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Minnesota Football: Gophers in the NFL—Mid-Preseason Edition

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Who has increased their chances of getting a NFL roster spot since camp began?

Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
Maxx Williams appears to be in better shape now than he was a few weeks ago
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

With three of the four preseason games down for all of the NFL teams, we take a look at how the Gophers have been doing and update their chances of making a NFL roster. Some things have changed as one player joined a team and then decided to retire from the NFL, and his replacement on that roster....well it’s another former Gopher. But some things have just stayed the same, both for good and for bad.

Below are the names of the ex-Gophers currently in NFL training camps and also a few names who are still looking to catch on with a team. I give my prediction for a percent chance they have of making the 53-man roster at the end of camp. I have no real inside information, its just a guess. Here are our updates.

Demarius Travis—Safety —New England Patriots

Travis has been doing his best to crack a deep new England secondary this preseason, but at this point it looks like once again he will be stuck on the practice squad. The Boston Globe has their roster preview out today and they see Travis once again on the practice squad, which is good enough for me.

Chance of making the 53-man roster? 5%

MarQueis Gray—Tight End—Miami Dolphins

Gray has battled injuries a bit this fall and missed the Dolphins second preseason game after being in the concussion protocol. He rejoined the team and played eight offensive snaps and seven special teams snaps in Miami’s loss to Baltimore on Saturday. Gray seems like a lock for a backup tight end spot and lots of special teams action for Miami this fall. The Miami Herald seems to confirm that as well.

Chance of making the 53-man roster? 80% 90%

Maxx Williams— Tight End—Baltimore Ravens

Maxx appeared to be in a bit of trouble when the Ravens used two of their top 3 picks in the NFL draft on tight ends this spring. He had been competing for one of the last spots on the Ravens roster, but sometimes fortune smiles on the healthy. Raven’s first round pick Hayden Hurst fractured his foot and will miss at least the first month of the season. Our Ravens blog Baltimore Beatdown seems to think Maxx is now a lock to make the roster and could even start. Maxx has spent plenty of time on the opposite side of the injury equation, so hopefully he can stay healthy and take advantage this time.

Chance of making the 53-man roster? 50% 85%

Briean Boddy-Calhoun—Cornerback—Cleveland Browns

Boddy-Calhoun has looked good this summer for the Browns and will play a large role in the Cleveland defense this season. Last weekend he had this nice interception of Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles in the Browns 5-0 win over Philly.

Chance of making the 53-man roster? 100%

Jalen Myrick—Cornerback—Jacksonville Jaguars

Myrick is currently listed as a third string corner back for Jacksonville and will be riding the roster cut bubble this weekend. Myrick appears to be in a three man battle for two spots with Tre Herndon and Quenton Meeks.

Chance of making the 53-man roster? 50% 66.6%

Tramaine Brock—Defensive Back—Denver Broncos

Brock has missed some time this preseason with a hamstring injury but appears to be back and looks pretty secuire in a roster spot. The Broncos signed PacMan Jones the other day, but it appears Brock’s roster spot is safe.

Chance of making the 53-man roster? 50% 85%

Eric Murray—Cornerback—Kansas City Chiefs

Murray started the third preseason game for KC and was in for 68% of the defensive snaps. Yeah, he is a lock and could even start several games for the Chiefs.

Chance of making the 53-man roster? 95% 100%

Steven Richardson-Defensive Tackle—Los Angeles Chargers

Richardson has been looking good in Chargers camp. He has a legitimate shot and making the 53-man roster and getting some playing time as a backup DL for LA. Our Chargers blog Bolts From the Blue have him making it, so lets hope they are right. A direct quote from that article “Richardson has been a stud and can help collapse a pocket better than the majority of these guys.”

Chances of making the 53-man roster? 45% 80%

Damien Wilson—Linebacker—Dallas Cowboys

Wilson has recieved plenty of playing time in the preseason and has a roster spot locked up. It appears he will be mainly linebacker depth and a special teams performer, but is just one injury away from starting for the Cowboys defense.

