Training camp is opening all around the country. Not just for the 2019 Bearcats but also in the NFL. Over a dozen former Bearcats players are in NFL training camps, either looking to survive cut day, trying to establish their position on the team, or looking to continue their dominance.
Here is a look at what to expect from Bearcats in the NFL in 2019, in what is the first of a series of articles to be posted each week highlighting Cincinnati alumni and their successes each NFL week.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Kelce has developed into the best TE in the NFL. He was named such by NFL Network’s top 100 rankings. He plays for the best offense in football with a QB, Pat Mahomes, who just threw an NFL-record 50 touchdown passes in his first year as a starter. Kelce has three straight years of 80+ catches and 1,000+ yards. He has scored 5 or more touchdowns in 4 of his 5 seasons. Chiefs haven’t made, or won, the Super Bowl in 50 years (1969) and have as good of a shot as they ever have to get back.
Jason Kelce, Eagles
Jason Kelce was voted the top center by NFL Network. Kelce has been the anchor of the Eagles stout offensive line and a leader on and off the field, for a team that won the Super Bowl two years ago. Kelce forever endeared himself to Philly fans and grew his legend with his post game and celebration antics.
Derek Wolfe, Broncos
Wolfe was a second round pick (36th overall) in 2012 to the Broncos and was a member of the Super Bowl 50 championship team. 2018 was the third time in 7 seasons that Wolfe played all 16 games and he has never played less than 11. He recorded just 1.5 sacks (tied for career low) but did snag his first career interception. He will continue to be a key cog in the Broncos defense.
Chris Moore, Ravens
Moore has spent his career near the bottom of the Ravens depth chart. For his career (three seasons) he has played 44 games (starting 4), with 44 catches, 490 yards, 4 TD. Entering 2019, Moore finds himself in a battle for playing time behind rookies Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin, plus veterans Willie Snead, Michael Floyd and Seth Roberts.
Kevin Huber, Bengals
Huber won the Ray Guy Award at Cincinnati and was a 2x All American. He made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and was also named All Pro that season with the Bengals. He has a career punting average of 45 yards per punt and continues to be among the league’s most dominant and reliable punters, even at age 34.
Mike Windt, Chargers
Windt was Huber’s long snapper at Cincinnati. He has spent his whole career with the Chargers, playing 117 games.
Eric Wilson, Vikings
Wilson has played 16 games in each of the last two seasons for the Vikings, starting 4 in 2018. He was largely a special teams guy as an undrafted rookie in 2017 and last year contributed on defense with 42 tackles, 2 sacks and 4 tackles for a loss. Wilson will continue to play behind Eric Kendricks at middle linebacker.
Mike Boone, Vikings
Boone is currently currently competing with Ameer Abdullah for the #3 spot on the Vikings RB depth chart, behind injury prone Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison. Boone carried the ball just 11 times in 2018 as a rookie for the Vikings. 2019 expectations are low as it would take several injuries for him to see significant playing time.
Cortez Broughton, Chargers
Broughton was a beast for the Bearcats, leading a 7th ranked defense in 2018 with 7.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for a loss. Broughton was a 7th round pick by the Chargers int he 2019 draft, the only Bearcat selected. Chargers play a 3-4 style defense and drafted a defensive tackle in round 1, so Broughton will have an uphill battle for playing time and is no guarantee for a roster spot in 2019 either.
Marquise Copeland, Rams
Copeland played next to Broughton in the middle of the Bearcats defense in 2018, and had 7.5 tackles for a loss plus 4 sacks. He is competing for a roster spot with the Rams.
Korey Cunningham, Cardinals
Cunningham started 6 games at tackle for the Cardinals in 2018. He was the 254th pick in the 2018 Draft. Arizona added some reinforcements this off-season and Cunningham is not guaranteed to start. He is currently competing with former first round pick DJ Humphries on the left side.
Parker Ehringer, Cardinals
Ehringer was a 4th round pick in 2016 to the Chiefs. He played 5 games as a rookie (starting 4) and played 1 in 2017 before he was injured. He spent the 2018 season on the Cowboys roster on injured reserved. He is currently in training camp with the Cardinals.
Mike Tyson, Packers
Not related to the famous actor from the Hangover and boxer, Tyson has bounced around to a few teams since being the 187th pick in the 2017 Draft. He has spent time with the Seahawks and Texans and enters 2019 as a member of the Packers. He saw playing time in 10 games for the Texans last season, including 2 starts, deflecting 1 pass and recording 5 tackles.
Lyndon Johnson, Jaguars
Named after the former President, Johnson appeared in 3 games as a rookie for the Jaguars in 2018, recording 3 tackles as an undrafted free agent. Johnson is currently competing for a roster spot in 2019.
Dino Boyd, Chiefs
After being a key member of the Bearcats’ offensive line in 2018, Boyd is competing for a roster spot as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs.
Johnny Holton, Raiders
Holton enters 2019 competing for a roster spot with the Steelers, after spending his first three seasons in the NFL with the Raiders. Holton was mostly a special teams player, but in 2017 saw significant time at WR, even starting one game. Throughout the season he saw 18 targets, caught 9 balls, for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Devin Gray and Khalil Lewis, Falcons
Lewis led the Bearcats in receiving yards in 2017 and 2018, and Gray finished second in his final season in 2017. Both guys are competing for WR5-6 with the Falcons and it’s unlikely either make the team. One (or both) could make the practice squad for the Falcons or perhaps another team.
Connor Barwin, free agent
Barwin spent the 2018 season with the Giants as a part-time rotational player. Between 2011-2017, he recorded 5 or more sacks in all but one season (3 sacks in 2012). He has had a long career with the Texans (4 seasons), Eagles (4 seasons), and Rams and Giants the last two but has yet to sign on for the 2019 season. There were recently rumors he wanted to end his career with the Eagles. He’s clearly lost a step or two, but Barwin can still be a productive player in a part-time situation if someone chooses to sign him.