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May 2, 2024
krindorr Playmaker
Early status of BYU players after the draft


Clear Starters (2)

  • Fred Warner (LB, San Francisco): among the top LB in the NFL - quite likely THE top LB
  • Puka Nacua (WR, LA Rams): After a record-setting rookie sensation of a season, I think it's safe to say he's in this group

Safe on roster; potential starters or regular contributors (6)
most of these guys should get fairly regular snaps and some may even end up as starters if they aren't already

  • Kyle Van Noy (OLB, Baltimore): Kyle Van Noy continues to be ageless, coming back to Baltimore after one of his best seasons.  Long term, the Ravens are absolutely planning for a future after him. Ojabo is the highly drafted backup that has struggled with injuries and they drafted Adisa Isaac as well.  When the end inevitably comes for Van Noy, they've prepared to replace him... but he just keeps playing at a high level so there's no reason to replace him at this point. That said, his snap count has dropped precipitously and he's more of a rotational player at this point, more than a clear starter
  • Michael Davis (CB, Washington): After years of inconsistency with the Chargers (sometimes a top CB in the league, sometimes being benched), Davis had to sign a 1 year, $3.2M deal with Washington.  That contract doesn't call him a clear starter...but the state of Washington's depth chart makes it hard to see who will challenge him.  St Juste is starting on one side, Sainristil is the nickel back.... and the last outside corner spot is open. The team wants highly-drafted disappointment Emmanuel Forbes to take the job, but Davis is the option of Forbes continues to be terrible.
  • Kingsley Suamataia (OT, Kansas City): Wanya Morris started the last few games at LT and did well. Jawaan Taylor is the big-money RT signing.  Most predictions I'm seeing have Kingsley as the backup before eventually replacing Taylor on the right side in a year or so.  Morris' track record is short though, so there's also the possibility that Suamataia unseats him.  For right now, he's most likley the backup, but definitely in the mix to start.
  • Tyler Allgeier (RB, Atlanta): After a great rookie year (1000+ yard at 4.9 yards per carry) he regressed badly as a sophomore (680 yards at 3.7 yards per carry).  He'll need a bounceback year to stay in the long-term plans, but should get the opportunity.  Bijan Robinson is obviously still the starter, but there's limited competition for the RB2 role - the Falcons drafted Jase McClellan out of Alabama in the 6th, and he's probably the biggest threat
  • Sione Takitaki (LB, Cleveland): Takitaki has spent the last few years opening as a backup for the Browns, coming into the starting lineup when someone ahead of him gets hurt, and then playing very well.  And then getting hurt himself.  Now he's with the Patriots...and most projections have him listed in a similar spot - either the top backup or (more likely) rotating in on passing downs
  • Taysom Hill (TE/QB/?, New Orleans): The Saints are in no position financially to cut him and he's proved his worth in a Swiss Army Knife role. It'll be interesting to see where he plays as he's almost guaranteed to be a cap casualty next season.

Safe on roster; primarily depth (2)
these guys won't be playing barring injuries ahead of them... but for one reason or another, their roster spot is fairly secure

  • Brady Christensen (OG, Carolina): In three years he's gone from LT to LG to backup LG to now the backup C.  And the team has recently signed free agents for both guard spots and the starting center.  It's not been a good trajectory and his contract expires after this next season...but for now, a cheap guy on a rookie contract with experience at OT, OG, and now C? That's a useful depth piece to keep around
  • Blake Freeland (OT, Indianapolis): Had a real chance last year to emerge as a starter, but couldn't pass the two quality tackles (Raimann and Smith) ahead of him.  The Colts drafted a new OT in the 3rd this season (Matt Goncalves), but he's likely to kick inside to OG and be the emergency 4th OT with Freeland holding the swing tackle spot.

