Now that cut-down day has passed and NFL rosters are essentially in stasis, I’ll give you the complete run-down on Penn State players in the NFL and those who didn’t make it.
You Michael Robinson fans (and who isn’t, after the 2005 season?) will be happy to know that Mike has survived the cut-down and will be third-string on the San Francisco 49ers’ depth chart at running back. It is now up to him to make a place for himself in the NFL. Also with the 49ers, Anthony Adams is now the starting nose tackle. I always mix him up with Jimmy Kennedy, who plays defensive line with the St. Louis Rams.
Cornerback Alan Zemaitis should fit well into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tampa Cover 2 defense, although he’ll occupy a third-string spot on the depth chart at right corner behind Brian Kelley and Juran Bolden. At left corner, Ronde Barber is backed up by Torrie Cox. Zemaitis will have a lot to prove in order to get playing time in this defensive backfield.
After having been cut by Oakland after last season, 12-year veteran quarterback Kerry Collins has signed with the Tennessee Titans. He and Billy Volek will be mentoring rookie Vince Young until the big Texan is ready. Collins is currently listed as third option on the Titans’ depth chart after Volek and Young.
Larry Johnson is probably the most sought after fantasy league player this year after stepping up in a big way when Priest Holmes was injured last season. The Kansas City Chiefs Pro-Bowl running back is expected to tear up the turf again this year. He’ll be joined in Kansas City by first round draft pick Tamba Hali at defensive end, who will start Sunday when he’ll get his baptismal of fire against Cincinnati.
Linebacker LaVar Arrington has leaped from the Washington Redskins to the New York Giants, where he gets a fresh start and (he hopes) more playing time. Big Kareem McKenzie, offensive tackle, will be protecting young Eli Manning for the New York Giants as well. Brandon Short returns at linebacker with the Giants.
Head Coach Marv Lewis had some great things to say about perennial walk-on Ethan Kilmer, who will play safety for the Cincinnati Bengals. Kilmer was an undrafted free agent who made the team.
Our favorite punt returner (yeah, right) Calvin Lowry, will be a safety with the Tennessee Titans this year. Alas, they don’t have him listed as a punt returner. I think Jeff Fisher is a very smart man.
Kyle Brady is still hanging in at tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars after being in the league 12 years.
Number one overall draft pick in 2000 Courtney Brown is starting defensive end with the Denver Broncos.
Eddie Drummond, one of the fastest players ever to don a Nittany Lions uniform, returns at wide receiver for the hapless Detroit Lions.
The Super Bowl runner-up Seattle Seahawks will once again have the services of Bobby Engram at wide receiver.
John Gilmore is back at tight end with the Chicago Bears, where Robbie Gould is the kicker.
Eleven-year veteran Jeff Hartings, Pro-Bowl starting center for the Pittsburgh Steelers returns as a Super Bowl champ.
Tyoka Jackson, who had been with the St. Louis Rams, joins the Detroit Lions at defensive end this year.
Bryant Johnson is one of Kurt Warner’s favorite targets for the Arizona Cardinals. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be one of Matt Leinart’s favorites, too. David Macklin will be back playing cornerback with the Cardinals.
Bhawoe Jue is back for his second season at safety with the San Diego Chargers.
Joe Jurevicius returns home to Cleveland at wide receiver for the Browns, where Shawn Mayer is a safety.
Ironically, Anwar Phillips is now a saint—a New Orleans Saints cornerback. Bryan Scott is a safety with the Saints.
Offensive guard Marco Rivera is back with the Dallas Cowboys.
Tony Stewart, tight end, and Kenny Watson, running back, are both back with the Cincinnati Bengals.
This years NFL entrants who didn’t make it: Chris Harrel, Scott Paxson, Tyler Reed, Matthew Rice and Isaac Smolko. PSU NFL veterans disappearing from NFL rosters this year include Omar Easy, Rich Gardner, Michael Haynes, Kim Herring, Matt Kranchick, Justin Kurpeikis, Jim Nelson, Brandon Noble, and the illustrious Kevin Thompson.