Connect with us

Uncategorized

Week 12 NFL Practice Squad Power Rankings: Honoring alumni on Thanksgiving weekend

Published

on


On Thursday we all reflected on everything we’re thankful for as we cleaned our plates while watching a vintage Bears-Lions game, a thrilling overtime Raiders-Cowboys contest that featured 28 penalties, and a Bills beatdown of the Saints. It’s the appropriate time for me to give thanks to all the Practice Squad Power Rankings alumni who’ve graduated to 53-man rosters around the league. 

Like Cardinals wideout Antoine Wesley, a mainstay on the PSPR in 2019, who’s quietly caught eight passes for 114 yards on 11 targets this season. Love it. I’m thankful for his ascension. Or the fact that Giants safety J.R. Reed, who lived on the PSPR last season, finally got his first opportunity in a regular-season game in Week 11 against the Buccaneers, and he looked good with three tackles and only surrendered one grab for three yards in his coverage area. 

49ers wideout Jauan Jennings, the PSPR Cover Guy at the outset of the 2020 campaign, has a touchdown this season. Bengals wideout Stanley Morgan, who fluctuated up and down the PSPR for two full years (!) caught a pass last week and is a full-time special teamer in Cincinnati — hey, you gotta start somewhere. 

Advertisement

Juwan Johnson — now a tight end, formerly a wideout — has nine catches for 108 yards with three touchdowns on 16.1% of the offensive snaps for the Saints this year (that percentage needs to increase, don’t you think?). 

I’m thankful all those, and many other Practice Squad Practice Squad graduates, have gone on to the big leagues and the PSPR is forever behind them. That’s the goal, right?

Craving even more NFL coverage focusing on previews, recaps, news and analysis? Listen below and follow the Pick Six podcast for a daily dose of NFL goodness.

Heading into the weekend, THE CUT — aka The Call-Up Tracker — has gotten stagnant. Still at seven. Use The Practice Squad Power Rankings as a resource, NFL front offices. If I’ve missed anyone, or you hear of a PSPR member getting The Call, alert me @ChrisTrapasso on Twitter, and feel free to use the hashtag #PSPR. Thank you in advance. Your next drink’s on me. 

Advertisement

In a sense, I’m running the Practice Squad Power Rankings parallel to the NFL. That means, as was the case last year, I’m not going to feature “veterans.” To continue to maintain the PSPR’s sterling integrity, I’ll only be including practice-squadders who are rookies, second-year players, or third-year players. That’s it. 

And as you’ll see below, I couldn’t resist ranking more players, given the increase in practice squad sizes this season. To stay in line with the league’s figure, I hope to write about 16 individuals every Friday: 10 officially in the rankings and six honorable mentions. 

It’s going to take more than a first-year cut for me to drop my #TrustTheTape draft crush from the 2021 class. He recovered from a broken collarbone early in the offseason to get limited reps in the preseason. Get Newsome in the slot and let him work, Nagy. 

Willekes was the PSPR Cover Guy just a few weeks ago. Dude can get after the quarterback. I’m telling you! Against the Ravens in Week 9, the former Michigan State standout had four pressures of Lamar Jackson. Minnesota is in the thick of the NFC wild card hunt and needs as much pass-rush productivity it can get.

Haynes is a thick, springy athlete with about as much collegiate experience as humanly possible. I’m actually surprised he’s on the Seahawks’ practice squad, but Seattle did sign Gabe Jackson this offseason to elevate the floor of their guard position.

Advertisement

I had a fourth-round grade on Green just a few months ago. He checked most of the boxes I have for a mid-round blocker who can come in and start right away. And he tested like a high-caliber athlete. For reasons unbeknownst to me, Green went undrafted. But he protected like a — you guessed it — early Day 3 pick in the preseason with one allowed pressure on 43 pass-blocking snaps. Naturally, the Texans released him on cutdown day, because Houston is completely set on its offensive line and doesn’t need any young and talented blockers. Yeah, right. 

Snowden is impossibly long at over 6-foot-6 with 34-inch arms. He’s essentially the size of some of the longer offensive tackles in the NFL, except he’s probably playing somewhere in the 240s. So he clearly needs to add weight. But Snowden understands how to use his length to keep blockers from obliterating him. At Virginia, he had 28.5 tackles for loss in his final three seasons. With Khalil Mack injured, this should be a no-brainer for the Bears. Yet, Matt Nagy and Co. have hardly listened to me this season. 

