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Texas Longhorns in the NFL: Preseason Week 2

Rookies Chris Warren III and Michael Dickson continue to shine atop their positions this preseason.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Your weekly dose of ‘Texas Longhorns in the NFL’ roundups are back. For the regular season, I will try and post every Tuesday or Wednesday following each week of action, heading into the Thursday night game.

Rookies Chris Warren III and Michael Dickson are leading the way at their respective positions this preseason. Warren’s 196 rushing yards is good for first in the league, 60 yards ahead of the next running back. Dickson’s 51.7 yards per punt average leads all punters. Check out how all of the former Horns are doing so far in preseason action.

Colt McCoy (QB-WAS)

Last Week: 15-13 win vs. New York Jets

McCoy completed 12-of-16 passes for 140 yards and had an interception on a ball that should have been caught by the receiver. He has looked sharp running with the first and second string offense, completing over 73-percent of his pass attempts through two preseason games.

This Week: Aug. 24 6:30 vs. Denver Broncos

Malcolm Brown (RB-LAR)

Last Week: 19-15 win vs. Oakland Raiders

Making the start over rookie running back John Kelly, Brown carried the ball seven times for 22 yards in a victory. The third-year back is slated to split time with Kelly as the backups to Todd Gurley.

This Week: Aug. 25 3:00 vs. Houston Texans

Jamaal Charles (RB-FA)

After rookie running back Derrius Guice was announced out for the season, the Washington Redskins had Charles and Adrian Peterson work out for them. It was announced Monday that the Redskins signed Peterson.

D’Onta Foreman (RB-HOU)

Last Week: 16-13 win vs. San Francisco 49ers

After rupturing his Achilles’ tendon on a touchdown last season, Foreman’s status for the start of the 2018 season is still uncertain.

This Week: Aug. 25 3:00 at Los Angeles Rams

Chris Warren III (RB-OAK)

Last Week: 19-15 loss at Los Angeles Rams

Warren continues to make serious noise as an undrafted running back. The 250-pound plus back went over 100 yards for the first time since Sept. 9 2017 against San Jose State in a Longhorns uniform, totaling 110 yards on 18 carries, which is good for 6.1 yards per carry. He is up to 196 yards on 31 carries (6.3 YPC) through two games. Warren looks like a completely different back running behind one of the better NFL offensive lines and has caught the eyes of head coach John Gruden.

This Week: Aug. 24 9:30 NFL Network vs. Green Bay Packers

Fozzy Whittaker (RB-CAR)

Last Week: Win 27-20 vs. Miami Dolphins

Whittaker suffered a torn ACL from a non-contact injury back in May and will miss this upcoming season.

This Week: Aug. 24 6:30 vs. New England Patriots

Marquise Goodwin (WR-SF)

Last Week: 16-13 loss at Houston Texans

After having the best season of his career when Garoppolo came to San Francisco, Goodwin is looking to ride that wave in 2018. He’s lined up to be Garoppolo’s No. 1 target again this season after a 61-yard game on three receptions last week.

This Week: Aug.25 3:30 at Indianapolis Colts

Marcus Johnson (WR-SEA)

Last Week: 23-14 loss at Los Angeles Chargers

After making his first official roster with the Eagles last season, Johnson is fighting for a spot on the Seahawks roster this year. He had two catches for 10 yards against the Chargers.

This Week: Aug. 24 7:00 at Minnesota Vikings

Geoff Swaim (TE-DAL)

Last Week: 21-13 loss vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Moving on from possible future hall-of-fame tight end Jason Witten, the Cowboys have some big shoes to fill at that position. Swaim is off to a good start this preseason after catching two catches for 16 yards against the Bengals. Keep in mind he had a total of nine catches through his first three NFL seasons. Swaim has proven to be an elite blocking tight end but will be asked to do a lot more than block this season.

This Week: Aug. 26 7:00 NBC vs. Arizona Cardinals

Tyrone Swoopes (TE-SEA)

Last Week: 23-14 loss at Los Angeles Chargers

While Johnson is looking to earn a spot at wide receiver, former Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes has adjusted well with the position change to tight end and is hoping to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. Swoopes had a 6-yard catch last week.

This Week: Aug. 24 7:00 at Minnesota Vikings

Trey Hopkins (OG-CIN)

Last Week: 21-13 win at Dallas Cowboys

Hopkins holds the starting spot at right guard heading into week three of the preseason, according to the Bengals latest depth chart.

