BLACKSBURG – The NFL preseason has come to an in depth, with the ultimate games for teams ending this past Sunday, and plenty of former Virginia Tech football players stood out in the course of the three weeks of the preseason schedule in August.
For a breakdown of how certain Hokies faired on their respective teams last month, read Thursday’s edition of NFL Hokies, presented by Coca-Cola.
Rookie Lecitus Smith is the lone Hokie to crack Arizona’s 53-man roster in 2022. The Cardinals took the 6-foot-3, 320-pounder at No. 215 overall within the sixth round of this past April’s NFL Draft. He worked primarily as a guard on the offensive line for the Cards.
A two-time All-ACC honorable mention selection during his time at Tech, Smith impressed many during this past preseason, earning him a spot on the 53-man that possesses just nine offensive linemen.
Safety Tae Daley also represented the maroon and orange well after a robust showing in preseason camp through which he recorded 14 total tackles. But was unable to make the ultimate roster cut after signing on as an undrafted free agent.
When taking a look at the heyday of Virginia Tech football that spanned over a decade plus in the course of the height of the Frank Beamer era, there have been a mess of things that gave the Hokies their identity. After all, special teams must be thrown in the combo. But remember about “DBU,” a longstanding tradition that has continued to reign true when taking a look at the very core of Tech football.
No less than in the interim, a sprinkle of that coveted tradition has made its way up north to Baltimore, where Chuck Clark and Kyle Fuller are able to suit up within the Charm City.
A recent addition to the purple and black, Fuller recorded an interception within the only game he appeared on this past August, and now returns to his roots in his hometown of Baltimore with sights set on becoming a staple within the Ravens’ secondary.
Same may very well be said for Chuck Clark, who enters his sixth season with the team since being a sixth-round draft pick back in 2017.
For quite a while now, it seems the Virginia Tech-to-Buffalo connection has appeared to have run strong, and this season isn’t any exception.
The Bills possess two Hokies on their initial 53-man roster, with former first-round pick Tremaine Edmunds highlighting the pair. The Danville, Virginia native enters the 2022 campaign already as a two-time Pro Bowler in only 4 seasons on the skilled level, and is poised for an additional monster 12 months on the linebacker position for Bills Mafia.
Tim Settle also takes his talents as much as upstate Latest York after inking a two-year cope with Buffalo this past offseason. The 6-foot-3, 313-pounder is coming off a season through which he notched 13 total tackles and 4 tackles for loss in a solid 2021 while suiting up for the Washington Football Team.
Luke Tenuta and Raheem Blackshear each made strong pushes to make the ultimate cut, particularly Blackshear. The undrafted free agent caught some eyes over the past month when he rushed for 2 touchdowns across 209 yards throughout the preseason, making a serious case for why the Florida product should crack the 53-man. Blackshear’s efforts weren’t a complete lost cause, though. The rookie running back was signed to the Bills’ practice squad. So, he’ll be sticking around in Orchard Park.
Punched it in! 👊
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 13, 2022
2022 NFL draftee Amarè Barno is the one former member of the maroon and orange to be employed by the Carolina Panthers.
The Blythewood, South Carolina native gets the chance to remain home to begin off his skilled profession, impressing in preseason camp in a small sample size before being limited after suffering a hamstring injury just a bit of over per week ago.
Barno left Tech having recorded 9.5 sacks over the course of the past two seasons, and has shown flashes the last six months as to why he could be a productive defensive end within the NFL, including an incredible 4.36-second 40-yard time on the NFL Mix that was the fastest by a D-lineman since 2003.
For the ninth straight season, Virginia Tech football finds itself represented within the Windy City with the Chicago Bears.
Kyle Fuller occupied the defensive secondary for quite a while at Soldier Field, and now he’s passed the torch to Khalil “Juice” Herbert, a record-breaking running back in his only season suiting up with the Hokies back in 2020.
The 5-foot-9, 212-pounder rushed for a solid 433 yards with two touchdowns a season ago, while also adding 14 receptions that were good for 96 yards in an try to showcase his versatility out of the backfield.
Herbert looks to proceed to solidify himself as a serious contributor in each the running backs room and the kick return game in 2022, and is poised to achieve this together with his immense speed, vision and athleticism which have continued on since Blacksburg.
Cornerback Greg Stroman also had a pleasant showing in preseason camp. But will ultimately must look elsewhere after narrowly missing out on the 53-man cut.
