With the season rapidly approaching, yesterday was cuts day across the league with every team having to cut their rosters from 80 players to 53. Due to the sheer number of players that were cut, there are bound to be some starters currently without a team, so it’s worth making the team from the best players that faced the chop yesterday.
Best Players Who Were Waived Following Training Camp
Quarterback – Carson Strong, Josh Rosen, Kellen Mond
Quarterback might be the weakest position on this team with Strong and Rosen being the two best options. Strong is a rookie that was rated as high as a second-round pick before draft day. But, due to knee issues, he dropped to an undrafted free agent where he was picked up by the Eagles. But he was cut due to him being beaten out by three other quarterbacks in Philadelphia.
Rosen was drafted by the Cardinals in 2018 and has jumped around the league a lot and is currently without a team after being cut by the Browns. Finally, Mond was taken in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft and appeared to be the heir apparent to Kirk Cousins and so he offers some real potential to any team that needs a backup quarterback.
Running Backs – Kenyan Drake, Sony Michel, Phillip Lindsay
Colts release former Pro Bowl RB Phillip Lindsay (per @RapSheet)https://t.co/Q0esgS65fP pic.twitter.com/xIwFanT2UG
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) August 30, 2022
This running back committee might be the strength of the team given the veterans that it is home to. Lindsay has a Pro Bowl appearance to his name and Michel and Drake are two very reliable backs that have been in the league a long time. It will be a real shock if these three are left unsigned before the season kicks off.
Receivers – Laquon Treadwell, Auden Tate, Preston Williams, Freddie Swain, Josh Gordon, O.J. Howard
The receiver room is not bursting with talent but it still has some very useful pieces. Treadwell played as the Jaguars’ primary target for the majority of last season and can definitely fill that role elsewhere if need be. Tate and Williams have both played rotational roles in the past and can be of use to most teams in the league right now.
Swain is a younger option that played as the Seahawks third receiver and could be a secondary target in the league. Gordon is also a big name, having led the NFL in receiving yards before a failed drug test halted his career, he could get back on track with another season as a starter.
However, the crown jewel of this group is tight end O.J. Howard who is a borderline top 15 weapon and could be of use to almost every offense in the league right now.
Offensive Line – Alex Leatherwood, Wes Martin, Alec Lindstrom, Beau Benzschawel, Julién Davenport
The offensive line is, without a shadow of a doubt, the weakest area of this roster with a lack of real starting talent. Leatherwood and Davenport are not the worst tackle duo, but neither is starting material as of right now and aren’t very dependable pieces on the offensive line. Martin and Benzschawel are a very weak guard duo who are both depth pieces. Lindstrom is a reliable center but one that also will probably not start anywhere in the NFL.
Defensive Line – Robert Nkemdiche, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Shelvin, Curtis Weaver
While not as weak as the offensive line, the defensive line isn’t the strongest unit either. Nkemdiche offers some potential as a former first-round pick while Weaver has proven himself to be a useful, versatile piece that can account for a few sacks every season. Keke and Shelvin aren’t the most ideal defensive tackle duo, but both could absolutely start on a weaker defensive line and play a role as full-time starters in this league.
Linebackers – Khaleke Hudson, Joe Schobert, Jarrad Davis
This linebacker core is not actually that bad and could realistically be the linebacker core of an actual NFL team. Schobert is a seasoned veteran who still has some gas left in the tank and could play a role for any team as a middle linebacker, he also has a Pro Bowl under his belt. While Davis and Hudson are both young players with bags of potential who could also play as outside linebackers in a 4-3 defense, thus making this group of linebackers a well-rounded unit overall.
Cornerbacks – Logan Ryan, Javelin Guidry, Malcolm Butler, Cre’Von LeBlanc
The cornerback room appears to be populated with a lot of aging veterans, bar Guidry. Ryan has been a consistent starter around the league for some seasons now, particularly in Tennesee and New York, and could still do a job as a backup or rotational piece in the secondary. Guidry was quite a surprising cut, due to his age and his successes for the Jets, but he offers both potential and a starter right now both on the outside and in the slot. Butler and LeBlanc are both probably past their prime years but can both play a role for any team that needs a plug-and-play starter, but they might not fare too well against faster receivers.
Safeties – Anthony Harris, Jaquiski Tartt, Tony Jefferson
The safety trio seems to be the strongest positional group overall given the skill and talent of the three members here. Harris was a legitimate starter and can still absolutely perform at the highest level when required of him. Tartt also still has years left in the tank and could be a good versatile piece in the secondary for any team. And Jefferson is getting up there in age, but can still do a job as a deep safety for most teams in the league.
Overall, there is some real talent to be found in the players that have been cut and there are plenty of players here who deserve another chance as a starter to show their worth in the league.