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'Horns in the NFL: First round of cuts

It's a tough time of year for Lifetime Longhorns nearing the end and those hoping to get a start.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season is approaching and the teams are scrambling to determine which players can give them the best chances for a successful season. The deadline for the teams to reduce their rosters from 90 to 75 players was Tuesday. Unfortunately, several Longhorns were cut.

Emmanuel Acho was the first man to get the bad news late last week when the Eagles waived him after a thumb injury. He will be out for a couple of weeks, which makes it difficult for him to find another team before the season starts.

Wide receivers John Harris and John Chiles didn't make it through either as they were let go by Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears, respectively. The only active Longhorn offensive lineman who was drafted, Tony Hills, is no longer with the Carolina Panthers, along with Cedric Reed, Aaron Ross and Curtis Brown, who were cut by the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets.

Bad news was also received by the former Longhorns who transferred out of the program, GJ Kinne and Garrett Gilbert, as they were released by the Eagles and Lions.

Since all of the final preseason games this week will take place on Thursday (September 3rd) and the teams will have to make their last cuts before Saturday, I will only detail the status of the players who are at risk of being cut before Saturday. Then I will provide a full status update of each Longhorn before week one of the regular season.

Colt McCoy is living within the drama in DC. Jay Gruden announced Kirk Cousins as the starter in Week 1 after he performed well in last week's preseason game with Robert Griffin III out. It's unclear whether RGIII was benched because of his injury or just because of his performance. Meanwhile, the Longhorn legend, who also had a great showing this week, will play the entire game on Thursday and it will be a great chance to demonstrate he is capable of filling the role as the Redskins quarterback.

Fellow undrafted free agent rookies Malcolm Brown and Jaxon Shipley have both made it through the first round of cuts, but their final spots on the Rams and Cardinals rosters are not certain. Last weekend Brown split carries with Isaiah Pead and Trey Watts, with whom he is fighting for a spot. Shipley continued to impress by catching one pass for 11 yards and returning a kickoff for 19 yards.

Despite the buzz last week about a possible Marquise Goodwin trade, the speedster is still with the Bills and he will likely be part of the organization when the final cuts are done. The Olympian showed chemistry with all the three Bills' QBs, catching a pass from each one. Unfortunately, Goodwin injured his ribs on this play and will likely miss the next preseason game.

San Diego Chargers safety Adrian Phillips and offensive guard Michael Huey, despite having made the cut this week, are still on the bubble to be on the final roster. Their performances in this week's game against the San Francisco 49ers will be key for them.

The best performing Longhorn during this preseason has been Jackson Jeffcoat. After notching two sacks in his first two games, he had another one this past weekend and also added an interception on a big mistake by Matt Schaub. All his hard work will pay off when he makes the team next Thursday.

Fozzy Whittaker, Carrington Byndom, Donald Hawkins and Trey Hopkins are among the players who will likely continue on their respective teams, but their spots are not 100% certain. In my opinion, the rest of the former Longhorns will make their respective teams.


Name Team Depth Experience
#16 Colt McCoy Washington Redskins QB #3 6th year


Name Team Depth Experience
#25 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs #1 RB 8th year
#43 Fozzy Whittaker Carolina Panthers #2 RB 4th year
#39 Malcolm Brown Saint Louis Rams #3 RB Rookie


Name Team Depth Experience
#88 Marquise Goodwin Buffalo Bills #2 RWR 3th year
#16 Jaxon Shipley Arizona Cardinals #4 RWR Rookie
#87 Geoff Swaim Dallas Cowboys #2 RTE Rookie
John Chiles Free Agent
2nd year
John Harris Free Agent Rookie
Mike Davis Free Agent 2nd year


Name Team Depth Experience
#66 Trey Hopkins Cincinnati Bengals #2 LG 2nd year
#61 Donald Hawkins Miami Dolphins #2 RT 2nd year
#69 Michael Huey San Diego Chargers #3 C 2nd year
#63 Lyle Sendlein Arizona Cardinals #2 C 9th year
Tony Hills Free Agent 8th year


Name Team Depth Experience
#92 Malcom Brown New England Patriots #4 DT Rookie
#64 Chris Whaley Dallas Cowboys IR (Achilles) 2nd year
#99 Lamarr Houston Chicago Bears #2 ROLB 6th year
#96 Brian Robison Minnesota Vikings #1 LDE 9th year
#90 Henry Melton Tampa Bay Buccaneers #2 DT 7th year
#97 Roy Miller Jacksonville Jaguars #1 DT 7th year
#90 Cory Redding Arizona Cardinals #2 LDE 13th year
Cedric Reed Free Agent Rookie


Name Team Depth Experience
#98 Brian Orakpo Tennessee Titans #1 ROLB 7th year
#53 Jackson Jeffcoat Washington Redskins #2 ROLB 2nd year
#49 Sam Acho Chicago Bears #2 LOLB 5th year
#57 Alex Okafor Arizona Cardinals #1 WLB 3rd year


Name Team Depth Experience
#56 Derrick Johnson Kansas City Chiefs #1 RILB 11th year
#58 Jordan Hicks Philadelphia Eagles #4 LILB Rookie
#52 Keenan Robinson Washington Redskins #1 LILB 4th year
Emmanuel Acho Free Agent 4th year
Steve Edmond Free Agent Rookie


Name Team Depth Experience
#9 Tarell Brown New England Patriots #2 RCB 9th year
#23 Aaron Williams Buffalo Bills #1 SS 5th year
#33 Michael Griffin Tennessee Titans #1 FS 9th year
#31 Adrian Phillips San Diego Chargers #3 FS 2nd year
#39 Chykie Brown New York Giants #2 RCB 5th year
#33 Mykkele Thompson New York Giants IR Rookie
#28 Quandre Diggs Detroit Lions #2 Nickel Rookie
#37 Carrington Byndom Carolina Panthers #2 RCB 2nd year
#32 Kenny Vaccaro New Orleans Saints #1 SS 3rd year
#29 Earl Thomas Seattle Seahawks #1 FS 6th year
Curtis Brown Free Agent 5th year
Aaron Ross Free Agent 9th year


Name Team Depth Experience
#9 Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens #1 K 4th year
#9 Phil Dawson San Francisco 49ers #1 K 17th year
Cullen Loeffler Free Agent 13th year
Nate Boyer Free Agent Rookie