Quarterback – CLEVELAND BROWNS

Much to-do has been given to the fact that Osweiler has been relegated to the bench on Cleveland of all places…behind a unproven rookie in DeShone Kizer. Who knows where Brock will be come opening day, but it’s safe to say that he will be on an NFL roster.

Can Strong Flourish in H-Town?

Jaelen Strong – Wide Receiver – HOUSTON TEXANS

Strong is entering his third season in the league with something to prove. He has been less than stellar in his first two seasons but with the injury to Will Fuller, this is Strong’s time to shine and cement his spot across from DeAndre Hopkins.

Shawn Lauvao – Offensive Guard – WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The veteran lineman has heard all the rumblings but he hasn’t let them affect them. He is still listed at the starting left guard on the Redskins’ website and he is looking to keep that spot, come hell or high water.

Lawrence Guy – Defensive End – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The do-it-all defensive stalwart has finally found himself a home in New England. After years of proving himself on various practice squads and even a stint on the IR, Guy is now a starter for the defending champion Patriots.

A Good Possibility

  • With Jamil & The Cup

    Carl Bradford – Middle Linebacker – BUFFALO BILLS

  • Will Sutton – Defensive Tackle – MINNESOTA VIKINGS
  • Robert Nelson, Jr. – Cornerback – HOUSTON TEXANS
  • Christian Westerman – Offensive Guard – CINCINNATI BENGALS
  • Jamil Douglas – Offensive Guard – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Fighting Tooth and Nail

  • De’Chavon “Gump” Hayes – Cornerback – ARIZONA CARDINALS
  • Marcus Hardison – Defensive End – CINCINNATI BENGALS
  • Zane Gonzalez – Kicker – CLEVELAND BROWNS
  • Matt Haack – Punter – MIAMI DOLPHINS
  • Mike Bercovici- Quarterback – LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
  • Devin Lucien – Wide Receiver – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
  • DJ FOSTER – Running Back – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

On the day that Arizona State football returns to the gridiron in earnest, I wish all past, present and future Sun Devils the best of luck in the hopes that they will realize their dreams, be it in the league or elsewhere.

Local Products Foster & Westerman Among Others to Make NFL Rosters

DJ Patriot

With the National Football League preseason coming to an end, fans of the game couldn’t be happier. For those hoping to make an NFL roster, this weekend was gut-wrenching and ended up with some former Arizona State football players having their lifelong dreams broken.

After the smoke cleared, as of Monday afternoon, only 11 former Sun Devils saw their names on an active roster, with three more signed to a practice squad and second-year defensive tackle Marcus Hardison placed on Injured Reserve for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Good News

Following a 2016 draft that only saw two ASU players drafted, five more were signed as unrestricted free agents. The Sun Devils highest draft pick, Christian Westerman, out of Chandler’s Hamilton High went in the fifth round as the 161st pick to the aforementioned Cincinnati Bengals. Westerman has little hope of starting for the Bengals but he is listed second on the depth chart at right guard behind five-year veteran Kevin Zeitler.

Right Guard Christian Westerman

Right Guard Christian Westerman

Also in Cincinnati is six-year linebacker Vontaze Burfict who starts the season on the suspended list and will be eligible to return on September 29 when the Bengals host the Dolphins at home.

The New England Patriots selected the other Sun Devil with the fourth pick of the seventh round when they picked up wide receiver Devin Lucien. The Arizona State standout who had 1,074 receiving yards to go along with eight touchdowns in his senior year struggled to find his way among one of the most prolific receiving corps in the country which carries five receivers and four tight ends. Lucien, unfortunately did not make the 53-man roster but found his way on to the 10-man practice squad.

The surprise coming out of Foxboro was Lucien’s college teammate, D.J. Foster. The undrafted free agent was one of four running backs to make the 53-man roster and looks to challenge James White at the receiving back position until Dion Lewis is activated from the PUP (Physically Able to Perform) list. The slash running back/wide receiver led many categories in his sophomore and junior seasons with 10 scores (six rushing, four receiving) and 12 touchdowns (nine rushing, three receiving) respectively.

The Baltimore Ravens bring back a couple of seasoned veterans in seven-year defensive tackle Lawrence Guy and 15-year linebacker Terrell Suggs. After missing the entirety of last year to a torn Achilles tendon in week one, Suggs impressed many playing only two series against Detroit.

The Chicago Bears have seen some turmoil due to the ineffectiveness of their quarterback situation in Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer but their defense has always been their strong suit. Will Sutton is listed as the second-string Nose Tackle and has started 12 games over the past two years while playing in 28. Needless to say that Sutton can wreak havoc and looks to improve on his seven starts in 2015.

