Ex-Wolverines in the NFL: The End of Preseason

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the preseason saw too many ex-Wolverines join free agency, watched the starters sit on the bench, and made every one ready for some regular season action next week.

Jay Feely (K, Undrafted in 1999, Arizona Cardinals):

There's still talk that Feely could be on the hot seat, but for now, his starting spot looks to be safe. In the final game of the preseason, Feely did his job by hitting a 52-yard field goal and three extra-points. Feely's job security will be something to keep an eye on during the regular season if he starts to struggle.

Kenny Demens (ILB, Undrafted in 2013, Arizona Cardinals):

For a moment, it seemed that Kenny survived the final roster cuts. However, everything changed the next day as the Cardinals decided to claim a pair of players on waivers, forcing them to cut Demens to make room on the roster. The good news is that Demens is eligible for the practice squad, and the fact that he initially made the 53-man roster bodes well for his chances to return to Arizona. As for the final preseason game, Kenny played for 28 snaps and recorded one solo tackle.

Alan Branch (DT, 33rd in 2007 to Cardinals, Buffalo Bills):

There's no more competition for the backup nose tackle position in Buffalo as Branch secured it this week by making the 53-man roster. He didn't record any stats against the Lions last week, but over the course of the preseason, Alan performed well enough to earn a roster spot. This is good news for the veteran in his seventh season.

Craig Roh (DE, Undrafted in 2013, Carolina Panthers)

Roh finished the preseason strong with one solo tackle and two assists including a half of a sack. After waiving Craig during the final round of roster cuts, the Panthers decided to bring him back as a member of the practice squad. Hopefully Roh gets a shot at some point in the season to move onto the 53-man roster.

Leon Hall (CB, 18th in 2007 to Bengals, Cincinnati Bengals):

Hall only played for the first drive of the game - 11 plays - and recorded one solo tackle. As I mentioned last week, he's still the top cornerback on the Bengals roster, but issues in the secondary coupled with an underperforming/injured Dre Kilpatrick means Leon needs to step up his game.

Roy Roundtree (WR, Undrafted in 2013, Cincinnati Bengals):

Roy's lack of production and opportunities finally caught up to him this weekend as the Bengals waived him. He seemed to be a hot pick to make the practice squad, but Cincy didn't agree and decided to pass completely on Roy's services. Roundtree played for 17 snaps in his final preseason game and lost two yards on an end-around. Hopefully someone in need of wide receiver depth gives Roy another chance.

Tim Jamison (DE, Undrafted in 2009, Houston Texans):

After recording a solo tackle on the first play of the game (as well as an assist later) against the Cowboys, Jamison made the Texans final 53-man roster, which comes as no surprise. Tim is currently starting in place of suspended Antonio Smith, and it looks like Jamison will remain there until Smith returns in Week 2.

Chad Henne (QB, 57th in 2008 to Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars):

Henne started again last week in place of injured Blaine Gabbert, and he only played the first quarter. His stats were ugly: 6 for 10 for 56 yards with an interception. There's still a chance Henne starts the season, but even if he does, he'll likely spend the majority of the season on Jacksonville's bench.

Denard Robinson (RB/OW, 135th in 2013 to Jaguars, Jacksonville Jaguars):

The Jaguars continued to use Denard in a variety of ways in the preseason finale as Robinson ran, caught, and threw the ball. However, his final stats were nothing special with one incomplete pass (that was almost intercepted and returned for a touchdown) in the Wildcat, 12 carries for 36 yards (with a long of 14 yards), and one reception for 3 yards. If you haven't heard about it before, there's been stories this past week about Denard and the promise he made to his dying older brother. I suggest taking a look at one here.

Junior Hemingway (WR, 238th in 2012 to Chiefs, Kansas City Chiefs):

Hemingway played his way onto the Chiefs 53-man roster last week against the Packers, catching seven passes for 80 yards and one touchdown on 32 offensive snaps (he also played 21 special teams snaps). Needless to say, Junior was happy about the decision after spending the majority of last season as an "afterthought" on the practice squad. While Hemingway's a little short, his size should help him contribute consistently at the NFL level. This might be the turning point for Junior's career.

Jordan Kovacs (S, Undrafted in 2013, Miami Dolphins):

Like Roh, Kovacs was waived during the final roster cuts but returned to the Dolphins shortly thereafter as a member of the practice squad. It was thought that a strong outing against the Saints might helps Kovacs make the cut, but that wasn't the case. During the preseason finale, Kovacs recorded just one solo tackle. And even though he's on the practice squad, Kovacs is cherishing the opportunity and with his work ethic, there's no reason to think he doesn't find an NFL roster one day.