Likely to survive cuts (4)

  • Zach Wilson (QB, Denver): This is the worst-case category for Zach.... things are REALLY unsettled in Denver and his outcomes could be the whole spectrum.  He could be the starter while Nix acclimates.  He could be the backup (behind either Nix or Stidham) or he could be the QB3 and therefore in danger of being cut depending on roster construction.  Ultimately, my guess is he ends up QB2 or QB3 (a team doesn't draft Nix at 12 to sit him and Stidham is the steadier backup), but probably won't be cut either way.  If ever a team needed to carry 3 QBs, it's this Broncos team.
  • Khyiris Tonga (DT, Arizona): Drafted by the Bears in 2021, released after his rookie season.  Then picked up for the Falcons practice squad in 2022, where the Vikings saw him and signed him a month later.  He played fairly regular snaps in 2022 (36%) before dropping to 20% in 2023 and not being resigned.  Now he's with Arizona for the near-minimum and a backup behind Bilal Nichols.  As a NT he's never going to play a major role, but he's also unique enough to likely stay on the roster for the times he is needed.
  • Chris Brooks (RB, Miami): Chris Brooks was probably the biggest BYU surprise of 2023 cut-downs, making the Dolphins active roster as a UDFA despite a fairly deep RB room.  But competition in the NFL means you have to prove yourself again and again.  Mostert, Achane, and Wright (2024 4th rounder) take up 3 spots.  Most teams only carry 4 RB (although the Dolphins carried a bunch last season) and Brooks, Jeff Wilson, Salvon Ahmed are in competition for that spot (or hoping Miami keeps two of them).  Brooks is probably the favorite of those 3... but there's enough competition that he's in danger.
  • Jamaal Williams (RB, New Orleans): This is going to make people mad...but most projections I'm seeing actually have him being cut, so if anything he should be down a category.  Williams has been a 4.0 ypc back most of his career (not great), but a great locker room leader (and obviously had the one great year in Detroit).  Last year was abysmal though as he averaged 2.9 yards per carry and is behind both Kamara and Kendre Miller.  His contract is high for a third-string RB, but so is the dead cap.  My guess is he survives for one more year, but he really needs to show more this next season or next year will be an easy cut.  And if a young RB looks good this preseason... then he could be cut even now.

Right on the bubble (1)

  • Ryan Rehkow (P, Kansas City): Honestly, I'm surprised Rehkow wasn't drafted ... And even more surprised this is where he ended up. No team is carrying more than one punter and the Chiefs just signed Matt Araiza (aka 'the Punt God').  Araiza was a highly drafted punter in 2022 and then released after a gang rape allegation....that was eventually dismissed as meritless. He recently signed with KC but hasn't played in two years. He's likely the favorite over Rehkow, but Rehkow should land somewhere. Kansas City is just not the most likely spot

Likely cut (3):

  • Dax Milne (WR, Washington): Dax has spent every pre-season on the bubble and has made it onto the roster every year.  But his snap counts have also been decreasing, he missed all of last season due to injury, and the team has brought in more WR.  It's not impossible he could sneak on (and certainly wouldn't be unprecedented given that he keep beating expectations)...but right now the most likely case is not making it past cuts
  • Jaren Hall (QB, Minnesota): JJ McCarthy (starter of the future) and Sam Darnold (bridge QB) take up two spots.  Then it's between Jaren Hall and Nick Mullens for the QB3 spot.  Mullens won that battle in the past, but the team may opt to go for youth/upside at the position.  In either case, the loser of that battle is definitely cut and the even the winner will probably also be cut and placed on the practice squad. New rules allow teams to gameday elevate QB3 from the practice squad infinitely often, so the only reason to keep him on the roster would be to protect him from another team. That said, he played last year so can't put him any lower than this.
  • Kedon Slovis (QB, Indianapolis): This is a pretty good landing spot, but similar story as Hall above.  Anthony Richardson and Joe Flacco are the clear top two with Sam Ehlinger, Kedon Slovis and Jason Bean fighting for the 3rd spot.  Two of them will be cut, and the winner will...probably also be cut due to new rules on QB3.  The one upsidehere is that Flacco has managed to defy age for a while, but the end is any moment so whoever wins this battle could eventually move up to #2 behind an injury-prone QB.  The Athletic lists him as the most unlikely UDFA to make the roster in Indianapolis.

