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Cats in the NFL

Jon Toth Not “Fully Healthy” Prior to NFL Draft?

@Jtoeth

@Jtoeth

Well this one’s really starting to be a head scratcher…

Jon Toth has yet to find a home in the NFL. After being projected as the 4th best center available in the 2017 NFL Draft, BBN was shocked to see Toth passed up 253 times. He was almost certain to be selected by somebody. However, here we are the morning after the draft, and now we have reports that Toth may not be “fully healthy”?

As surprising as it was to see him go undrafted, conflicting reports of Toth signing with the San Francisco 49ers have us even more confused. JD Harmon and Boom Williams were quickly signed, as teams immediately hit the undrafted free agent market upon the Draft’s conclusion.  Jon Toth had apparently signed with the 49ers during this rapid process, but NFL insider Ian Rapoport shot that down.

Then this morning, ESPN’s Field Yates says that Toth “will soon be fully healthy” and sign with a team soon.

This tweet even had our very own Freddie Maggard scratching his head…

There were no injuries publicly announced prior to the NFL Draft, but regardless of what it is, it seems to have hurt Toth’s chances of being drafted. You hate to see such a talented young man get passed up. Hopefully, whatever it is keeping Toth below 100%, it heals quickly and we can see him starting at Center once August rolls around.

We will keep you updated as soon as we hear anything, hopefully with news that Toth has signed with another team.


Boom Williams climbs up Mel Kiper’s big board

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The biggest name in NFL draft coverage has Kentucky’s own Boom Williams moving up his board on draft day.

Mel Kiper, the king of the draft, ranked Williams at No. 150 in his final rankings, which would be a fifth-round selection if the rankings hold up. That’s Williams’ best projection to date and the only one that has him anywhere close to being drafted.

Unfortunately, Kiper lists Jon Toth as his No. 278 overall prospect, which would mean undrafted for the former Wildcat center. Toth’s projections are all over the place, ranging from fourth-round pick to not selected. Toth is No. 169 in Todd McShay’s final rankings.

Neither Wildcat is expected to get picked up tonight or tomorrow, but Saturday is a big day for their football futures.

[ESPN: Mel Kiper’s Final Big Board]


The NFL Draft starts tomorrow, but don’t expect to hear any UK names until Saturday

The NFL Draft begins tomorrow night, but before you plan your night around it, one, don’t because it’s the most boring television event ever; and two, you probably won’t hear any Kentucky players’ names called until Saturday, which is when the fourth through seventh rounds take place.

Yesterday, ESPN’s Todd McShay ranked Jon Toth the fourth best center in the draft, which would be good enough to get him drafted in the fifth round. What about Boom Williams? McShay ranks him the 30th best running back in the draft, likely to go off the board in the seventh and final round. Those are the only two Cats listed in McShay’s rankings.

Meanwhile, McShay’s colleague Mel Kiper ranks Toth the sixth best center, Boom the 21st best running back, and JoJo Kemp the 60th best running back in the draft. Here’s hoping all three find a home, even if it means on a practice squad.

Good luck, boys.

[ESPN]


Toth a fourth-rounder in new NFL mock draft

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

The NFL Draft is only days away and your University of Kentucky Wildcats football team has one former player who is a sure-fire pick in the draft: the one and only Jon Toth, center extraordinaire.

In a new mock draft for FoxSports.com, draft guru Peter Schrager has Toth going in the fourth round to the Carolina Panthers with the 115th overall pick, some nine spots ahead of Wyoming’s Chase Roullier, another center in the draft.

FoxSports.com’s fourth-round projection for Toth is one of his better projections out there as many others — almost all, in fact — have him slotted in the fifth, sixth or seventh rounds.

The good people at ESPN.com do not have a mock draft deep enough to project where Toth will go, but the website considers him to be the fourth-best center in the entire draft and the No. 170 available prospect.

If Toth does go in the fourth round or drop to one of the later rounds, he will have to wait until Saturday to hear his name called. This year’s first round is held Thursday evening, followed the second and third rounds on Friday.

If I’m him, I keep a close ear by the phone Friday night.


Via 247Sports

Happy Birthday, Winston Guy!

 

Via 247Sports

Via 247Sports

On this day, we’re wishing a happy birthday to one of the best Kentucky defenders in recent memory, Winston Guy. Guy was a 4-year contributor for the Cats, named to the 2nd-team All-SEC in his senior year, before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.

Hopefully, some of our current crop of Cats can follow in Winston’s footsteps. So happy birthday, Big Guy. Here’s a funny video of you jumping ridiculously high:

@JayWinkKSR


Stevie Johnson is back on the market

Stevie Johnson is back on the market

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Some unfortunate news today for one of our favorite football Cats. Veteran wide receiver Stevie Johnson was released by the San Diego Chargers today. Stevie has been with the Chargers for two years, but battled injuries throughout his time there, only appearing in 10 games in the 2015 season, hauling in 45 catches for 497 yards and three TDs. He was poised for a big year in 2016, but suffered a knee injury in training camp and had to miss the entire season.

Before playing in San Diego, Stevie spent a year with the San Francisco 49ers and six seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Over his career, he’s had 381 catches for 4,764 yards and 34 touchdowns. Hopefully he can find a new home soon.

 

You can’t say “Stevie” these days without adding “got loose,” so let’s watch his famous catch vs. Louisville in 2007:

 


AP Photo - Chris Keane

It’s almost time for Super Bowl LI(t), will Jacob Tamme get a ring?

