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Northwestern in the NFL: Friday Preseason Update

A lot of former Wildcats were in action on Friday night in NFL preseason games. Did any make an impact?

Jonathan Daniel

There aren’t exactly an abundance of Northwestern alumni in the NFL. But as we detailed back in July, there are some, and a sizable portion of them are in training camp battles.

Nick Roach and Zach Strief both played for the Raiders and Saints respectively. Roach had one tackle, while Strief was one of the Saints’ captains and, incidentally, was matched up with Michael Sam when the Rams rookie stepped onto an NFL field for the first time.

However, for those two veterans, the preseason is all but meaningless. Northwestern fans should be more interested in the less established players.

Sherrick McManis, CB, Bears (vs. Eagles)

McManis is a near lock to make the Bears’ roster, but he is still in competition for playing time on defense. It’s pretty safe to say that he helped his cause Friday.

McManis made a special teams tackle on the opening kickoff, had 3 tackles overall (1 TFL) while playing with the first stringers, and picked off Eagles starting QB Nick Foles – the same Nick Foles that threw just two INTs all of last year.

Corbin Bryant, DT, Bills (vs. Panthers)

Bryant is fighting for a backup defensive tackle spot with Buffalo. He stated his case Friday with a sack in limited first half action.

Mike Kafka, QB, Buccaneers (vs. Jaguars)

Kafka is trying to make the Bucs’ roster as the third QB behind Josh McCown and Mike Glennon. He was the only quarterback to play other than McCown and Glennon, but he struggled.

His final line was 2 for 7 for 14 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

Jordan Mabin, CB, Falcons (vs. Dolphins)

Mabin saw some significant second half playing time for Atlanta, and came up big when it mattered most. With the Falcons up 16-10 and the Dolphins driving to potentially win the game, Mabin broke up a 4th down pass to seal the victory.

He finished with two tackles and the one pass defended.

Jeremy Ebert, WR, Falcons (vs. Dolphins)

Ebert failed to make a catch, although he was targeted twice in the second half. On one play, he hauled in a pass, but pushed off and was called for offensive pass interference, which negated the reception.

On another note, Ebert is wearing number 7, which, to some Falcons fans is a pretty sacred number due to a certain previous wearer. A couple in particular weren’t too happy about it, though only one expressed his opinion without profanity:

Kain Colter, WR, Vikings (vs. Raiders)

Despite apparently impressing in training camp, Colter was all but invisible Friday. He saw the field a bit, but had neither a catch nor a target.

Tyler Scott, DE, Vikings (vs. Raiders)

Scott finally got on the field at the very end of the game, but made no impact. The Daily Norseman, SB Nation’s Vikings site, wrote this about Scott recently:

Jake Snyder and Tyler Scott: These two rookies needed to be "coached up" by the veterans and line coach Robb Akey a lot. Snyder has more size and seemed to make adjustments much better than Scott. It'll be an uphill battle for Snyder to make this roster; it'll be nearly impossible for Scott.