The Seahawks are the Patriots of the NFC in that they adore late-round and undrafted free agent receivers. Johnson will be the next against-all-odds story in Seattle, a small, crisp route-runner who’s feisty after the catch and hauls in everything thrown in his direction. Sound like any recently productive Seahawks receiver? 

With J.J. Watt out for the remainder of the season, the Cardinals could use more pass-rush help on the outside, right? Carter has the girth, leverage, burst, and just enough pass-rush moves to be a productive contributor Arizona. I’m very high on him. 

The Buccaneers might be without star guard Ali Marpet for some time after he suffered an injury against the Giants in Week 11. Aaron Stinnie stilled in admirably, actually, but Molchon should be elevated for Tampa’s showdown with Indianapolis’ strong defensive front in Week 12. Molchon’s a powerful blocker who proved he’s also an explosive athlete at the combine two years ago. 

Advertisement

Moore is a mauler with a natural center of gravity that offensive line coaches dream about during REM sleep. He was just under 6-2 and 330 pounds at his pro day before the draft. After a dazzling career at Grambling State, Moore got a Senior Bowl invite and thrived in Mobile. He’s not going to be the most athletic blocker if you’re running a zone scheme, but he’s quick enough off the ball to be effective on gap runs, and he’s very close to being NFL strong already. Plus, no defensive tackle is going to get up and underneath him to drive him into the quarterback

Awosika was a 32-game starter at the University at Buffalo, as a right and left tackle. At a shade over 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, he clearly has NFL guard size, and he entered the league further ahead as a run-blocker — a damn good one — than a pass-blocker, mostly due to his lack of explosive traits. 

But there’s something to be said about the strength of a young blocker, and Awosika is an effortless people-mover on the interior. 

Honorable Mention

Thomas Graham, CB, Bears

Yes, the third Bears player in this week’s PSPR. Graham was exposed a bit at the Senior Bowl. A lot of (mostly zone) cornerbacks are. But this is a savage defensive back who tallied eight interceptions and 32 pass breakups in his three seasons with the Ducks. What Graham lacks in size and pure explosion he more than makes up for with speedy processing and tenacity. 

Advertisement

Elijah Holyfield, RB, Bengals

Holyfield averaged 4.6 yards per carry on 20 totes this preseason in Philadelphia and 4.0 yards per with the Panthers in 2020. He’s a compactly built, decently shifty back with light feet and good vision. The Bengals backfield’s a little banged up right now. Holyfield can help. 

Olaijah Griffin, CB, Bills

I had a late fifth-round grade on Griffin after a steady career with the Trojans in Southern California. He had nine pass breakups in 2019 and three more in a shortened 2020 campaign. He’s a fluid mover with serious striking ability when planting and driving on the football. 

Kawaan Baker, WR, Saints

Advertisement

Baker had three years of solid-albeit-unspectacular production at South Alabama but failed to get named to the hometown Senior Bowl. But at his pro day, he got everyone’s attention, running 4.45 with a 39.5-inch vertical and 129-inch broad jump. His slow three-cone placed him in the second percentile among receivers over the past 21 years, but the explosion that was evident on vertical routes and in contested-catch situations in college was clear at his pre-draft workout. 

Stephen Sullivan, TE, Panthers

Sullivan was buried on the receiving pecking order at LSU, and the Seahawks tried to morph him into a defensive end after picking him in the seventh round two years ago. Back to his natural position in Carolina, Sullivan has a chance to make a splash without a bunch of stars in front of him. He’s 6-5 and 248 pounds with 4.66 speed and a catch radius the size of a Chevy Tahoe.

Tyrone Wheatley, OT, Giants

I’m fascinated by Wheatley’s journey, from marquee tight end recruit — who was massive entering the Michigan campus — to beefed up offensive tackle. The tight end to tackle converts are always compelling to me because the I know athletic traits needed to excel blocking on the edge are there. 

Advertisement

2021 NFL jerseys now available

The new NFL season is here! Win or lose, you can shop jerseys, shirts, hats, and much more to support your favorite team. Shop here and show your colors.

We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.





