Ole Hotty Toddy is following quite a few former Ole Miss football players, aka NFL Rebels, in the 2018 football season and here are some recent updates.
It’s almost time for the Ole Miss football season to kick off but two weeks is still a long time to have to wait. Thankfully we have the 2018 NFL Preseason which began last week. Naturally there are quite a few (31 to be exact) NFL Rebels on rosters across the league and headed into the second week of the preseason most are fighting to make the regular season 53 man roster.
In a somewhat odd move last year NFL owners voted to eliminate the first cut of the preseason which in essence allows players an extra preseason game to show their talents. As good as it is for those few players who get an extra shot at making the roster it adds to the pressure put on coaching staffs and veteran players. However, it does give the staffs more time to accurately evaluate the younger players and does amp up the competition level.
Some NFL Rebels have established themselves and others are still fighting to get thru the NFL learning curve. While there are some NFL Rebels who are automatic when it comes to roster spots there are many who finding themselves in serious competition. Right now in the preseason there are NFL Rebels who are in position battles to earn a spot on a roster and others who have found themselves fighting for a starting spot.
Experienced NFL Rebels
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There are a number of vets who are trying to lock down starting spots or spots in the immediate rotation at their respective positions. The New York Giants have revamped their offensive line depth and John Jerry is now looking at a fight for a starting spot. Jerry who is in his 9th season in the NFL has been solid starting 101 of 121 games in his career. We can almost be certain Jerry will win a starting spot by the 2018 NFL season opener.
Another vet is Kendrick Lewis who is now on the Tennessee Titan’s roster and entering his 7th NFL season in 8 years. After sitting out the entire 2017 season Lewis signed for the 2018 season as a back-up for safety Johnathan Cyprien who went down for the season with a torn ACL. Although Lewis does have serious competition he represents a very viable replacement for the Titans at the safety position.
Younger NFL Rebels In The Mix
The NFL is full of young Rebels still trying to make their mark in the league. Green Bay running back Akeem Judd is an NFL Rebel entering his second season in the NFL and has yet to produce the numbers we know he is capable of. Thru the first two preseason games in 2018 he has had 11 carries for just 22 yards with a long run of 11 yards. Judd has been credited with rushing for 2 first downs thus far into the preseason. If Judd can stay healthy thru camp he should find a spot on the Packers depth chart.
Another young NFL Rebel entering his third season is safety Trae Elston of the Miami Dolphins. Elston is on the cusp of becoming a great NFL safety and certainly showed flashes during his short stint with the Buffalo Bills late in the 2017 season. In Elston’s first start at safety in the NFL against the Raiders he recorded 11 tackles and 1 interception. Released by the Bills shortly after, Miami stepped in and picked up Elston the following day. So far in the 2018 NFL preseason Elston has 4 total tackles.
Cody Core who is playing wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals is now also entering his third season in the NFL. Core who managed a good rookie season in Cincy in 2016 had a rough season in 2017. In the offseason and in preseason the Bengals have been adding some other WRs. They recently terminated the contract of WR Brandon LaFell which opens up a decent spot. Core should be primed to have a breakout season and it could easily happen in 2018.
NFL Rebels Rookie News
Indianapolis Colts running-back Jordan Wilkins is a rookie every Ole Miss football fan needs to be excited about. Wilkins had a very impressive training camp in Indy and his preseason has so far had Colts fans seeing flashes of what Ole Miss fans have been seeing for years. In his first NFL preseason game Wilkins finished third on the night for Colts backs with 6 with just 6 carries however he did manage 21 yards with a couple of decent runs. Wilkins was credited with 1 first down carry.
As of now Marlon Mack is nursing a bad hamstring and Robert Turbin is facing a four game suspension for banned substance use. Because of these reasons alone Wilkins should easily see much more playing time thru the preseason to showcase more of his talent. Ole Hotty Toddy believes Jordan Wilkins could be in the mix for the Colts starter by mid-season if he gets touches. Of course, Wilkins is just one carry away from a breakaway run and with time to play we may see that in Indy very soon. Wilkins will be back in action Monday night.
Cincinnati Bengals rookie offensive lineman Rod Taylor went down in the Bengals training camp with a knee injury. It was determined Taylor had a torn ACL and had surgery. Taylor was put on I/R for the 2018 NFL season. As a 7th round pick Taylor was expected to make an impact within the Bengals OL depth chart in the preseason and possibly land a spot on the Bengals regular season roster. OHT wants to wish Rod Taylor a speedy recovery and we plan on seeing him back on the field soon.
Ole Hotty Toddy wants to wish all of our NFL Rebels a great and safe 2018 NFL preseason. OHT will be coming with more NFL Rebels updates as we get closer to the 2018 regular season. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook and Hotty Toddy!