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Bulls in the Pros: NFL Cutdown Day

For some former Bulls it was just another Sunday, but for others it was a chance to latch on to a practice squad.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday was the deadline for NFL teams to cut their roster down to 53 players, and a few Bulls made the cut, while others will be looking for a new home.

Though it should be mentioned that in the initial days after roster cuts, NFL GMs still make a lot of moves with trades, waiver claims and more, so these could change rapidly in the next week or so.

But for now, let’s see where former USF players in the League ended up heading into the 2020 season.

Jason Pierre-Paul- Tampa Bay Buccaneers OLB

One of the few ex-Bulls who was virtually guaranteed a roster spot, JPP had a very productive season last year even while missing six games. This will be his 11th season in the league, but even at that advanced age he played a pretty high number of snaps and was second on the team in sacks with 8.5. Coming off a minor knee procedure, he might not see as many snaps as last season, but he’s still expected to be a major factor in the Bucs pass rush.

Austin Reiter- Kansas City Chiefs C

Reiter, who started every game for the Chiefs during their Super Bowl season, is still listed as the projected starting center. And why wouldn’t he be? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling- Green Bay Packers WR

Valdes-Scantling’s production was underwhelming, just 26 catches, 2 TD and under 500 yards on the season, but there is reason for optimism heading into his third pro campaign.

Toward the end of training camp Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said MVS has been the most impressive wideout in camp. Obviously Devante Adams is WR1 in Green Bay, but if Valdes-Scantling can continue his training camp production, he might solidify himself as a consistent option and take the team’s passing game to another level.

Marlon Mack- Indianapolis Colts RB

Marlon Mack’s production continues to increase each year, eclipsing 1,000 yards for the first time in his short career last season. Mack was last season’s feature back, so he was a safe bet to make the roster. However, he might not get as many touches in 2020.

The Colts drafted former Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor, who did unspeakable things to the USF defense last year. Taylor was obviously a generational talent in college, but Mack has had consistent production at the pro level. Still, Taylor and Mack are projected to split carries, so his production this year will probably be based on matchups, or riding the hot hand.

D’Ernest Johnson- Cleveland Browns RB

USF’s junkyard dog is back in the dog pound for 2020. Last year he played all 16 games, but mainly as a special teamer, only getting four rush attempts and six receptions all season. He also worked a little bit in the return game, getting two returns for a total of nine yards. He’s projected to sit third on the depth chart behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Barring injury, Johnson will probably be a consistent special teams contributor this year, and not much else.

Deadrin Senat- Atlanta Falcons DT

Senat has had a tough go of it in his first two NFL seasons. As a third-round pick in 2018, he has decent production in his rookie year. But last season, he only saw action in two games and was a healthy scratch for the majority of the others.

Though he made the initial 53 man roster, reports coming out of Falcons camp say that Senat will be buried deep on the depth chart. Atlanta jut drafted a DT in the second round of the 2020 draft, which cuts into his projected snap count even more. Still, he could rotate in on the DL and make a name for himself

Mike White- New York Jets QB

White, who transferred to Western Kentucky after his two seasons at USF, was originally cut by the Jets on Saturday but was brought back Sunday afternoon. White, along with QB David Fales were both signed to the Jets practice squad.

One of them will presumably be elevated to the active roster and serve as the Jets backup in week 1 against the Buffalo Bills as Joe Flacco works his way back from the neck injury he suffered last season.

Mazzi Wilkins- Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB

Wilkins, who saw action in five games last year after being elevated from the practice squad, was released Saturday. Though he has once again been brought back to be on the practice squad.

Deatrick Nichols- CB, Free Agent

Nichols had one of the most productive careers for a CB in XFL history. His hometown Miami Dolphins signed Nichols three weeks ago but the team cut him last week.

Rodney Adams- WR Chicago Bears

Adams, who retired briefly to pursue an acting career, was signed by the Bears just two weeks ago. He was cut on Saturday, but it seems like he did enough to earn a spot on the practice squad. Though there have been no official reports yet, his Instagram story showed him back in the Bears’ facility Sunday afternoon.

Mike Love- Buffalo Bills DE

Love was on Injured Reserve with Buffalo during 2019, and just missed out on a spot on the 53 man roster this time around. However, the Bills clearly believe Love has potential, as they signed him to the team’s practice squad once he cleared waivers.

Love played in three games, recording five tackles for the Bills in 2018.

Mitchell Wilcox- Cincinnati Bengals TE

Wilcox was offered a spot in camp with the Cincinnati Bengals but was waived on Saturday.Sunday afternoon he signed to Cincinnati’s practice squad…..Thanks, Sterlin.

Bruce Hector- Carolina Panthers DT

Hector, was waived by the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, but was signed to their practice squad once he cleared waivers Sunday. Hector spent the last two seasons yo-yo-ing back and forth between the Eagles practice squad and active roster

Quinton Flowers-QB, All of our hearts and souls

It is a crime against humanity that Flowers didn’t even get an invite anywhere. Shame on you NFL. He’s still QB 1 to