Ex-Illini in the NFL: Training camp update

Ex-Illini in the NFL: Training camp update

With NFL preseason games starting this week, a look at former Illini competing for roster spots around the league:

Jeff Allen, Chiefs

— Athletic behemoth may move to guard from his tackle position.

Jon Asamoah, Chiefs

— Underrated high school recruit, should start at guard again.

Alan Ball, Texans

— Former Cowboy probably a reserve at cornerback — possibly even nickelback.

Travon Bellamy, Redskins

— College cornerback, this native of the D.C. area hoping to land a spot as a safety.

Arrelious Benn, Buccaneers

— Already in danger of losing his starting spot at receiver, top Ron Zook recruit suffered a knee injury on the first day of practice and will be out for about a month.

Josh Brent, Cowboys

— Pride of Bloomington Central Catholic looks like a lock at backup nose tackle.

Jerry Brown, Colts

— Outside linebacker candidate, a St. Louis native, didn't complete his Illinois eligibility, then tried Arena League, CFL.

Nate Bussey, Saints

— On the active roster at the end of last season, former high school quarterback is fighting for a roster spot at linebacker.

Jack Cornell, Ravens

— Guard/Packers fan living a dream, going from undrafted free agent to practicing with the first unit this week.

Jeff Cumberland, Jets

— Sure-handed tight end is serving as backup to Dustin Keller and no longer forming illegal sideline walls.

Vontae Davis, Dolphins

— First-round pick from D.C., in his fourth season with the Dolphins, once again will start at cornerback.

Dave Diehl, Giants

— Two-time Super Bowl champ, a mainstay on the offensive line, is projected to move from guard to left tackle.

Derek Dimke, Lions

— Beating out ageless kicker Jason Hanson is a big challenge. Better bet is landing a practice squad spot.

Jarred Fayson, Colts

— Receiver has missed time with an undisclosed injury, making it harder for the free agent to stick.

Kelvin Hayden, Bears

— After missing 20 games the last three seasons with the Colts, the now-healthy cornerback is pushing for a starting spot.

Michael Hoomanawanui, Rams

— If he can stay healthy, the athletic BCC product should start at tight end.

A.J. Jenkins, 49ers

— First-round pick will make the team. But 49ers have veteran receivers on hand, including Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham.

Mikel Leshoure, Lions

— If Leshoure keeps his off-field problems in the past, Centennial grad could be the team's primary tailback. He'll sit first two games as part of NFL penalties.

Corey Liuget, Chargers

— First-round draft pick, entering his second year, will start at defensive end and should excel under new coordinator.

Brandon Lloyd, Patriots

— Dinged up enough to miss contact two days this week, Lloyd should be a good fit.

Eddie McGee, Raiders

— Reports indicate he's having a strong camp as a backup receiver.

Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers

— Veteran tailback is recovering from an ACL tear, so the Steelers are taking their time with Mendenhall's rehab.

Whitney Mercilus, Texans

— Coming off 16-sack season, first-round pick projected to play primarily on passing downs as an energized defensive end.

Brit Miller, Rams

— Decatur's finest, a standout linebacker with Illinois, could be the starter at fullback.

Brandon Moore, Jets

— Guard didn't allow a sack last season.

Neil Rackers, Redskins

— Battling someone named Graham Gano for kicking duties. Rackers has 261 career field goals, Gano has 58.

Pierre Thomas, Saints

— Hard to believe former N-G All-State Player of the Year entering his sixth season.

Steve Weatherford, Giants

— One of three punters (Michael Koenen and Todd Sauerbrun) to get franchise tag.

Martez Wilson, Saints

— Saints are moving him from linebacker to defensive end.

Tavon Wilson, Patriots

— Rookie free safety has been able to spend some time with the first unit in drills, should make the final roster.

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports

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IlliniNationsCapital wrote on August 06, 2012 at 11:08 am

Tony Pashos and Danny Clark are still in the league, no?