We're halfway through exhibition games and things are starting to heat up in the NFL world. Check out which former Terps continued their stellar play and which players are starting to prove their worth as we head into the final stretch of the pre-season.
Jon Condo, LS, Oakland Raiders
Last week's stats: None
The Raiders fell 12-20 against the Minnesota Vikings in their second pre-season game of the year. Condo didn't record a stat (which is typical for long snappers) but was involved with both Raider field goals- 26 and 37 yarders by Giorgio Tavecchio.
Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, OLB, Tennesee Titans
Last week's stats: DNP (Hamstring)
Cudjoe-Virgil did not suit up for the Titans 27-14 win over the St. Louis Rams. Virgil was injured in the previous game as he limped off the field due to a hurt hamstring. He also did not practice this week, all coming at a tough time for the former Terp as he has been called a "surprise" so far in Titans camp. No word yet on whether he will play next week, but according to Titan's beat writer, Jerry McCormick, Cudjoe-Virgil could be back on the field this week.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Last week's stats: None
Davis didn't play in the 49er's first pre-season game but was active this weekend against the Cowboys. However, the former Maryland tight end did not see a single pass thrown his way. Davis is coming off a sub-par year, catching only 26 passes and two touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds this season.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Last week's stats: no catches, (three targets), one punt return, 29 yards
Stefon Diggggggggs pic.twitter.com/0xjy1O2ZKx— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) August 23, 2015
Another week gone by, another Stefon Diggs highlight. Despite it not being his best performance statistically so far, he still made an impact in the game with the one punt return he handled, catching it over his shoulder and returning it 29 yards. Based on his training camp and pre-season games, it is very possible, and arguably likely that he will be the Vikings starting punt returner to start the year, should he turn out another good performance next weekend against the Cowboys.
Cole Farrand, LB, New York Giants
Last week's stats: Four tackles (four solo)
Farrand turned out a solid performance, making four solo tackles against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday. He recorded two tackles in his first pre-season game and is looking to make the Giants roster, most likely as a special team player. He is currently listed as the third-string weak side linebacker for the G-men.
Moise Fokou, LB, Cleveland Browns
Last week's stats: two tackles (two solo), one sack
After being signed by the Browns the other week, Fokou did not play in the Browns first pre-season game. He was active for the Browns loss to the Bills on Saturday and turned out a good performance, managing two tackles and one sack. This is good for the former Maryland linebacker who has his work cut out for him to make the Browns roster by the time the regular season comes.
AJ Francis, DT, Miami Dolphins
Last week's stats: two tackles (two solo, both for a loss), one sack
Uber stop here from AJ Francis. https://t.co/QJIS6h6abA— Hyde (@Jeff__Hyde) August 23, 2015
Francis has been a surprise in Dolphins camp so far and continued his quality play by registering two solo tackles for a loss and a sack against the Carolina Panthers. Francis has yet to play a down in the NFL during the regular season, spending the last few seasons as a practice squad player but has turned out a great pre-season so far, seeing reps with the first team defensive line alongside Ndamukong Suh. If he ends up making the active team, expect the Uber references to continue to occur.
Erin Henderson, LB, New York Jets
Last week's stats: DNP (MCL sprain)
Henderson is trying to resurrect his career with the Jets after some off the field struggles with the Vikings. He suffered a grade-2 MCL sprain in the Jets loss to the Lions on August 13th and has not returned since. He apparently was extremely lucky to have not torn his ACL according to the MRI results. He is expected to return before the end of the pre-season. Check out this article on Henderson and his new found happiness playing for the Jets.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week's stats: One catch, five yards
Heyward-Bey caught just one pass in the Steelers second pre-season game- a 24-19 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Heyward-Bey played last year as a Steeler and was re-signed to a one year contract but is fighting to make the active roster for the regular season. He is currently the 4th receiver on the roster, and could be the 5th after Sammy Coates develops a bit more.
Shaun Hill, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Last week's stats: 11-17 passing, 82 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 4.8 yards per attempt, 71.2 passer rating
Hill followed a great performance with an average one, throwing for only 82 yards with a TD countered with an interception. Hill won't see the field this year unless Teddy Bridgewater goes down, but Hill has proven himself as a steady backup during his 14 year NFL career. The Vikings play in their third pre-season game next weekend (not counting the Hall of Fame game) which is usually when the starters play the most. Expect Bridgewater to see the majority of the snaps then.
D'Qwell Jackson, LB, Indianapolis Colts
Last week's stats: four tackles
Jackson managed four tackles as the Colts lost to the Chicago Bears, 11-23 on Saturday. The former Terrapin linebacker is coming off a Pro Bowl season and will be one of the leaders on an Indy defense that is hopeful to make a run at the Super Bowl this season.
Darius Kilgo, NT, Denver Broncos
Last week's stats: two tackles (one solo, one for a loss), one sack
Kilgo followed an impressive first pre-season game with another one, recording two tackles and one sack. He has progressed quickly so far in Broncos camp and is a likely possibility to see a lot of playing time at nose tackle, possibly start. Not too bad for a rookie drafted in the 6th round. In an article on Broncos blog, Predominantly Orange, he is described as having been "an absolute terror for opposing offensive lines to have to block."
Deon Long, WR, Tennessee Titans
Last week's stats: One catch, 11 yards
Long recorded his first catch in an NFL uniform in the Titans win over the Rams. Long is a long shot to make the Titans active roster this year but it is certainly good to see him get in on the action this weekend after not recording a catch in the game previous. He has been working in reps at kick returner but has yet to see playing time at the position during an exhibition game.
Dexter McDougle, CB, New York Jets
Last week's stats: Four tackles (three solo)
McDougle is looking to get back to form after missing the entire last season due to an ACL tear. He has impressed during training camp but has shown some rust during the Jets first two pre-season games. He was a possible starter at corner last year before getting hurt, but will have a tougher time this year, slotted behind Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, and Dee Milliner. He made four tackles game this weekend against the Falcons.
Nick Novak, K, San Diego Chargers
Last week's stats: 1/2 XP
Novak had a tough second pre-season game, not as much due to his performance (he did miss an extra point) but because rookie kicker Josh Lambo went 3/3 on field goals (52 yard long) including a 47 yard game winner as time expired. Novak is the incumbent in San Diego and despite this game, should still figure to win the kicking battle. However, he will need to do a better job next week against the Seahawks to feel a bit safer about his position.
Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Last week's stats: None
Smith has yet to record a catch in a 49er uniform although he had a good opportunity against the Cowboys as a would be touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick fell through Smith's hands. Despite not scorching the stat sheets so far, Smith remains to be a valuable off-season addition for San Francisco. He has great top-end speed and could rack up touchdowns this year as he is one of only a few established pass catchers in Northern California.
Randy Starks, DL, Cleveland Browns
Last week's stats: One tackle (one solo, for a loss)
Starks managed one tackle behind the line of scrimmage Saturday as the Browns lost to the Bills 11-10. The former Maryland defensive lineman was signed by Cleveland this offseason and is first on the depth chart at starting right end. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2012 and will look to get back there again this year as Cleveland looks to improve on their record from last season.
Joe Vellano, DT, New England Patriots
Last week's stats: DNP (coach's decision)
After not recording a tackle in last week's game, Vellano did not even attend the Patriots Week 2 pre-season matchup against the Saints (although a number of other players didn't travel either). Vellano will find it hard to make the Pats active roster this year after being signed last year right before the AFC Championship game.