The bad news out of the “Windy City” is the confusion surrounding cornerback Omar Bolden. The four-year veteran was brought in during the offseason to bolster the Special Teams but was unceremoniously released prior to training camp.

Hanging by a Thread

With Jamil & The Cup

With Jamil & The Cup

Three former standouts at Arizona State have been relegated to the practice squad for their respective teams after a tough 2016 preseason. The Green Bay Packers have enjoyed continued success from cornerback Damarious Randall and he is listed atop the depth chart at the left corner.

The news for fellow Sun Devil Carl Bradford isn’t as promising. The third-year inside linebacker was waived over the weekend and was “saved by the bell” being signed to the practice squad. Bradford couldn’t have done much better in preseason with 15 total tackles and a pass defended with play in all four games. This will be Bradford’s third year with the Packers and and the second on the practice squad.

Down in Miami, after two seasons on the offensive line, guard Jamil Douglas was waived and signed to the practice squad. Douglas, who started six games last year at guard and center didn’t impress the new coaching staff this preseason and will look to prove himself worthy in practice.

My new favorite team with a starting quarterback and starting slot receiver is the Houston Texans. Quarterback Brock Osweiler and Jaelen Strong never played together at Arizona State University but I think this tandem will light things up in H-Town. A teammate of both Osweiler and Strong, cornerback Robert Nelson has been signed to the Texans practice squad. Nelson, who was with the Cleveland Browns for the 2015 preseason was waived and then signed by the Arizona Cardinals. After two months on the practice squad, Nelson was named to the active roster only to be released a month later. A month following his release from Arizona, he was signed to Houston’s practice squad and failed to make the 53-man roster again this season.

Still Hoping

Will Berco Make San Diego's Practice Squad?

Bercovici’s Future is now in limbo

Several other seniors are still in the mix for spots on practice squads including most notably, quarterback Mike Bercovici and offensive guard Vi Teofilo in San Diego. Berco seems to be a lock for the practice squad after the Chargers waived journeyman QB Zach Mettenberger.

{Edited to add that neither Bercovici nor Teofilo were selected to the Chargers practice squad.}

Defensive tackle Demetrius Cherry played the 2016 preseason with the San Francisco 49ers and still has lingering hope to sign with the practice squad as only nine spots have been filled as of Monday afternoon.

{Edited to add that Cherry was not selected to the 49ers practice squad.}

Five-year veteran center Garth Gerhart found himself back on the Cleveland Browns for the 2016 training camp and preseason. Gerhart who was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Browns in early 2013. He never made the active roster and was picked up by the Packers where he remained on the active roster for the 2014 season. Gerhart was in the Browns camp this season and was waived on the final day. All hope isn’t lost for Gerhart as there are still two open spots as of this writing on the Browns’ practice squad.

{Edited to add that Gerhart was not selected to the Browns practice squad.}

Two other Sun Devils are looking to make the final spot on their respective practice squads. Third-year safety Alden Darby looks to latch on in Indianapolis after spending the past two years on practice squads in San Diego, Pittsburgh and New Orleans.

Another local product, Scottsdale Chaparral High’s Deveron Carr has bounced around the practice squads, much like Darby. The cornerback played in nine games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 before being waived. Carr eventually got on with practice squads in Indianapolis and Washington before heading to Kansas City for the 2016 preseason.

{Edited to add that neither Darby nor Carr were selected to the Colts or Chiefs practice squad.}

End of the line for Pic6Darb?

End of the line for Alden Darby?

Linebacker Lloyd Carrington was invited to Washington Redskins camp and joined two fellow Sun Devils with Shawn Lauvao and Rashad Ross. Seven-year veteran offensive guard Lauvao and second-year receiver Ross made the cut, but Carrington did not. His dreams were further dashed as the Redskins filled out their 10-man roster without including Carrington.  He, like all other players waived can be signed by any team after clearing waivers.

Lastly, third-year defensive tackle Davon Coleman who jumped around from the Bears to the Buccaneers to the Giants before being waived yet again this weekend. The 2014 undrafted free agent made the Cowboys roster in 2014 as a rookie and again in 2015 but was released in week three of the season. He was picked up by the Bears and signed to the practice squad only to be released three months later. Coleman was invited to the Giants camp this season but was cut early in the process.

Non-Playing Futures

Nothing was quite as heart-wrenching as the story of redshirt senior safety Jordan Simone. The heart and soul of the Sun Devils, the defensive captain had his career ended after tearing his ACL last November.  Simone had rehabbed the knee and was slotted by many to be drafted until he re-injured his knee. He hasn’t given up and remains positive while once again rehabbing and is no stranger to overcoming obstacles.

To wrap it up, we come full-circle with center Nick Kelly who was invited to Patriots’ training camp along with Foster and Lucien. He was released early in the process and is now an offensive line assistant coach back at Arizona State.