Lorenzo Alexander, linebacker for the Buffalo Bills. Alexander made the Pro Bowl last season. This year he will serve as the backup for Preston Brown in Buffalo.
Keenan Allen, wide receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers. Allen got hurt early in 2016 and is prepared for a bounceback campaign. Prepare your fantasy rosters accordingly.
Tyson Alualu, defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Alualu is in his eighth NFL season and signed a two-year deal with the Steel Curtain. More from Jeremy Fowler on ESPN:
But managing the stress from the perception that you're a bad draft pick actually helped fuel Alualu's longevity, despite a lengthy adjustment.
"It probably did turn into stress, hearing people say he's not playing how he should play as a top-10 pick," Alualu told ESPN. "A lot of people don't understand what you do go through, injuries, things that you face. It was tough. You have to stay true to who you are."
C.J. Anderson, running back for the Denver Broncos. Anderson outbattled Jamaal Charles to remain the starting rusher in Mile High. The Ron Gould lineage remains strong.
It’s not a surprise that the Broncos are going to need Anderson to be successful. They realized his value when they signed him to a four-year, $18 million contract extension prior to the 2016 season. He’s a difference maker, and to understand his importance to the Broncos you don’t have to look any further than Denver’s offensive numbers after Anderson went down with a meniscus injury ended his season after just seven games.
Stephen Anderson, tight end for the Houston Texans. Anderson had a great rookie campaign and is looking to avoid a sophomore slump. More from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:
"In your second year, you know the routes. I feel a lot better. You know what questions to ask. You always try to get better every single day."
Bryan Anger, punter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ANGER SMASH LIONFISH. More on his spearfishing skills:
Anger, who set Bucs single-season records for punting average and net punting average last year, could be seen diving in and spearing a lionfish, then later clipping off its venomous spines.
"They left a lot out, but we had a good time though," said Anger, 28, who signed a five-year, $17-million extension late last year. "I have a neighbor who dives a lot, so we had a 32- and 33-foot boat out there, really calm seas. Just the ride out, we went out probably 30-40 miles. It was a really fun day."
Deandre Coleman, defensive tackle for the Buffalo BIlls. I’m not sure what happened, but Coleman is a Bill now! More on how he made the team.
Deandre, I’m glad you asked about him. He’s a good case study. You take a look at where he was back in the spring weight-wise and just in his effort as well and then you see how he finished training camp and how he came along in the preseason. [He’s] a really good story, a guy who has really bought into the message that Mike Waufle is delivering in that defensive line room and what we’re trying to get across from a defensive standpoint.
Chris Conte, safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Conte is likely to start for Tampa this year, but the recent signing of T.J. Ward might change things up.
Trevor Davis, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers. Davis just made a roster spot again, and is likely to be Green Bay’s regular punt returner.
Jared Goff, quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. Is this the year Goff makes the leap? More from Thomas George at SB Nation:
Goff at Cal came from an offense where they ran as many plays as they could — fast. Jared in college did an amazing job of throwing a true ball off balance, under duress, making things happen. You knew the speed of the NFL would throw that kind of timing off. But he still throws a true ball. The Rams wanted to rewire him to what? I watched the Rams offense last season. It was awful football. There was nobody there on that staff that could teach him, develop him. You have a high-value guy like that and he went to the worst offensive place, the Rams
Chad Hansen, wide receiver for the New York Jets. Hansen didn’t just make the roster immediately, he might end up getting real playing time.
DeSean Jackson, wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jameis Winston has needed a deep threat. Is Tha1 the man to bring Tampa that explosiveness?
I just go out and try to do me. I don't mimic or mock anyone else. Go out and be DeSean Jackson day in and day out and come to work with the same attitude and don't accept no for an answer. They said you couldn't do this. Prove to them you can do it. That's the mentality I have every time I have an opportunity to go out on the field and beat a defender or score a touchdown and beat the odds, that's what I'm doing, going out there to beat the odds.
Marvin Jones, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. Jones got high marks from the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.
"He does a nice job with his body control, man," Stafford said. "His body control is pretty outrageous. By the sidelines, he's always got a knack for finding a way to get that last, little foot in or whatever it is. He did it again tonight with the fade.”
Cameron Jordan, defensive end for the New Orleans Saints. Cam keeps on making Pro Bowls (three in four years), and no one ever talks about him. Danny Kelly of the Ringer does!
