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Gopher Football: Gophers in the NFL--Preseason Edition

A list of all the former Gophers in NFL training camps and their chance of making the final roster

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Eric Murray is just one of the former Gophers looking to play in the NFL this season
Eric Murray is just one of the former Gophers looking to play in the NFL this season
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota has had success the last few seasons at getting their players to the next level.  A few years ago you would have struggled to see five or six former Gophers in NFL camps.  This season there are 18 former Gophers in NFL training camps as the NFL preseason games begin Thursday night.  We will take a look at all of them and their chances of making the final 53-man rosters.

All roster information was gathered from

We start with the 2016 NFL Rookies:

Eric Murray-DB   Kansas City Chiefs

Murray has been playing strong safety so far for KC in camp, and has looked good getting some consistent second team reps.  Here is a good article on his transition to safety from the Kansas City Star. Murray will need to continue to work hard adapting to the safety position in the NFL, but it appears he will get a lot of playing time in the preseason and should have a spot lined up on the final roster.

95 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Briean Boddy-Calhoun-DB  Jacksonville Jaguars

Not much news about BBC has come out of the Jaguars camp so far.  In the first depth chart of the fall released, Boddy-Calhoun is listed as either a third or fourth string corner back at the moment.  It looks like he will be one of four or five guys fighting for one sport on the 53-man roster, but should be a strong possibility for a practice squad spot if he doesn't make the cut.

25 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

De'Vondre Campbell-LB  Atlanta Falcons

Campbell has really stood out so far for the Falcons in training camp.  Campbell has been great in coverage for the Falcons and has looked good against the run as well.  It appears Campbell will start with the 2nd team in the preseason opener, but a good performance could see him start to see some starting reps.

100 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

KJ Maye-WR  New York Giants

Maye has been getting some extra reps in  practice and may see more preseason game action that originally thought as the Giants nurse injuries to starters Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham, Jr. he still has an uphill climb as one of about five receivers fighting for the last wide out roster spot for the Giants.  Special teams will be huge for KJ as he tries to find a spot, but he will have to really show something special in the preseason games to eek out a 53-man roster spot I believe.

10 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Peter Mortell- P  Green Bay Packers

Mortell was undrafted and chose to sign with his home town team to compete for the punting job in Green Bay.  Packers punter Tim Masthay is not a fan-favorite at the moment, and if Mortell can outkick him over the course of the preseason, he does have a shot to take the punting job away.  At the moment it appears its anyones job to winMasthay of course has the edge in the familiarity of the team and as kicker Mason Crosby's holder, but of course we all know Mortell is more than capable at holding for kicks. Even more important for Mortell will be putting together a good tape so if the Packers do decide to go with the veteran, Mortell will be a top choice out there for any other team looking for a replacement (cough...Vikings....cough)

40 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Theiran Cockran--DE  Minnesota Vikings

Cockran  has the athletic ability Mike Zimmer likes in his defensive linemen.  He does have a long way to go though with the Vikings depth on the defensive line.  I suppose a chance exists if he really blows up the preseason games, but I see Cockran as the stereotypical practice squad guy in his first year.

2 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Next is the class of 2015:

Maxx Williams-TE  Baltimore Ravens

Maxx is coming off of a season where he recorded 32 receptions for 268 yards and a touchdown in 14 games. Williams was hurt by Baltimore signing Ben Watson in the offseason which dropped him on the depth chart.  Baltimore has arguably four tight ends who would play for any team in the league, and Maxx will have to fight for playing time.  Williams was also hurt in Monday's practice and missed practice on Tuesday making his status for the first preseason game questionable.

90 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Damien Wilson--LB Dallas Cowboys

Wilson played in all 16 games for the Cowboys last season and recorded 15 tackles.  He unfortunately is missing time this preseason after injuring his eye in a offseason paintball incident. Wilson made his first appearance at  Cowboys camp on Tuesday, and will need to get back in shape quickly to get into game condition.  I don't think this injury will get him cut, but he will definitely have to earn back his playing time

90 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Cedric Thompson-S  New England Patriots

Thompson spent the season on the Miami Dolphins practice squad before signing with the Patriots in January.  Thompson intercepted Tom Brady in practice last Sunday and continues to fight for one of the last 53-man roster spots, but a practice squad spot looks much more likely.

5 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

David Cobb--RB Tennessee Titans

Cobb appeared to be the player most affected by offseason acquisitions as Tennessee acquired DeMarco Murray and drafted Derrick Henry to be a one-two punch at running back.  It looked like Cobb would really need to fight to get a roster spot, and by all accounts he has looked great this preseason after finally getting healthy  ti appears Cobb is in a battle with three or four other players for one or two open roster sports depending on how many running backs the Titans elect to keep.  However, more performances like he had in an intersquad scrimmage over the weekend where he shined and scored a touchdown.

55 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Issac Fruechte--WR  Minnesota Vikings

Fruechte spent his rookie season on the Vikings practice squad and has looked good in Mankato in camp so far. Unfortunately for him unless he had an epic performance in the preseason games he looks like at best the #7 wide out for a Vikings team that will probably only take six.  Issac most likely will start on a practice squad with a chance to get promoted to the main roster with some injuries.

2 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

The older guys round out the rest:

Ra'Shede Hageman--DE  Atlanta Falcons

Hageman is looking to make a bigger impact in his third season with the Falcons.  He was moved from defensive tackle to end in the offseason and has adapted well to his new role. Hageman is currently practicing with the #2s, and should see plenty of time in the field this season.

100 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Marqueis Gray--TE   Miami Dolphins

Gray signed with Miami after playing most of the year with Buffalo. Gray looked good early in camp and was third on the TE depth chart but injured a leg on Tuesday and had to be carted off, and missed practice on Wednesday.  Without the injury his chance of making the team was good, but now?

30 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Brock Vereen-DB-- New England Patriots

Vereen has bounced around a bit after being cut by the Bears last season.  He has ended up with New England this season and has impressed in camp.  Unfortunately for him, the safety position for the Patriots is incredibly deep, and Vereen appears at the moment to be the last man out.  However he will have an entire preseason to try and convince Bill Belichick otherwise.

10 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Eric Decker--WR  New York Jets

Yeah...don't need to say much here.

1000000000 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Troy Stoudermire--WR  Minnesota Vikings

Stoudermire is trying to make it in the NFL after a few good seasons in the CFL.  Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said that the Vikings will give him a long look at receiver and returner in the preseason.  Unfortunately at the latter position, he appears to be blocked by the next guy on this list.

3 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Marcus Sherels--CB/PR  Minnesota Vikings

Sherels always seems to come down to the last few guys who just sneak onto the Vikings, and its his great punt return ability that keeps him in the NFL.  Barring a huge setback, Marcus will once again be returning kicks for the Vikings this season.

90 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Tramaine Brock-CB  San Francisco 49ers

Brock had a good 2015 season with 45 tackles and three interceptions.  He will start at corner for the 49ers this season.

100 % Chance To Make The Final 53-Man Roster

Come back later this preseason for updates to this post, and then again every week during the NFL regular season to see what Gophers will be playing in the NFL this season!