Chances of making the 53-man roster? 100%

Marcus Sherels—Cornerback/Returner—Minnesota Vikings

Sherels once again is in a spot where it is not guaranteed he will have a roster spot on the Vikings. It appears he still is in decent shape, but he did hurt his hamstring in the Vikings most recent preseason game.

Chances of making the final 53-man roster? 75%

Ryan Santoso—Punter—Detroit Lions

Santoso has done everything he can to try and make the Lions final roster. He has made all three of his kicks (2 extra points and a 24 yard fg) in three preseason games and has a 51 yard average on four punts. But, he is still behind two incumbent veterans in both specialists spots, and the trend of Lions roster projections have not been in the right direction. Hopefully Santoso can create enough buzz on film that even if the Lions cut him he might be able to latch on with someone who is not as happy with their specialists. There was a really nice profile of him in the Athletic earlier this week—give it a read.

Chance of making the final 53-man roster? 40% 20%

Nate Wozniak—Offensive Tackle—New Orleans Saints

Wozniak has been doing his best to break in at offensive tackle for the Saints, but its obvious he is still learning the position. He has been lining up with the third team offense for the Saints, and while he is getting good praise, its also well known he is a development player. His chances of making the regular roster are low, but I think the Saints would love to keep him on their practice squad as a developmental guy.

Chance of making the final 53-man roster? 5%

De’Vondre Campbell—Linebacker—Atlanta Falcons

Campbell has been taking more of a leadership role on the Falcons defense, and the sky is the limit. He will start for the Falcons and the Pro Bowl is definitely in reach.

Chance of making the final 53-man roster? 100%

Jonathan Celestin—Linebacker—Atlanta Falcons

Celestin has impressed greatly at Falcons camp. He has recieved great praise from Falcons head coach Dan Quinn:

“Linebacker Jonathan Celestin, from Mundy’s Mill High and Minnesota, has had a strong camp.

“Early on, what we saw in practice was a really good and square tackler,” Quinn said. “At linebacker that is really important.”

The Falcons want to see if Celestin can play in space on the coverage units. “

He currently is running with the third team defense and appears he is in a four-way battle for one last roster spot. While it definitely is an uphill climb, the chances that Celestin ends up on the Falcons practice squad are pretty high, which is a lot better than they were even three weeks ago.

Chance of making the final 53-man roster? 2% 15%

Eric Decker—Wide Receiver

Decker has spent the last two weeks in camp with the New England Patriots trying to earn a job. Whether they told him he was going to be cut, he saw the writing on the wall, or he just didn’t want to deal with it anymore, Decker announced his retirement on Sunday. The most successful Gopher in the NFL in the recent past, he will be sorely missed.

KJ Maye—Wide Receiver—New England Patriots

With every door that is closed, a window opens. When Decker retired the Patriots had an open roster spot. Who did they sign to fill it? That would be the OTHER former Gopher wide out in KJ Maye. Maye was in camp with the New York Giants in 2016 and spend some of camp with the Patriots a year ago, including limited time on the Pats practice squad. His chance of making the 53-man roster is virtually nil being added at this point in camp, but a practice squad spot could be in the cards again.

Chance of making the final 53-man roster? 1%

***EDIT—Somehow I forgot Kobe McCrary in the initial article. Oops. Sorry

aKobe McCrKobe McCrary—Fullback—Minnesota Vikings

McCrary was added to the Vikings roster after the second preseason game due to injuries. Its nice for McCrary to get some run with the Vikings, and he will play quite a bit in the final preseason game Thursday, but his chance of making the Vikings final roster is about as good at Mitch Leidner’s was.

Chance of making the final 53-man roster? 1%

The Final NFL roster cut-down date is September 1st, so the players that are on the bubble will have one last preseason game to try and either win or lose their spot. We will have a full recap next week as we look forward to Week 1 of the NFL season.