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Minnesota Football: Gophers in the NFL: Training Camp Edition

Here is every former Gopher in a NFL camp, and some looking for jobs

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Preparations for the 2023 NFL season are underway as all 32 teams have opened training camps. The Minnesota Gophers have alums on many of those teams either getting ready for the season or fighting for an NFL job. Below we give a break down of where the former Gophers are, any info on how camp is going if there is any, and our predictions on a percent chance they make the final 53 man roster barring any injuries or other mitigating factors.

Rashod Bateman—WR Baltimore Ravens

Bateman just came of the Physicially Unable to Perform List earlier this week as he returns from his foot injury that kept him out of the last half of the 2022 season. He is looking to get back to form and try and earn back one of the top WR spots on the Ravens roster which suddenly got a lot deeper with the additions of first round pick Zay Flowers and the free agent signing of Odell Beckham, Jr. If Bateman can stay healthy, and thats a HUGE if, he should still have a starting spot.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

De’ Vondre Campbell—LB—Green Bay Packers

Campbell is coming off of a second great season in Green Bay after finally finding a stable home. On the field it has been a quiet offseason for the obvious starter this far in camp, but off the field he made news a week ago by strongly defending new GB quarterback Jordan Love against some detractors in the media.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Blake Cashman—LB—Houston Texans

Cashman enters his fifth season in the NFL and second with the Texans fightin for a regaulr playing spot. Cashman played most ly on special teams a season ago but according to Texan’s SB Nation blog Battle Red Blog, “Blake Cashman has been mostly a depth addition for the Texans since the team traded for him in 2022, but the fifth-year linebacker has been turning heads in training camp, intercepting multiple passes and putting his talent on display. Cashman could be in line for a more significant role in 2023.”

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Carter Coughlin—LB New York Giants

Coughlin enters year four in the NFL stuck in the same position he has been most of his career—special teams ace and fighting for limited defensive snaps. He had a nice interception in camp earlier last week.

Coughlin made five tackles in the Giants preseason opener against the Lions on Friday night, but still will need to fight for his job and could end up on the wrong end of the cut line in a few weeks.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 75%

Daniel Faalele—OL—Baltimore Ravens

Faalele begins year two in Baltimore still trying to crack the lineup. He played decently well when he got a chance due to injury a season ago, but is slated to start this season on the bench again. There is talk about giving Faalele a shot at guard where the Ravens have a hole at left guard, but for now it looks like he will be the swing tackle ready to go if there is an injury.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Chuck Fillaga—OL—New Orleans Saints

Fillaga started his NFL career with the Packers but he was a cut early in camp for a different body and was a free agent for a week before the Saints picked him up. he still is almost guaranteed to just be a camp body, but hopes to put something on tape to let some team give him a practice squad shot.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 0%

Jack Gibbens—LB—Tennessee Titans

Gibbens had an amazing preseason in 2022 and it seemed like he has a roster spot sewn up, but was one of the final cuts by the Titans. They would end up signing him to the practice squad in Week 2. He would eventually appear in five games with two starts. He once again has had a great camp in 2023 and is in a battle for the starting middle linebacker spot with Monty Rice who is in his third year out of Georgia. Regardless, it appears his roster spot is solid and he will in fact start 2023 on the 53 man roster.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Jordan Howden—S—New Orleans Saints

Howden has bene making the most of his first NFL training camp and has made a great impression in New Orleans. He had looked good and is in the mix to try and win a starting spot in the Saints secondary.

Regardless his roster spot seems safe whether he starts or not.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Mo Ibrahim—RB—Detroit Lions

After not being drafted Mo signed with the Lions as an UDFA to try and win a job, and its been an up and down experience for him this far. He has had good flashes in camp, but in the Lions opening preseason game on Friday he suffered an injury and needed to miss some time. “With Reynolds and Jefferson unavailable, it was a great opportunity for Mohamed Ibrahim to make some noise as the second option off the bench behind Gibbs. Unfortunately, he left with an injury after one series, and while he did return to the field, it was not for long. He was also seen in the locker room post-game walking very gingerly, so hopefully this injury doesn’t linger.”

