Entering NFL week 1, here is a look at Cincinnati Bearcats in the NFL in 2019. Come back each week for an updated on how your favorite former Bearcats are performing at the highest level.
Travis Kelce, TE, 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, C, 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, DT, 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, WR, 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, P, 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.
Eric Wilson, LB, 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 opens up 2019 as the #2 WLB, behind Ben Gedeon.
Mike Boone, RB, Vikings
Boone earned the #3 spot on the Vikings RB depth chart with an outstanding pre-season. He was the second leading rusher in the NFL with 196 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and 2 touchdowns, plus a receiving touchdown.
He will start the season behind injury prone Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison. Boone carried the ball just 11 times in 2018 as a rookie for the Vikings. The expectations for him in 2019 remain low as it would take several injuries for him to see significant playing time.
Cortez Broughton, DT, 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, behind first round pick Jerry Tillery.
Korey Cunningham, OT, Patriots
Cunningham started 6 games at tackle for the Cardinals in 2018. He was the 254th pick in the 2018 Draft. He was recently traded to the Patriots for a future late-round draft pick and he will serve as depth for the champs.
Justin Murray, OL, Cardinals
After trading Cunningham to the Patriots, Cardinals essentially swapped him out for Murray, who was an undrafted free agent in 2016. Cardinals are the 6th franchise he has been a part of and is nothing more than a depth piece entering 2019.
Marquise Copeland, DT, 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 will open 2019 on the Rams’ practice squad.
Johnny Holton, WR, Steelers - Holton enters 2019 as a member of the Steelers practice squad, after being part of the final cuts last weekend. He spent 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.
Kahlil Lewis, WR, free agent - Lewis led the Bearcats in receiving yards in 2017 and 2018, After being cut by the Falcons during training camp and signed with the Seahawks in late August, before being part of the final cuts. It’s possible Lewis resurfaces on someones practice squad.
Dino Boyd, OL, free agent - After being a key member of the Bearcats’ offensive line in 2018, Boyd was cut by the Chiefs at the end of training camp.
Connor Barwin, DE, 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.
Mike Windt, LS, free agent - Windt had been the Chargers long snapper since 2010 but was cut in late August. Windt was the Bearcats long snapper for Kevin Huber.