With all the football buzz surrounding the Terps' week one showdown with Richmond, these former Maryland players are nearing the regular season. See who's playing well and who needs to start standing out as we near week one in the NFL.
Jon Condo, LS, Oakland Raiders
Last week's stats: None
Condo had a busy day this weekend in the Raiders 23-30 loss as Sebastian Janikowski went 5/5 on field goal attempts with a long of 49 yards. The Raiders also punted the ball five times which meant Condo was on the field for 10 snaps which is a lot for a long snapper. Condo will certainly make the team and start at long snapper as he has cemented himself as one of the better long snappers in the league.
Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil, OLB, Tennesee Titans
Last week's stats: DNP (Hamstring)
Cudjoe-Virgil remained on the shelf this week with a hamstring injury that has been nagging him the last couple weeks. He had been playing great in training camp leading up to this injury. Well enough to survive the first round of cuts for the Titans as they had to trim their roster from 90 to 75 by Tuesday afternoon. There is no timetable for his return but here's to him getting back on the field sooner than later.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Last week's stats: None
If Davis was trying to quell the doubt about his production last year, he certainly has not been doing a good job this pre-season. Granted it is only the pre-season and the 49ers have a lot of other tight ends on their roster they want to look at. But Davis has yet to record a pre-season stat.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Last week's stats: Three catches, (five targets), 49 yards (16.3 yards per catch, 20 yard long), one kick return, 22 yards, three punt returns, 38 yards (23 yard long)
.@stefon_diggs is the NFL's leading punt returner this preseason with a 25.0 average on 6 punt returns.pic.twitter.com/LTGz11hPnK— Vikings PR (@VikingsPR) August 28, 2015
If anyone was still skeptical that Diggs wasn't the real deal, this week should put that idea to rest. Based on reps during pre-season games, it seems that Diggs will be the Vikings starting punt returner as he continues to get more chances than last season's starter, Marcus Sherels. Diggs also had a good day in the receiving game, making a handful of nice catches and leading the receivers in targets.
Cole Farrand, LB, New York Giants
Last week's stats: Three tackles (two solo)
Farrand managed to record a handful of tackles again in the Giants 18-28 loss to the Jets. Farrand has been steady this pre-season, not turning out any spectacular performances but playing consistently. He did however turn out a spectacular performance in the Giants locker room last week, hitting the "whip", much to the delight of his teammates.
Moise Fokou, LB, Cleveland Browns
Last week's stats: None
Fokou was cut by the Browns on Monday after not playing in their pre-season game against the Buccaneers. He only lasted in Cleveland for a couple of weeks and didn't do enough to impress enough for a roster spot, playing in only one exhibition game.
AJ Francis, DT, Miami Dolphins
Last week's stats: One tackle (0ne solo, for a loss)
After a great performance last weekend, Francis recorded just one tackle for a loss in the Dolphins 13-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons. It looks like Francis will finally break his NFL seal after being a practice squad player only for his first three years in the league. He has turned out a great performance so far in the pre-season and figures to contribute to an already scary looking Dolphins defensive line.
Erin Henderson, LB, New York Jets
Last week's stats: DNP (MCL sprain)
Henderson is still out, nursing a sprained MCL which he suffered on August 13th. He is supposed to be back before the end of the pre-season which would mean within the next week or so.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week's stats: None
The Bills beat the Steelers 43-19 however Heyward-Bey did not record a stat. However, it now looks like he will start the season as the Steelers number three receiver as Martavis Bryant will most likely miss the first four games of the season due to a suspension. Heyward-Bey has been given high praise by head coach Mike Tomlin and despite not padding the stat sheet so far, will have a chance to impress with the recent Bryant incident.
Shaun Hill, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Last week's stats: 6-8 passing, 50 yards, one interception, 6.2 yards per attempt, 51.0 passer rating
Hill didn't get many reps in the Vikings victory over the Cowboys, completing six passes for 50 yards and throwing one interception. Hill will likely see a large number of snaps next weekend as it is the last pre-season game, a time when starters usually rest.
D'Qwell Jackson, LB, Indianapolis Colts
Last week's stats: Four tackles (two solo)
Jackson recorded four tackles as the Colts beat the St. Louis Rams 24-14. The Colts are early Super Bowl favorites and Jackson will look to lead the linebacking group in Indianapolis this year.
Darius Kilgo, NT, Denver Broncos
Last week's stats: four tackles (four solo, one for a loss), one pass defensed
Kilgo has gone from late draft pick fighting to make the team to probable starter on the Denver defensive line. He has turned out solid performance after solid performance and people are already starting to take notice. He has played the second most snaps so far this pre-season and has produced so far. He looks to help a Broncos defense that was in need of a nose tackle coming into this season, a position Kilgo looks to flourish at.
Deon Long, WR, Tennessee Titans (Waived)
Last week's stats: One tackle
Long recorded one tackle (yes a tackle) on special teams for the Titans last weekend but didn't get involved in the passing game. He was cut on Monday by Tennessee after failing to get anything going this pre-season as a receiver, recording only one catch for 11 yards.
Dexter McDougle, CB, New York Jets
Last week's stats: Two tackles (one solo), one pass defensed
McDougle managed two tackles and one knock down in the Jets-Giants game. He is returning to playing form after tearing his ACL last year and will have help from teammate Darrelle Revis, praising the veteran in an article with the New York Post.
Nick Novak, K, San Diego Chargers
Last week's stats: 2/2 FG (52 yard long)
Novak returned from an "ehh" performance in week two of the pre-season with a more Novak like game, hitting both of his field goal attempts, including a 52 yarder. Novak was outshined by rookie kicker Josh Lambo, however it seems like Novak is back on top of the competition, seeing two chances to Lambo's one.
Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Last week's stats: One catch, five yards
Smith has been slow out of the gate in his inaugural season in San Francisco but that is to be expected as he learns the new playbook and gels with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Smith will certainly be one of the 49ers top targets this season, it's just a matter of when he gets going. On an unrelated note, he did reveal who he is leaning towards supporting in the upcoming presidential race...
Deez Nutz > Donald Trump— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) August 20, 2015
Randy Starks, DL, Cleveland Browns
Last week's stats: DNP (Rest)
Starks didn't get on the field this weekend but that is not unlikely for established veteran players. He is listed as first on the depth chart for Cleveland at starting right end. Check out this profile on the former Maryland stand out.
Joe Vellano, DT, New England Patriots (Waived)
Last week's stats: DNP (released)
Vellano was released by the Patriots after not playing in their last two pre-season contests. He was signed last season before the AFC championship game, but did not fit into the Pats' plans for this year.