A bunch of NFL teams are jostling each other. Scrambling to find eligible players for a crucial week 15 amid COVID-19 outbreaks cropping up in the league this week.
And because of the madness happening at the roster level, I feel compelled to call an audible one to the line of scrimmage. For this week – and hopefully this week only – I’m opening the prestigious Practice Team Power Rankings to all players, no matter how many seasons they’ve racked up in the NFL. Must do it.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. And, don’t worry, as soon as things calm down on the COVID-19 front in the NFL, we’ll be right back to highlighting only young PSPR players. However, I have an idea that the size and rules of the expanded practice squads might be here to stay. I will meet again during the offseason to determine the best course of action for my passion project.
Therefore, instead of focusing on a specific player this week, I’ll ask you to kindly scroll down to see which veterans have made this special edition of the PSPR.
As the weekend approaches, Kenny Willekes remains the recent savior of THE CUT – aka The Call-Up Tracker. He was the ninth call of the season when he was bred in Week 14 and had a solid outing in the very Vikings win over the Steelers last Thursday night. Use The Practice Squad Power Rankings as a resource, NFL front office. If I missed someone or you hear of a PSPR member receiving the call, let me know @ChrisTrapasso on Twitter, and feel free to use the hashtag #PSPR. Thanks in advance. Your next drink is mine.
It’s going to take more than a freshman cut to let go of my crush for the 2021 #TrustTheTape Draft. He recovered from a broken collarbone early in the offseason to get some limited representatives in preseason. Put Newsome in the slot and let him work, Nagy.
Willekes was the PSPR Cover Guy just a few weeks ago. Dude can get past the quarterback. I tell you! Against the Ravens in Week 9, the former Michigan State star suffered four pressures from Lamar Jackson. Minnesota is at the heart of the NFC wildcard hunt and needs as much rush productivity as it can get.
Yes, Tate is employed by the Titans in 2021. Great. The 33-year-old has been useful over the past two years with the Giants, and while he’s not as explosive as he used to be, he still has some YAC specialization in his game. With AJ Brown still on the line. shelf, the Titans should give Tate a chance.
In New Orleans and Baltimore, Snead was that possession receiver that I think every team needs. Because he’s never been an intimidating athletic specimen, he does bounce back a bit. And with the Panthers’ current two-quarterback system which includes Cam Newton who was just signed a few weeks ago and former undrafted free agent PJ Walker, they could use more talent on the receiver to complement DJ Moore and Robby. Anderson.
I had a fourth round rating on Green just a few months ago. He ticked most of the boxes I have for a mid-point tackle who can come in and start right away. And he tested like a high caliber athlete. For reasons unknown to me, Green was not drafted. But he protected like a – you guessed it – the first pick on Day 3 of the preseason with allowed pressure on 43 pass blocking snaps. Understandably, the Texans let him go on cut day, as Houston is completely on their offensive line and doesn’t need young and talented blockers. Yes indeed.
Haynes is a thick, elastic athlete with about as much college experience as humanly possible. I’m actually surprised he’s on the Seahawks’ practice squad, but Seattle signed Gabe Jackson this offseason to raise the floor of his guard position.
Cleveland is one of the teams hardest hit by COVID-19 as Week 15 approaches. Now is the perfect time to give Froholdt a custody opportunity if star tackle Wyatt Teller can’t make it. Froholdt is strong, balanced and as good as a pass blocker as he is at running.
Giovani Bernard was injured in the Buccaneers’ win over the Bills in Week 14, while he was used sparingly, we know Tom Brady likes little aquatic bug-catching backs to throw him in. a wink. This is precisely what Thompson can be for this offense.
Jefferson has been around forever and has always been productive in the field. The Ravens are slightly shaken after the back-to-back defeats of AFC North. Given his vast experience and athleticism, Jefferson can be a valuable part of the blitz-loving Wink Martindale defenses.
Blair has a unique body type at 6-3, 270 pounds with the strength and length to win inside a defensive line. He has 34 inch arms! There’s a non-stop engine in his game, and he was a productive rotational member in San Francisco before landing with the Jets.
Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Bear
Graham Jr. had a bit of exposure at the Senior Bowl. Lots of cornerbacks (mostly zonal) are. But he’s a savage defensive back who’s had eight interceptions and 32 broken assists in his three seasons with Oregon. What Graham lacks in size and sheer blast, he more than makes up for in quick processing and toughness.
Kawaan Baker, WR, Saints
Baker had three years of solid but unspectacular production in Southern Alabama, but failed to make his hometown Senior Bowl nomination. But on his professional day he caught everyone’s attention, performing 4.45 with a 39.5-inch vertical jump and a 129-inch wide jump. His slow three-cone placed him in the second percentile among receivers for the past 21 years, but the explosion that was evident on vertical roads and in contested capture situations at college was clear during his training before the draft.
Stephen sullivan, TE, Panthers
Sullivan was buried in the receiving pecking order at LSU, and the Seahawks tried to turn him into a defensive end after picking him in the seventh round two years ago. Returning to his natural position in Carolina, Sullivan has a chance to make a splash without a bunch of stars in front of him. It measures 6-5 and 248 pounds with a speed of 4.66 and a catch radius the size of a Chevy Tahoe.
Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Bills
With Emmanuel Sanders for a few weeks with a knee injury, the Bills may be looking for more help for the receivers, and although they have Isaiah McKenzie and Marquez Stevenson technically ahead of Hodgins on the roster, the The former Oregon State star would provide Buffalo with the size and large catch radius that his top-tier receiving group doesn’t currently have.
Luq Barcoo, DC, 49ers
Barcoo recorded nine interceptions and 16 broken assists in his final season at San Diego State. It’s a ball production from another world. He’s a bit lanky but plays with a good burst and, as this masterful campaign in 2019 evidenced, is very conscious when the ball comes in. The 49ers could use more productivity in their high school.
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