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Northwestern in the NFL: Preseason Week 1 recap

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JJTBC: Stock up. Clayton: Not so much.

Los Angeles Chargers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As the contingent of former Northwestern players in the NFL continues to grow, we here at Inside NU like to see what they’re up to. With Week 1 of the Preseason finished, there are many former Wildcats trying to make rosters or climb the depth charts of their respective teams. It was a relatively quiet week for the #ProCats, but let’s take a look at some of the more notable performances.

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers - With all the talk about Melvin Gordon holding out and requesting a trade continuing to swirl overhead, the Ballcarrier has handled his business and continued his improvement from the end of last season. It seems that Austin Ekeler would also get a significant share of the snaps in the event Gordon doesn’t return, and he saw eight combined touches for 69 yards in the first half. The Northwestern standout made his playing time count, though, including an impressive touchdown. He finished with 22 yards on five carries.

Clayton Thorson, QB, Philadelphia Eagles - We semi-documented his debut when it happened, but suffice it to say that it was not Thorson’s finest outing. Looking uncomfortable and inaccurate in the fourth quarter, he finished at a paltry 2 of 9 for seven yards and an interception. He will need to elevate his play if he wants to secure his spot on the roster and try to pass Cody Kessler and Nate Sudfeld (who suffered a significant injury) in the quarterbacks room.

Trevor Siemian, QB, New York Jets - Siemian saw plenty of action Thursday, taking over from Sam Darnold after the first series. The ex-Bronco and Viking is trying to secure the primary backup spot from Davis Webb and rookie Luke Falk. He was a crisp 13/16 for 77 yards and this touchdown below.

Danny Vitale, FB, Green Bay Packers - The fullback certainly did not light up the stat sheet, logging just one catch for four yards on two targets, but it is his noticeable presence on the field that has drawn attention. He made some useful blocks and was in on third downs several times.

Blake Hance, OL, Washington Redskins - The rookie is trying to stick his landing on Washington’s roster after being released by Buffalo. He recorded 13 snaps, all coming toward the end of the contest with a wave of reserve players, and didn’t allow any pressures, per hogshaven.com

Garrett Dickerson, TE, New York Giants - The former NU superback hauled in one catch for 8 yards. It was his first catch in a blue uniform since joining the team in 2018.

Godwin Igwebuike, DB, New York Jets - Igwebuike penned a contract with the Jets last week after being released by the Eagles earlier this month. The safety had a solid debut in New York, racking up 3 tackles in the team’s first game. After bouncing around teams the past two years, Igwebuike will be looking to hopefully find a permanent home with the Jets in the Big Apple.

Nate Hall, LB, Dallas Cowboys, Montre Hartage, CB, Miami Dolphins - Each 2019 UDFA made a single tackle in their teams’ first preseason action. Both still have uphill climbs to make the roster, but have generated at least some buzz during their respective training camps.

Note: Many other former Wildcats are currently with teams as well, and others are moving around the league in hopes of finding a place to stick. At the end of the preseason, we will provide a full update as to which players are on which rosters and practice squads.