It’s hard to check where the Cleveland Browns could be offensively without Wyatt Teller. The 2018 fifth-round select of Tech has definitely made a reputation for himself within the NFL as a star offensive tackle. A 2021 Pro Bowler and two-time second-team All-Pro, Teller comes into 2022 loads richer than he was a 12 months ago.
Signing a four-year, $56.8 million-dollar contract extension back in November of 2021, the Manassas, Virginia product will remain in Cleveland until 2025 – something Browns fans must be thankful for.
Undrafted free agent Brock Hoffman just missed joining Teller within the offensive line room on the energetic roster. A fan favorite during his time with the Hokies, many thought Hoffman would earn his way onto the 53-man roster after a formidable preseason camp. Alas, the 2021 All-ACC honorable mention pick will probably be left on the practice squad after barely being left on the surface looking in.
The pride of Big Stone Gap, Virginia has made it to the Motor City.
A sixth-round draft pick on this past 12 months’s NFL Draft, tight end James Mitchell, or “The Governor,” as the parents in Blacksburg would call him, is about to embark on his rookie campaign in 2022 with the Detroit Lions.
Opening eyes throughout his collegiate profession, Mitchell was all the time thought to be a possible starter on the NFL level. And while he’ll must proceed to work his way up through the ranks with three other tight ends currently sitting on the roster, the 6-foot-4, 249-pounder has all of the tools to be a productive member of Detroit’s tight ends room.
Mitchell, one other fan favorite during his time within the Latest River Valley, finished his profession with the Hokies with a 26-reception, 435-yard and four-touchdown season in his final full 12 months with Tech in 2020. And with the rookie’s untapped potential that continues to be talked about across the league, do not be surprised if he regains his 2020 form coming off a season-ending injury in 2021.
Green Bay Packers
2019 undrafted free agent Yosh Nijman continues to be on Green Bay’s roster for the fourth consecutive season after a solid profession with the Hokies that ranged from 2014-18.
An offensive lineman out of Latest Jersey, Nijman is the lone Tech alum represented on the Packers’ roster in 2022.
After being up and down from the practice squad to the energetic roster throughout his first few seasons playing up within the Badger State, Nijman has found his area of interest up front these past couple of years. And with the 6-foot-7, 314-pounder’s continued productivity in that spot through the years, there is not any signs of that changing anytime soon.
Cornerback Brandon Facyson has found a recent home.
A former undrafted free agent out of Tech following the 2017 campaign, Facyson has bounced around a bit of bit with successful stops with each the Los Angeles Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders. And after a solid 2021 season through which he tallied 55 total tackles highlighted by his first profession interception, the Jacksonville, Florida native has now taken his talents to the Crossroads of America hoping to proceed to raised his NFL profession.
Facyson’s college teammate, Isaiah Ford, also was thought to have had a shot to crack the 53-man roster after spending the preseason with the Colts. But he’ll be forced look elsewhere after just missing the cut prior to the beginning of the regular season.
Luke Tenuta has since been picked up by Indianapolis since being cut by the Bills, so the 2021 All-ACC honorable mention honoree will find yourself getting his shot with the Colts on the 53-man for his rookie 12 months in 2022.
Las Vegas Raiders
It’s hardly ever that such a robust prospect at one position on the collegiate level can switch positions so effortlessly and never skip a beat when moving as much as the NFL. But for the Las Vegas Raiders’ Divine Deablo, that is exactly what got here to fruition.
A star safety in his time at Tech after converting from the wide receiver room to safety and playing from 2016-20, Deablo capped off his time in Blacksburg together with his best season yet. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina product recorded 55 total tackles, 4 interceptions and a fumble recovery, cruising his technique to first team All-ACC.
Since joining the skilled ranks, Deablo hasn’t skipped a beat, adding 45 total tackles a season ago in his rookie campaign while moving to the linebacker position in Vegas. A former third-round pick back in 2021, the 6-foot-3, 226-pounder is now poised to proceed to construct on his solid start within the NFL, in search of an enormous role with the Raiders in 2022.
You may’t mention the 2021 NFL Draft without mentioning offensive lineman Christian Darrisaw.
