As we prepare to indulge in countless hours of football (and more football), some of our very own former Bulldogs are perfecting their skills through workouts and training camps for their NFL debuts.
Cornerback Darius Slay, drafted by the Detroit Lions, has made some impressive moves during the Lions' training camp this week. After CB Ron Bartell got sidelined with a shoulder injury, Slay received first-team reps and got a little time to shine. The rookie could find himself starting across the line of scrimmage from WR Calvin Johnson for the remainder of camp. Head Coach Jim Schwartz said that Slay is on the right path and needs to stay there. He also said that Slay catches on quickly and matches up well with many different types of receivers. Slay and his fellow Lions received more high praises from the head coach during a successful training camp. Could the rookie CB secure a starting spot?
Jim Thorpe award winner Johnthan Banks surprised many people when he was not drafted in the first round, but the second. Tampa Bay picked him up in the second round, seven spots after his teammate Darius Slay was selected by the Lions. A lingering knee injury is believed to be the cause of his surprisingly low 40 yard run time at the NFL combine, resulting in his late draft. With 16 career interceptions with the Bulldogs under his belt and a fully recovered knee (hopefully), Banks is expected to measure up to the hype this year. Early in Tampa Bay's training camp Banks recorded his first interception and an impressive pass break up. He told the Tampa Bay Tribune that he has latched on to veteran CB Darrelle Revis during camp and will continue to look to him for pointers while trying to advance to a more prominent role on the field.
Other rookies to keep an eye out for:
LB Cameron Lawrence (DAL) : Likely to land a spot on the Cowboys' practice squad, the advice to Lawrence has been to get bigger and stronger if he wants to make the cut on a 53-man team.
DE Josh Boyd (GNB) : Weighing in at 310, Boyd is more than capable of contributing to the weak spots in Green Bay defense. He may fill in as a rotational player before playing a bigger role later in his career..
WR Chad Bumphis (MIA) : Looking to make the team out of the slot position, early reports have been good for Chad.