Source link

Uncategorized

Oregon OC blames LeBron James for college football 'superteams'

Published

on




Oregon OC Kenny Dillingham pointed to LeBron’s Miami move as the reason behind “superteams” in college football. Does he have a point?



Source link

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Roman Wilson vs. Riley Moss, other Week 5 matchups NFL scouts will be watching

Published

on




NFL scouts will be paying special attention to these key matchups in college football’s Week 5.



Source link

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

South Carolina vs. South Carolina State prediction, odds: 2022 college football picks from expert on 14-1 roll

Published

on



The South Carolina Gamecocks look to remain perfect in the all-time series when they host the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Thursday. This game was originally scheduled for Saturday but it was moved to Thursday evening due to concerns surrounding Hurricane Ian. South Carolina (2-2) won both of the previous meetings between the schools at home, cruising to a 38-3 victory in 2007 and a 38-14 triumph two years later. The Gamecocks are coming off a 56-20 win against Charlotte on Saturday, while the Bulldogs (1-2) lost 41-27 at North Carolina A&T in their last outing.

Kickoff at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC is set for 7 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks are 39.5-point favorites in the latest South Carolina vs. South Carolina State odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 55.5. Before making any South Carolina State vs. South Carolina picks or college football predictions, you need to see what SportsLine college football expert Mike Tierney has to say.

A veteran sportswriter whose work appears periodically in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has converted college football of all levels for decades. He has emerged as one of SportsLine’s leading analysts in all sports and is 13-10 on his last 23 against-the-spread college football picks.

Advertisement

What’s more, he has a keen sense for the trajectory of the Gamecocks. He is 14-1 in his last 15 picks involving South Carolina, returning almost $1,300 to $100 bettors.

Now, the Tierney has set his sights on South Carolina vs. South Carolina State and just locked in his picks and CFB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are the college football odds and betting lines for South Carolina State vs. South Carolina:

  • South Carolina vs. South Carolina State spread: Gamecocks -39.5
  • South Carolina vs. South Carolina State over/under: 55.5 points
  • SC: The Gamecocks haven’t posted back-to-back wins since starting 2021 with a 2-0 record
  • SCS: The Bulldogs have allowed 106 points in their first three games this season
  • South Carolina vs. South Carolina State picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why South Carolina can cover

The Gamecocks have won 35 of their last 41 home games versus non-conference opponents, including triumphs over Georgia State and Charlotte this season. They are 38-12 overall in their last 50 non-conference games, with seven of the losses coming against Clemson. The team also has enjoyed tremendous success versus schools that currently do not reside in a Power Five conference, posting a 51-4 record in such contests since 2001.

South Carolina ran for six touchdowns in last week’s victory against the 49ers and already has matched its total of rushing TDs in 2021. MarShawn Lloyd registered half of the team’s ground scores on Saturday and has five on the season after notching one in 11 games last year. The sophomore, who also has a receiving touchdown this campaign, more than doubled his output of 75 rushing yards over his first three outings of 2022 by gaining 169 on 15 carries — both of which were career highs.

Why South Carolina State can cover 

Quarterback Corey Fields came up with one of the best performances of his career in Saturday’s loss to the Aggies, throwing for 316 yards and four touchdowns. The senior has made four TD tosses in two of his last four outings, also accomplishing the feat in the Bulldogs’ 31-10 victory against Jackson State in last year’s Celebration Bowl. Fields’ favorite target was junior wideout Shaquan Davis, who hauled in six passes for 127 yards and extended his streak to five straight games with a TD reception dating back to last season.

South Carolina State will be hoping for a better effort on the ground as it rushed 22 times for only 12 yards versus North Carolina A&T. Coach Buddy Pough is optimistic about the availability of Kendrell Flowers, who made one catch for six yards but did not have a carry in last week’s contest due to an undisclosed injury. The sophomore running back is averaging 6.5 yards per rushing attempt this season after recording 153 and two touchdowns against Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 10.

Advertisement

How to make South Carolina State vs. South Carolina picks

Tierney has analyzed this matchup, and while we can tell you he’s leaning Over on the point total, he also has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing what it is, and which side to back, at SportsLine.

So who wins South Carolina vs. South Carolina State? And what crucial X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the South Carolina State vs. South Carolina spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the expert that has crushed his college football picks, and find out.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending