To some, the preseason is just an inconvenience in the path to the NFL’s regular season. To me, it’s a signal that the college football season is only weeks away. But to many Northwestern alums, the preseason is providing a chance to prove themselves to coaches, and hopefully earn a spot on a 53 man roster or practice squad.
Let’s look at how the ex-Wildcats have fared.
Austin Carr: New Orleans Saints
After finding a spot with the Saints this past season, Carr has been dealing with nagging injuries throughout training camp. He didn’t play in the first preseason game of the year, but hopefully he can get some snaps today against the Cardinals.
Garrett Dickerson: New York Giants
Dickerson faces an uphill battle to find a spot with the Giants, but the former superback knows that all he has to do is impress one team.
I think without a doubt, but my first priority is to make this Giants’ 53-man roster. If that isn’t the case then, you know, hopefully I put enough on film, impress some other people elsewhere so that they would want to bring me onto their 53-man roster.
Godwin Igwebuike: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Godwin didn’t record any stats in a game against the Dolphins, but has been impressing in practice recently.
Video: Pass breakup by Bucs rookie safety Godwin Igwebuike. pic.twitter.com/FvY258a55G— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 14, 2018
If he can continue to build in practices and future games, the UDFA could become a steal for the Bucs.
Justin Jackson: Los Angeles Chargers
Jackson has been battling a hamstring injury that kept him out of the first week of preseason. However, he had been showing well in practices and displaying the type of instincts and fluidity that allowed him to thrive at Northwestern. As Davis Rich pointed out in an earlier article, head coach Anthony Lynn had some kind words for Jackson.
(Justin Jackson) has eyes on the side of his head. He has really good instincts, and there’s no wonder he has so many yards over his career because he can find the soft spot in a defense, and I like that about him. I think he can win his one-on-ones. We’ll see though.”
He’ll need to shake off the injury and perform in the preseason to have a shot at the active roster.
Joe Jones: Denver Broncos
Last year, Jones rotated on a couple of practice squads before being signed by the Broncos in November. He played in 7 games, tallying 3 tackles, and he returned to the Broncos this season. He didn’t play in the Broncos’ week 1 matchup with the Vikings due to an unspecified injury. Jones is another fringe player that could really use preseason play to his advantage, whether that be making the Broncos’ roster or impressing another team enough to be signed there. But, more importantly, Jones recently welcomed the birth of his second daughter:
Tyler Lancaster: Green Bay Packers
Lancaster is attempting to beat the odds and make the Packers roster, but, it’s more likely that the former Northwestern No. 1 might impress enough to make a practice squad in the league.
Dean Lowry: Green Bay Packers
The solid defensive end enters his fourth year in the league looking like he’ll play an important role on the Packers’ line rotation. Teaming up with experienced and talented players like Muhammad Wilkerson and Mike Daniels, the Packers defensive front projects to be one of the better ones in the league. Lowry’s pass rushing efforts have led to praise at training camp.
Sherrick Mcmanis: Chicago Bears
Mcmanis is an ace on special teams for the Bears. He hasn’t played much cornerback for the team, but his efforts in the third phase of the game nearly make him a roster lock this year. Mcmanis signed a two year extension in March.
Ifeadi Odenigbo: Minnesota Vikings
Odenigbo spent last year on the Vikings practice squad. He’ll likely find a spot there again, barring an unforeseen development. He played really well for the Vikes against Denver, recording a pressure and a run stop on 19 snaps.
Kyle Queiro: Dallas Cowboys
WATCH: Kyle Queiro channels inner Odell Beckham and makes an ABSURD one-handed interception https://t.co/rfbdifibti— Inside NU (@insidenu) October 22, 2016
Queiro has stood out at Cowboys camp according to multiple Cowboys writers. He’s another longshot to crack the active roster, but it’s possible that he could find a spot on a practice squad somewhere in the league.
Trevor Siemian: Minnesota Vikings
The Super Bowl champion lit up his first preseason game against his former employer, the Broncos. He posted a 111.2 QB rating. notching two touchdowns and one interception. He’ll likely back up Kirk Cousins this year.
The Broncos chose Paxton Lynch over Touchdown Trevor this past offseason. Probably not the wisest move.
Trevor Siemian: 9/13, 147 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT with a 114.4 passer rating.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensBSN) August 12, 2018
Paxton Lynch: 2/5, 4 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT with a 8.3 passer rating.
Danny Vitale: Cleveland Browns
The massive fullback was re-signed as an exclusive rights free agent this past spring. He’ll fight for a spot with the Hard Knocks featured Browns, who might actually win a couple games this year with a revamped roster.
Anthony Walker: Indianapolis Colts
After impressing all of last season, Walker was listed as the starting MLB in the first depth chart released by the Colts.
Walker is one of the best linebackers on the team, and he’ll have an important role to play on a team transitioning to a new head coach and defensive coordinator.