He came back into the game a bit later, but some of the Detroit media thins that he will really need to turn it on the final two preseason games to try and earnt he final RB roster spot.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 50%

Tyler Johnson—WR—Los Angeles Rams

Johnson has bounced around in the last year after being cut by Tampa, headed to Houston for a bit, and then back to Tampa. He is now with the LA Rams trying to make a comeback and earn a roster spot. He had three catches for 48 yards and led all Rams receivers in their preseason loss to the Chargers on Saturday night catching all three passes from Stetson Bennett in the second half. He has a long way to go but he could eek out one of the final spots on the roster if all goes well.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 33.3%

Ko Kieft—TE—Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ko returns for his second NFL season with a brand new QB and system in Tampa Bay. He is listed as the second TE on the depth chart and will hopefully continue to be the pancake machine we saw at times a year ago.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Boye Mafe—DL—Seattle Seahawks

Expectations are high for Mafe in year two in Seattle where he will hopefully have a larger role in the Seahawks defense this season. Pete Carroll has praised him on occasion and said he is making a big step forward and could even leap into a starting role if all goes well.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Tanner Morgan—QB—Pittsburgh Steelers

Morgan was a UDFA pickup by Pittsburgh after the draft and he has been the #4 QB in camp for the Steelers this fall. His chance of earning a roster spot is very slim, and he is just trying to do enough to get a practice squad spot somewhere. He will need to do better than he did in preseason game #1 where he went 5-8 with an interception and a pair of fumbles.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 1%

Eric Murray—S—Houston Texans

Yes, Murray is still in the league with Houston though its been a quiet couple of seasons. The Texan fans are not big fans of him, but Murray seems to still have a roster spot locked down as a backup in the secondary and on special teams. While not as flashy as he used to be, Murray should still make the Texans roster and dress regularly.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 95%

Esezi Otomewo-DL—Minnesota Vikings

Otomewo didn’t play much in 2022 just seeing action in the final regular season game and was inactive for all the others. Minnesota has a roster spot availability after James Lynch tore his ACL but the question is whether Esezi can step up and take it. He should make the final roster but playing time is still a big question mark.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 95%

Thomas Rush—DL—Tennessee Titans

Rush signed with the Titans as a UDFA and made a pair of tackles including one for loss in the Titans preseason opener to the Bears on Saturday night. He still has a long way to go, but can look at what former teammate Jack Gibbons did on this same team as inspiration. Still—fighting for a practice squad spot seems likely.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 5%

John Michael Schmitz-C-New York Giants

The Giants second round pick has impressed in camp and sure seems like he is walking into the starting center job hiking the ball to Danial Jones. He opened his first preseason game with perfection.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Terrell Smith—CB—Chicago Bears

Smith has had a great camp so far rising as high as second on the CB depth chart for the Bears but missed the last few practices and the preseason opener with an injury. Hopefully he can come back and continue to prove he earns a spot on the Bears defense.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 90%

Antoine Winfield, JR—S-Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Don’t really need much here.

Percent chance to make the final 53: 100%

Current Free Agents:

Mariano Sori-Marin—LB. He signed as a UDFA with San Francisco 49ers after the draft but was released. Had a tryout with Atlanta but did not sign.

Mathew Trickett—K. Trickett signed a UDFA with Atlanta which was a weirdly structures three year deal. It didn’t last three months as the Falcons cut him a week ago and he is out on the market looking for a team that may want a kicker competition.

Sam Schleuter—OL. Schleuter signed with the 49ers in 2022 and saw a bit of practice squad action but no games. He signed this spring with the Vikings but was released with a medical designation after some issues surfaced.

Chris Streveler—QB. Streveler started the season with the New York Jets in camp, but they must have decided to move on as he was cut last week. At least he doesn’t need to spend more time with Aaaron Rodgers now.

Maxx Williams—TE. Williams has suffered some awful injury luck the past few seasons and after missing most of the year with Arizona last year he was not resigned and remains a free agent. His NFL career appears done.

Damien Wilson—LB. Wilson recorded just 38 tackles last year for the Panthers and was released in March after they determined he wasn’t in their plans anymore. Its possible a team could still give him a call to join camp late, but it’s not terribly likely.

Ryan Santoso-K. Santoso spent time on multiple teams practice squads last year after getting cut by Jacksonville in camp. He last played in a NFL game in 2021 with the Lions. But he currently is not in a NFL camp.