The NFL kicks off the preseason with the inaugural Hall of Fame game featuring the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons this year. There are no players from UK on either roster so we will have to wait until next week to start seeing some of our guys fighting for playing time and roster spots. They typically only play starters two or three series in the first week and that progresses until the fourth week in which the younger players get their chance to show how much they’ve picked up this summer. Below is a breakdown of where each Kentucky player currently on a roster stands on their respective unofficial depth charts:
There are a couple of Wildcats wearing different uniforms this season in Randall Cobb and Za’Darius Smith. Cobb has impressed with his ability to improve his chemistry with Dak Prescott this offseason. Smith is coming off his best year with 45 total tackles and 8.5 sacks. He will be a big part of the Packers pass rush this year. I expect much of the same from the other vets on the list above with hopes Bud Dupree can improve on his sack total in Pittsburgh.
Both of these guys listed above have the ability to get more minutes this season with strong performances in the preseason games. I fully expect Josh Allen and Mike Edwards to be starters by the end of the season, maybe even on week 1!
Reserves (3rd team or lower)
For these guys, this offseason is a chance to gain minutes and move up the depth chart. For some like Westry, Huguenin, and Baker the hopes of making the final 53 man roster is what will be driving them. Conrad, Snell, Johnson, and Big George have all had great training camps and should be able to move into some roles with big minutes.
There are some names not on this list that could end up getting signed during the preseason or right before the bulk of the games next week. Jordan Jones and Darius West had some tryouts and it doesn’t seem as they were able to stick just yet. Hopefully these two end up making rosters and getting a chance to showcase their abilities in front of the world. Jeff Badet is an interesting story, obviously he transferred away from Kentucky, finishing his college career at Oklahoma. He went undrafted and was picked up by the Vikings after last years draft. In week 2 of the preseason he suffered a concussion thanks to a helmet-to-helmet collision and spent the entire year last season on the practice squad. This year he’ll look to remain healthy and try to earn his roster spot.
In any event, FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!!! Tonight’s game can be seen on NBC at 8 PM.