With the final week of the NFL Preseason upon us, WVUPros have a few things to prove before the regular season begins.
From making the final roster, to being on the practice squad, to earning a starting role for their teams, these players all have something to prove in their final week of auditions.
The first thing to watch for is which players will make the final cuts. A few WVUPros are on the brink of making the final roster, or the practice squad.
Smith, who went undrafted, signed a contract with the San Diego Chargers. Smith ran for a three yard touchdown in his second preseason game and ran for a twenty yard gain last week on his one touch. Smith has had a good preseason but is still fighting to be on the practice squad. With a solid final outing Smith will put himself in good position to make the final cuts or make the practice squad with an opportunity to show what he can offer, and work himself onto the 53-man roster.
Spain has been playing on the offensive line with the Titans during the preseason and approaches the last week of the preseason with a good shot of making the roster. Last week, Spain endured the first round of cuts while the Titans let go of other offensive linemen and chose to kept Spain. This week will be important for Spain and gives him one final chance to prove what he has to offer on the line.
The next thing to watch for this week is how players with solid spots on the roster will be used in the upcoming season. Week 4 of the preseason usually is the week where teams put their true game plans to work and get the players they expect to see on the field playing time.
Clarke played a lot in last weeks game for the Bengals, playing in over 50% of the defensive snaps. Now that we are into the final week we should get a better feel for how Clarke will be used in the upcoming season for the Bengals. With a solid spot on the roster, Clarke should expect to play more than he did in the last game, and solidify himself as part of the rotation on the defensive line.
Keeping the Cincinnati theme, the Bengals 7th round pick this season has been producing in a number of ways for the Bengals this preseason. Alford has acted as the return man for the Bengals, while also getting carries on end-around. He had one catch in last week’s game against Chicago, and is solidifying his role as a speedy playmaker who can make plays in multiple ways. This last week for Alford will provide a glimpse into his rookie season, which he can expect to get the ball in creative ways and make plays in all facets of the game.
Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey
Neither player received touches in their preseason game against the Colts, but both players will have impacts on the Rams passing game this season. The duo should benefit from a new offensive scheme, and will look to break onto the scene this season. This final week will be instrumental to how the Rams plan to scheme, and get these two the ball during the regular season.
Sims, who has been tagged as a player primed for a breakout season, should expect more touches in the Bucs final preseason game against the Dolphins. Sims, who is in a battle for the starting running back job, has received less touches than Doug Martin, but Sims is more versatile than Martin and has more to offer in the passing game. Sims will be a great receiving running back for rookie Jameis Winston to lean on in the passing game, and a reliable target on third down.
The Packers offensive lineman has struggled at times this preseason, but has received praise from starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers throughout the process. Barclay, who is the 6th man on the offensive line, has played Left Tackle for the Packers through the last two games. This is not his natural position, but he still should expect playing time at all positions on the offensive line. The Packers consider him to be very versatile, and he will be able to fill the holes for the Packers if they have injuries in the upcoming season.