The No. 23 overall pick just a bit of over a 12 months ago, Darrisaw was the second Hokie to be picked in a row, immediately following Caleb Farley’s selection at No. 22 overall to the Tennessee Titans. A 6-foot-5, 315-pounder out of Petersburg, Virginia, Darrisaw got here to Virginia Tech having held no other FBS offers. Flash forward three years later, and the now-Minnesota Vikings star was a first-team All-ACC selection and had a straightforward call to declare early for the NFL Draft.
Since reporting to the skilled level, Darrisaw has continued to shine, navigating around a groin injury that kept him sidelined within the early portions of the season, and producing solid results as a rookie starter up in Minnesota.
— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) October 19, 2021
Latest York Giants
It’s hard to not take into consideration Virginia Tech football without pondering of Tyrod Taylor. The previous ACC Player of the 12 months with the Hokies in 2010 has had quite the NFL profession, bouncing around handling the starting job at 4 different stops with a Super Bowl and Pro Bowl so as to add to his resume, too. That just highlights his lengthy stint on the skilled level. Now at 33 years of age, Taylor is about to start his twelfth NFL season because the No. 2 quarterback with the Latest York Giants.
Just signed to a two-year deal this past offseason, the Hampton, Virginia native is coming off of a preseason through which he accomplished 22 passes on 36 attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown before an injury-shortened camp.
Even with coping with a back injury after sustaining a robust hit within the preseason finale just below per week ago, Taylor is not expected to miss a major period of time. And has been listed on the Giants’ 53-man roster to begin off the 2022 campaign.
Latest York Jets
Speaking of somebody who won multiple ACC championships, Duane Brown returns for a fifteenth season within the NFL and this time with the Latest York Jets after prolonged stays in each Houston with the Texans and Seattle with the Seahawks.
Currently the longest-tenured Hokie within the league, Brown inked a two-year contract with the Jets this past offseason in hopes of extending his skilled profession. And now at 37 years old, the Richmond, Virginia product is now primed for an additional solid season, trying to add a sixth Pro Bowl to his resume.
One other one-man show resides in Pittsburgh, where former first-round pick Terrell Edmunds prepares to enter his fifth season as a starting safety for the black and gold.
The brother of fellow former first-rounder and current Buffalo Bills star, Edmunds returns to the Steel City having accomplished a good 2021 campaign.
Totaling 89 total tackles with a sack and two interceptions a season ago, the 6-foot-1, 217-pounder has change into a reliable piece during his time in Pittsburgh, continuing to prove that in preseason camp with eight total tackles in only three games played.
There was loads of hype about cornerback Caleb Farley after his first-round selection back in 2021 across the Music City, and for good reason, too.
Picked at No. 22 overall, the Maiden, North Carolina native unfortunately handled a season-ending ACL tear last October that sidelined him for the ultimate 13 games of the 12 months. So, there’s definitely a chip on Farley’s shoulder to prove how worthwhile he can really be when the lights come on in only a number of weeks.
The 2019 first-team All-ACC member played in all three preseason games for Tennessee throughout the month of August, so Farley needs to be good to go per week from now when the Titans’ kick off the season at home against the Giants.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 18, 2022
It’s hard to seek out a team that possesses more Virginia Tech football grads than the Washington Commanders do. The truth is, you possibly can’t. The burgundy and gold will feature three Hokies on their 53-man roster, including tight end Logan Thomas, cornerback Kendall Fuller and placekicker Joey Slye.
Thomas, a former quarterback during his time in Blacksburg, has reinvented himself right into a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end on the skilled level. The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder caught 18 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns in only six games played in 20201 before being sidelined on account of injury. And now fresh off the Injured Reserve (IR) list that kept him out of the preseason in 2022, Thomas has positioned himself to get back to the extent he could be at, as shown during his previous two seasons within the nation’s capital.
Fuller, a former Super Bowl champion with the Kansas City Chiefs, returns to Washington coming off a 2021 season with 77 total tackles, a sack and an interception, and hopes to proceed to be a mainstay within the Commanders’ secondary for the upcoming campaign. Meanwhile, Slye, a former undrafted free agent, went 3-for-4 in field goals this past preseason with an extended of 44 yards.
The previous four-year starter at Tech is coming off a wonderful 2021 season through which he booted through 23 kicks in 25 tries, maxing out at 56 yards in the method. The Stafford, Virginia product looks to duplicate an identical showing in 2022, and proceed to be considered one of the more trusted starting kickers within the league in his second season up in D.C.