Jared Goff was outstanding, Cameron Hood was impressive in his first professional game and Jordan Kunasik played in a game just three days after signing. These are the headlines about former California players in the NFL’s first full weekend of exhibition games.
This weekend isn’t about the stars, and several notable former California players such as Aaron Rodgers, Marvin Jones Jr. and Keenan Allen did not play.
We focus on those competing for a starting job or fighting to make the regular season roster. So we’ll take a look at those former Golden Bears in the exhibition games that ended before Saturday afternoon. (We’ll update with important news during Saturday night’s games.)
–We reported Davis Webb’s game with the Giants earlier, but the Ravens’ Patrick McCurry played in Thursday’s other game. McCary (Calif., 2015-17) is listed as a cornerback on the Ravens’ depth chart, but he was the starting center in Thursday’s 23-10 win over the Titans because first-team center Tyler Linderbaum was sidelined with a foot injury. McCarry played just nine plays Thursday and could return to guard when Linderbaum returns.
– Linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk (California, 2016-2018) was signed by the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday and will be in an exhibition game against Jacksonville three days later. He made two tackles, played 19 tackles on defense for the Browns, and had one tackle and one tackle, played eight special teams games. He was not in the starting lineup and has a good chance of making the regular season lineup. He’s not even on the Browns’ depth chart yet.
— Jared Goff (California, 2013-15) will be Detroit’s starting defensive end this season, and he played only in the Lions’ opening drive against the Browns on Friday. On that one possession, he completed 3 of 4 passes for 41 yards on a 79-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. Not bad.
— Falcons safety Jaylin Hawkins (Calif., 2015-2019) worked with the first-team defense during training camp, but he did not go to Friday’s exhibition game against Detroit, apparently because of a calf injury.
– Falcons linebacker Kuoni Deng (California, 2019-21), signed by Atlanta as an undrafted free agent in the spring, made 28 tackles on defense and eight on special teams in Friday’s 27-23 win over Detroit . He made two tackles in the game – one on defense and one on special teams. He’s listed as the Falcons’ third-team outside linebacker, so he needs to impress the coaches.
— Cardinals veteran tight end Steven Anderson (Cal. 2013-15), who is in contention for a spot on Arizona’s 53-man roster, had 10 snaps on offense and four on special teams in a 36-23 win over Cincinnati, but he not have any gears thrown his way.
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— Ashtyn Davis (California, 2015-2019) is fighting for a starting position, but he did not start in Friday’s 24-21 win over the Eagles, although he did play. He made 15 plays on defense and made two tackles, but he also made nine plays on special teams and made a tackle on that unit. If a player plays on special teams during the preseason, that means he’s unlikely to become a starter. Davis started 16 games in his first two NFL seasons.
— Veteran tight end Richard Rogers II (Calif., 2011-13) hopes to make the Eagles’ regular-season roster and played 16 snaps and caught the only pass thrown to him for six yards against the Jets. He also played one game on special teams. Rodgers is listed as the fourth tight end on the Eagles’ depth chart along with two other players, so he faces a challenge.
– Linebacker Cameron Hood, who was drafted by the Dolphins in the seventh round last spring, did not start in Saturday night’s 26-24 win over the Buccaneers, but he was impressive in his first professional game, though and before the season. competition. Hood had six tackles, including five solo stops, and recorded a pass defensed and a fumble recovery. Two of his receptions came in pass coverage, limiting pass catchers to 5 yards combined, and he was in coverage on an incomplete pass. The big question about his professional future was where he was in pass coverage. He has some work to do to make the regular season roster because he doesn’t appear on the Dolphins depth chart at all.
— Cornerback Josh Dryden (California, 2016-2021), who was signed by the Washington Commanders as an undrafted free agent in the spring, played in Saturday’s 23-21 loss at Carolina, but he did not record any stats. Dryden is listed as the third-team cornerback on the Commanders’ depth chart.
–Safety Elijah Hicks (California, 2017-2021), a sixth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in this year’s NFL draft, played on both defense and special teams in a 19-14 win over Kansas City. He had two tackles on defense and one on special teams. The Bears’ depth chart lists him as the third-team cornerback.
Jared Goff Cover by Kirtmon F. Dozier, USA TODAY NETWORK
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