This Week: Aug. 26 3:00 FOX at Buffalo Bills

Connor Williams (OL-DAL)

Last Week: 21-13 loss vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Cowboys moved their second-round draft to offensive guard this season. While Williams is still adjusting to the game, there’s those expected up and downs for the rookie. USA Today’s Cowboys Wire broke down Williams’ performance against the Bengals here.

This Week: Aug. 26 7:00 NBC vs. Arizona Cardinals

Malcom Brown (DT-NE)

Last Week: 37-20 win vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Brown is entering the final season of his current contract after the Patriots declined his fifth-year option for 2019.

This Week: Aug. 24 6:30 at Carolina Panthers

Poona Ford (DT-SEA)

Last Week: 23-14 loss at Los Angeles Chargers

After being snubbed from the NFL Combine and going undrafted, defensive tackle Poona Ford is on a quest to make a roster. He posted a 84.7 grade from Pro Football Focus, which ranked him 10th out of 100 interior defensive lineman for week two.

This Week: Aug. 24 7:00 at Minnesota Vikings

Hassan Ridgeway (DT-IND)

Last Week: 20-19 loss vs. Baltimore Ravens

Ridgeway is playing some of best football of his career right now. The third-year defensive tackle has an astounding four sacks in two games. Ridgeway made Pro Football Focus’ preseason week one team of the week, posting an 89.7 game grade.

This Week: Aug. 25 3:30 vs. San Francisco 49ers

Alex Okafor (DE-NO)

Last Week: 20-15 loss vs. Arizona Cardinals

Last Wednesday at practice, Okafor suffered a bone bruise and an ankle sprain to the same leg he tore his ACL in last season. While it’s still uncertain, the Saints defensive end should be ready to go by the start of the regular season.

This Week: Aug. 25 7:00 CBS at Los Angeles Chargers

Brian Orakpo (DE-TEN)

Last Week: 30-14 loss vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Entering is 10th season, Orakpo is currently nursing a shoulder injury and has been held out of practice. The Titans are being cautious with the veteran defensive end, as there’s no point in risking further injury. Orakpo will play a key part in the development of Titans second-round draft pick, edge-rusher Harold Landry, as Orakpo can be a mentor for the rookie.

This Week: Aug. 25 3:00 NFL Network at Pittsburgh Steelers

Brian Robison (DE-MIN)

Last Week: 14-10 loss vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The veteran defensive end is entering his 12th season and is currently the longest tenured Viking on the roster. Robison took a pay deduction in the offseason in order to return this season. He agreed to cut his base salary from $3.2 million to just over $1 million in the final year of his current deal.

This Week: Aug. 24 7:00 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Jordan Hicks (LB-PHI)

Last Week: 37-20 loss at New England Patriots

After playing six snaps last week, Hicks had five solo tackles in a preseason rematch of last years Super Bowl. The injury-plagued middle linebacker is returning from a season-ending Achilles injury.

This Week: Aug. 23 7:00 FOX at Cleveland Browns

Lamarr Houston (LB-FA)

The Bears released the veteran linebacker in the offseason.

Malik Jefferson (LB-CIN)

Last Week: 21-13 win at Dallas Cowboys

In his return home to the state of Texas, Jefferson totaled three tackles.

This Week: Aug. 26 3:00 FOX at Buffalo Bills

Derrick Johnson (LB-OAK)

Last Week: 19-15 loss at Los Angeles Rams

Going from one AFC West team to another, Johnson joins the Raiders after 13 seasons with the Chiefs. His experience and leadership at linebacker will be vital for the young Oakland defense.

This Week: Aug. 24 9:30 NFL Network vs. Green Bay Packers

Sam Acho (LB-CHI)

Last Week: 24-23 win at Denver Broncos

Starting at outside linebacker, Acho had a solo tackle in their win.

This Week: Aug. 25 12:00 NFL Network vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Keenan Robinson (LB-BUF)

Last Week: 19-17 win at Cleveland Browns

The Ex-Giants linebacker signed a two-year contract with the Bills in late July. Returning from a quad injury that held him out for ten games in 2017, Robinson made one solo tackle against the Browns.

Robinson announced his retirement from football after five seasons in the NFL on Thursday afternoon.