Almost certainly cut (8):

  • Aidan Robbins (RB, Cleveland): Robbins is a UDFA coming into a tough situation.  Chubb (when healthy) has been one of the best backs in the NFL and Jerome Ford has shown himself capable of taking a lead role. Nyheim Hines is one of the best pass-catching RBs and excellent on special teams and as a returner (which takes on more importance this year).  D'Onta Foreman has been a lead back and has a similar skill set as Robbins, being a big power back. And the Browns ALSO traded for Pierre Strong, who also has a similar style as Robbins (and played well in limited snaps each of his first two seasons). There's some serious injury concerns (Chubb is coming off a torn ACL, Hines missed last season after a JetSki accident) and so I see why the Browns wanted to take a flier on someone...but if everyone is recovered, it'll be hard to be in the top 4 here.
  • Zayne Anderson (S, Green Bay): He hasn't played a defensive snap in his career, but has been a useful ST player.  Unfortunately, Green Bay went heavy on improving the S position this offseason, which makes it really hard to see him sticking here.  It's a near-given he'll be cut, but his ST experience gives him a shot to catch on elsewhere.
  • Chris Wilcox (CB, LA Chargers): Drafted by the Bucs in 2021, cut in preseason, signed by the Colts who put him on their practice squad for the year.  Then cut in 2022 preseason by the Colts who again put him on the pratice squad...until they released him off that.  Then on the Cardinals practice squad last year.  Then the Steelers cut him in 2023 and he spent the season on the Chargers practice squad.  Three years without being on a regular-season roster is a pretty good indicator that he's Practice Squad quality and I'm guessing he'll end up there again.  Chargers have invested in CBs though so it may not be there.
  • D'Angelo Mandell (CB, Washington): UDFA, basically brought in as a warm body by the Cowboys and then spent last year on the Commander's practice squad. As mentioned in the Michael Davis write-up, the Commanders have some of the worst CB depth in the NFL... but Mandell still isn't being listed anywhere as a possible roster fit.
  • Kaleb Hayes (CB, NY Giants): Currently on the roster as a reserve contract...but the sources I've found list him as the #10 CB on the roster... out of 10.  He could surprise and work his way up to a practice squad spot, but active roster is going to be tough (despite the Giants' uncertainty at the position)
  • Max Tooley (LB, Houston): The Texans have solid starting LB but most linebackers on NFL rosters are there as special teams contributors (a case which may be even more true with the new kickoff rules). Still, as an UDFA, Tooley has an uphill battle. There's room for him to move up these tiers, but he's going to start out here until I hear positives about him.
  • Eddie Heckard (CB, Denver): Heckard technically can't be cut... because he hasn't even gotten any sort of contract yet.  He has a mini-camp invite, basically just to swing by and see if he can impress.  That's a REALLY tough route to get on a roster.
  • AJ Vongphachanh (LB, NY Jets): Another mini-camp invite...feel free to copy and paste that above blurb on Heckard.

Already cut or unrostered (5):

  • Isaac Rex (TE, Detroit): Signed by the Lions as a UDFA at the start of May, but cut within a few weeks. TBD if he'll get another opportunity elsewhere
  • Matt Bushman (TE, Kansas City): After years on the KC practice squad, Matt Bushman has ended his career
  • Ty'Son Williams (RB, Arizona): At this point Ty'Son is only listed here because otherwise people will ask about him.  He played a fair amount for the Ravens in 2021.  In 2022 he was cut, signed to the Colts practice squad, cut, signed midseason to the Cardinals practice squad, activated for one game, and then cut. He wasn't on any roster or practice squad in 2023, so it would be shocking at this point if he was in the NFL in 2024.
  • James Empey (C/OG, Tennessee): Empey has bounced around practice squads for a few years (though he was activated for a few games by the Dolphins in 2022).  The Titans declined to even sign him to a reserve contract after his latest stint, so it's looking like a real long-shot.  He'll likely be picked up as a camp body at some point, but even practice squad will be tough
  • Daniel Sorenson (SS, New Orleans): played surprisingly well in 2022 for the Saints when he got a chance, but as a 34 year old safety with mediocre speed to begin with, he's nearing the end of his opportunities.  2023 saw him make the Saints' practice squad for a few months before being released (apparently at his request?.... Either way, not a good indication he'll be back)


This message has been modified
Originally posted on May 2, 2024 at 7:08:32am
Message modified by krindorr on May 2, 2024 at 7:16:15am
Message modified by krindorr on May 2, 2024 at 7:29:08am
Message modified by krindorr on May 2, 2024 at 7:30:59am
Message modified by krindorr on May 2, 2024 at 11:13:02am
Message modified by krindorr on May 2, 2024 at 3:03:43pm
Message modified by krindorr on May 7, 2024 at 1:41:56pm
Message modified by krindorr on May 17, 2024 at 12:49:09pm
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