Tom Brady (QB, 199th in 2000 to Patriots, New England Patriots):

Even though he wanted to play after the shellacking against the Lions two weeks ago, Brady didn't get the nod in the preseason finale. It's probably for the best, because no matter what, Tom will be ready to tear his opponents apart in the regular season.

Zoltan Mesko (P, 150th in 2010 to Patriots, New England Patriots):

I have to eat my own words after saying Mesko cemented himself back into the starting role in New England. After the preseason finale - in which Zoltan kicked five punts for an average of 33.2 yards and a long of 57 - the Patriots decided to release Mesko. Zoltan took the news in stride, and it didn't take long for him to find a new home in Pittsburgh.

Elliott Mealer (C, Undrafted in 2013, New Orleans Saints):

Unfortunately for Mealer, he didn't survive the final round of roster cuts, and the Saints didn't ask him back to be a member of the practice squad. He'll join former Saints teammate Steve Breaston in free agency, who is surprisingly still looking for a new home.

David Baas (C, 33rd in 2005 to 49ers, New York Giants):

Baas is still recovering from MCL damage, and things seem to be going fine.

Ryan Mundy (S, 194th in 2008 to Steelers, New York Giants):

Things seem to be going well for Mundy as he started his first game in the replacement role for Stevie Brown. He played for eleven defensive snaps and recorded one solo tackle. It'll be interesting to see how the season goes for Mundy and how he'll fit into the Giants defense.

David Harris (ILB, 47th in 2007 to Jets, New York Jets):

Since he's a starter, Harris didn't play in the final preseason game against the Eagles. For David, it all comes down to the regular season and whether or not he can anchor the Jets defense.

William Campbell (RG, 178th in 2013 to Jets, New York Jets):

After playing on 61 offensive snaps last week, Campbell earned a spot on the Jets 53-man roster. It seemed like the practice squad was a best case scenario for Will, so this is some positive news. He's currently listed as the third string right guard, and hopefully he'll see some special teams action for now.

Charles Woodson (FS, 4th in 1998 to Raiders, Oakland Raiders):

Woodson didn't play in the preseason finale, so there's nothing to report on his end.

Jason Avant (WR, 109th in 2006 to Eagles, Philadelphia Eagles):

Like Woodson, Avant did not play last week.

Brandon Graham (LB, 13th in 2010 to Eagles, Philadelphia Eagles):

On the opening drive against the Jets last week, Graham sacked Matt Simms in the endzone for a safety. It would be his only stat of the game, but his play stood out as he survived the final round of roster cuts. If all goes well, Brandon will finally develop into the pass rushing force the Eagles want him to be, but some think he might be moved at the trade deadline.

Larry Foote (ILB, 128th in 2002 to Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers) and LaMarr Woodley (OLB, 46th in 2007 to Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers):

Both Steelers linebackers did not play in the preseason finale. Foote spent some time messing with his teammateMike Adams (an ex-Buckeye) over all the Johnny Manziel suspension hubbub.

David Molk (C, 226th in 2012 to Chargers, San Diego Chargers):

Assuming Molk had secured the backup spot in San Diego is another mistake I made last week. David's time in San Diego has ended, which seemed likely to happen when he didn't start the preseason finale. However, there's a good chance Molk doesn't stay in free agency long as it seems he just struggled to find a rhythm with the Chargers new offense.

Stephen Schilling (RG, 201st in 2011 to Chargers, San Diego Chargers):

Like Molk, Schilling didn't make the through the final roster cuts as he was one of the first to go. Hopefully he can find a new place to play.

Jonathan Goodwin (C, 154th in 2002 to Jets, San Francisco 49ers):

All the doubts about Goodwin's future in San Francisco were put to rest when he (unsurprisingly) made the 53-man roster. He's still listed as the starter, so we'll have to see if backup Dan Kilgore pushes him any more during the regular season for the starting spot.

Mario Manningham (WR, 95th in 2008 to Giants, San Francisco 49ers):

On the PUP list until at least week 6 of the regular season.

Patrick Omameh (G, Undrafted in 2013, San Francisco 49ers):

After being waived, Omameh was invited back to join the 49ers practice squad. Like other Wolverines in his position, he'll need to work his way up the ranks to make an NFL roster.

Jake Long (LT, 1st in 2008 to Dolphins, St. Louis Rams):

Long didn't play in the preseason finale, but that's all part of the Rams plan to keep Jake healthy. According to Long, he's feeling "the healthiest [he's] felt going into a season in probably three years." Keep an eye out on Long dominating defensive linemen this year.

Mike Martin (DT, 82nd in 2012 to Titans, Tennessee Titans):

It was difficult to find any information on how Mike played last week against the Vikings, but all that matters is the fact that he made the 53-man roster in Tennessee. We'll have to see if Mike gets any significant playing time as he's listed second on the depth chart.

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