By that standard, Jordan was among the elite last year. There’s no one official “pressure” statistic, but a few outlets track a number of subjective metrics for affecting the quarterback. The Football Outsiders Almanac credited Jordan with 52 quarterback hurries (second in the NFL), 19 quarterback hits (sixth), and 27 quarterback knockdowns (eighth), while Pro Football Focus had him with 79 pressures (tied for fifth) on the year. Whichever metric you choose, the numbers all confirm what our eyes see: that Jordan is a consistent disruptor and havoc-creator in the backfield. Oh, and by the way, he was just as good against the run, finishing tied for the league lead in tackles for a loss and tied for fifth among edge defenders in defeats.
Mychal Kendricks, linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles. Kendricks is in a weird situation. He asked for a trade from Philadelphia, but the Eagles denied it. Philly still can trade him, but he had a good preseason. What to do?
L.P. Ladouceur, long snapper for the Dallas Cowboys. There will always be a Stark in Winterfell. There will always be a Cal long snapper in the NFL. Maybe even two!
Daniel Lasco, running back for the New Orleans Saints. Lasco had another strong training camp, and he is on the 53-man roster.
"You kind of feel like an outcast," he said. "It's tough on anybody being hurt. Being in that spot, in that position, I learned a lot from it, and I don't want to be back in that position again."
Marshawn Lynch, running back for the Oakland Raiders. Marshawn is back for at least a year in the Bay. What comes after this though?
Alex Mack, center for the Atlanta Falcons. Mack is ready to get Atlanta back to the Super Bowl. Despite Matt Ryan earning MVP, Mack feels the Falcons offensive line can get even better at protecting him.
“Pass protection-wise, I think Matt got hit a couple too many times last year so really trying to work on the firmness of the pocket,” Mack said of areas he wanted to improve upon. “As a unit, [we’re] trying get the pass protection really solid.”
Chris McCain, defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers. McCain is back in California on the same team with his buddy Keenan, and might become a great pass-rusher.
Stefan McClure, safety for the Washington NFL football team. Wow! McClure came out of nowhere to have a strong preseason and make the 53-man roster in the nation’s capital.
The journey for McClure to secure a spot seemed unclear when he parachuted into Richmond a week through training camp. Having to pick up the system quickly and adapt on the fly, without any offseason program with Washington, McClure adjusted rapidly and made plays in each preseason game.
Brandon Mebane, defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers. Mebane pointed out to a critical issue many African-Americans face in Los Angeles when he was denied opportunity to housing because of race.
The football star, who plays on a $13.5 million contract, hoped to rent a home in Irvine, not far from where the Chargers would practice and play, but says his application was denied. In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, Mebane explained that the owner denied his application because another renter had a credit score four points higher than his. He believes, however, that the rejection of his application had little to do with a credit score.
Hardy Nickerson, linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals. Nickerson just managed to make the 53-man roster! Congrats Hardy!
Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is a quarterback who plays football who is very good at playing football. Check out this profile from Mina Kimes at ESPN.
We talk about his friend and former Cal teammate, recently retired Patriots and Chiefs lineman Ryan O'Callaghan, who came out as gay in June. In an interview on OutSports.com, O'Callaghan described how he feared coming out, even contemplating suicide for years. "I'm incredibly proud of him," Rodgers says. "I know he had a lot of fear about it, and how he would be accepted, and how people would change around him. I think society is finally moving in the right direction, as far as treating all people with respect and love and acceptance and appreciation. And the locker room, I think the sport is getting closer."
Richard Rodgers, tight end for the Green Bay Packers. Rich Rod had his best camp this year and is ready to step up in his fourth season.
Mitchell Schwartz, offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. Schwartz had a candid conversation with CBS Sports about how he recovers. Some good stuff about the mindset of the Cal offensive line great.
The biggest thing for me is to get to training camp already in shape. A lot of the smaller, nagging injuries and lack of performance I think come from a lack of conditioning.
Nick Sundberg, long snapper for the Washington NFL football team. LONGSNAPPERU.
Shane Vereen, running back for the New York Giants. It sounds like Vereen will remain the primary pass catcher for the Giants out of the backfield, a role he’s done pretty well at in his time in the league.
Davis Webb, quarterback for the New York Giants. Webb led the third most important game-winning drive in Giants history against the Patriots! Check out his preseason moment.