This Week: Aug. 26 3:00 FOX vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Duke Thomas (CB-DAL)

Last Week: 21-13 loss vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Battling for a roster spot as the fifth cornerback, Thomas had a solo tackle and a nice 36-yard kick return.

This Week: Aug. 26 7:00 NBC vs. Arizona Cardinals

Adrian Colbert (S-SF)

Last Week: 16-13 loss at Houston Texans

After taking over as the starting free safety last season, Colbert appears to be the guy at that spot heading into 2018.

49ers head coach John Lynch believes Colbert is ready, “[Colbert] came in last year as a special teams player,” Lynch said. “And then injuries gave him the opportunity on defense and he shined in that free safety — the eraser — role, and he did it so well. We think he’ll take the next step. He’s a smart player. He prepares the right way.”

This Week: Aug. 25 3:30 at Indianapolis Colts

DeShon Elliott (S-BAL)

Last Week: 20-19 win at Indianapolis Colts

The college turnover-forcing machine has picked off right where he left off thus far in the NFL. Elliott has ten total tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery through three preseason games.

This Week: Aug. 25 6:00 at Miami Dolphins

Quandre Diggs (SS-DET)

Last Week: 30-17 loss vs. New York Giants

After moving to the strong safety position and succeeding in that role late last season, Diggs has started both preseason games in the same position under new head coach Matt Patricia.

This Week: Aug. 24 7:00 CBS at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Adrian Phillips (SS-LAC)

Last Week: 23-14 win vs. Seattle Seahawks

Phillips had four total tackles in a win.

This Week: Aug. 25 7:00 CBS vs. New Orleans Saints

Kenny Vaccaro (SS-TEN)

Last Week: 30-14 loss vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

To replace injured strong safety Johnathan Cyprian, the Titans signed Vaccaro on Aug. 4. He will join former college teammate Brian Orapko in Tennessee this season as the veteran leaders for a young Titans defense. Vaccaro had two solo tackles in a loss last week.

This Week: Aug. 25 3:00 NFL Network at Pittsburgh Steelers

Earl Thomas (FS-SEA?)

Last Week: 23-14 loss at Los Angeles Chargers

As we approach week three of preseason football, Thomas is still yet to get paid. It’s mind-boggling that the league’s best cover safety isn’t getting what he deserves and this has become a problem for top defensive players.

Fellow teammate Bobby Wagner defended Thomas after speaking with the media and made some vital points for defensive players, “I think you see it a lot right now from the defensive side. You have amazing players that are not getting paid ... and I think at some point you have to make a stand.”

Pay the man or trade him to somebody that wants him.

This Week: Aug. 24 7:00 at Minnesota Vikings

Michael Dickson (P-SEA)

Last Week: 23-14 loss at Los Angeles Chargers

Dickson has secured the Seahawks punting job after two impressive punting performances. He is averaging 51.6 yards per punt on six punts with two downed inside the 20. With Dickson’s emergence, the Seahawks were forced to release veteran punter Jon Ryan.

Dickson has been the best punter in the league through two preseason games by far, scoring an 84.6 PFF grade.

This Week: Aug. 24 7:00 at Minnesota Vikings

Phil Dawson (K-ARI)

Last Week: 20-15 win at New Orleans Saints

Entering his 20th NFL season, the 43-year-old kicker may have to outduel rookie kicker Matthew McCrane for his kicking job. McCrane, a Kansas State graduate, hit a 53-yarder against the Saints while Dawson missed a 46-yarder. Despite the miss, Dawson has been successful on all five other field goal/PAT attempts this preseason and is likely to get the nod barring a rocky finish.

This Week: Aug. 26 7:00 NBC at Dallas Cowboys

Nick Rose (K-HOU)

Last Week: 16-13 win vs. San Francisco 49ers

While Texans starting kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn remains sidelined with an injury, Rose is the guy for now. Last week, Rose connected from 32 yards out for a field goal and missed an extra point.

This Week: Aug. 25 3:00 at Los Angeles Rams

Justin Tucker (K-BAL)

Last Week: 20-19 win at Indianapolis Colts

Tucker was 1-for-2 on field goal attempts last week, connecting from 38 yards out and missing a 59-yarder.

This Week: Aug. 25 6:00 at Miami Dolphins

Former Longhorn teammates Malik Jefferson, Connor Williams and Kent Perkins after last week’s game in Dallas.

*All game times listed under Central Time Zone

**Nationally televised games in BOLD