AP Photo - Chris Keane

AP Photo – Chris Keane

It doesn’t matter if you’re rooting for the cheaters up North or the Cinderella story from the South, we can all come together for one thing today: Jacob Tamme.

The tight end won’t be playing in the game due to a season-ending shoulder injury from week 8 against the Green Bay Packers, but he will be cheering from the sidelines in Houston at 6:30.

So grab your buffalo dip and queso, get a spot on the couch and buckle in for what is sure to be one heck of a night. Make bets with your friends on the over/under of how many times “deflategate” will be mentioned, watch some overhyped commericals, prepare for the hot mess that is sure to be Lady Gaga’s halftime show and depending on the outcome, get photoshop ready for the inevitable crying Jordan/Roger Goodell memes if the Patriots pull it off.


Jason Getz - USA Today Sports

Taking a look back on the NFL season for former Cats

Jason Getz - USA Today Sports

Jason Getz – USA Today Sports

Jacob Tamme (Tight end), Falcons- Super Bowl 11-5

Tamme suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in week 8 against the Green Bay Packers and had to have surgery to repair it. Before getting sidelined, the tight end was tied for the Falcons’ second best scorer with three touchdown and fourth best with 22 receptions for 210 yards.

Bud Dupree (Linebacker), Steelers – AFC Championship loss to Patriots 11-5

Before getting trampled by the Steelers in the AFC Championship, Bud Dupree was having quite the season. Only playing in seven games after coming off an injury, Dupree combined for 24 tackles (only two less than his season total for 19 games last year) and 4.5 sacks.

Randall Cobb (Wide Receiver), Green Bay – NFC Championship loss to Falcons 10-6

David Welker | Getty Images

David Welker | Getty Images

Like Dupree, Randall Cobb and Green Bay ended their season in a blowout loss to the Falcons. Missing some regular season games due to injury, Cobb had a solid season with 870 receiving yards including seven touchdowns and 87 yards rushing.

Larry Warford (Guard), Detriot Lions – Lost to Seahawks in Wildcard Weekend

Warford started in all 15 games that he played in this season, however the Lions allowed for 40 sacks this season.

Za’Darius Smith (Linebacker)/Chris Matthews (Wide Receiver) Baltimore – Didn’t make playoffs

Smith: Combined for 20 tackles.

Matthews: Was on injury-reserve list, did not play. Entering post-season as a restricted free agent.

Wesley Woodyard (Linebacker)/Avery Williamson (Linebacker), Titans – Didn’t make playoffs

@UKStoopsTroops

@UKStoopsTroops

Woodyard: Combined for 57 tackles, 1 interception for a 21 yard takeback.

Williamson: Combined for 103 (!) tackles.

Danny Trevathan (Linebacker), Chicago Bears – Didn’t make playoffs

Appeared in nine games in his first season in Chicago and combined for 66 tackles.

 

Josh Forrest (Linebacker), LA Rams – Didn’t make the playoffs

Played in 10 games for the Rams first season in LA, combined for nine tackles.

 

Corey Peters, Arizona Cardinals – Didn’t make playoffs

In 15 games for the Cardinals, he had 21 tackles.

Stevie Johnson – San Diego (LA) Chargers – Didn’t make playoffs

Suffered season-ending knee injury in training camp.

 


Despite injury, Jacob Tamme making the most of the Super Bowl

Despite injury, Jacob Tamme making the most of the Super Bowl

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@LevineToilolo

If you’re a Kentucky fan, you should be cheering for the Falcons on Sunday night, not only because the Patriots are smug cheaters but because former Cat Jacob Tamme will be on Atlanta’s sideline. Tamme has been sidelined with a shoulder injury for half of the season, but he still made the trip to Houston with his team and, judging by his Twitter account, is making the most of the experience. Check out Tamme’s view of the send-off the Falcons got as they left Atlanta on Sunday:

Today was Media Day at the Super Bowl, and with few reporters hanging out at the Injured Reserve table, Tamme did a Q&A with fans on Twitter:

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Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 2.59.35 PM

Tamme even tackled the toughest question of them all: is a hot dog a sandwich?

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Agreed. Glad that shoulder’s feeling good enough to hoist the Lombardi Trophy Sunday night.


Farrington Huguenin signs a deal with the Steelers

Good news: former Kentucky defensive end Farrington Huguenin just signed a reserves/future contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Huguenin was picked up by the Miami Dolphins after going undrafted last May, signing a three-year, $1.62 million contract; unfortunately, Huguenin suffered an ankle injury in early August and was waived. At Kentucky, he played in 48 games, recording over 90 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two recovered fumbles. He’ll join fellow former Cat Bud Dupree on the Steelers’ roster.

Congrats, Farrington!


Former Cats Prepare for NFL Conference Championships

nflcats

Are you ready for some football!? 

Welcome to Championship Sunday! The NFL’s best four teams are about to kickoff, playing to earn their spot in Super Bowl 51. Fortunately for the BBN, both games will feature former Wildcats.

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The first match-up will be the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers & the Atlanta Falcons. Randall Cobb has been a man on a mission during the 2017 playoffs, as he looks to continue his success against the Falcons’ defense. Cobb has 12 catches for 178 yards and three touchdowns so far this postseason. He had an amazing game against the Giants two weeks ago, where he caught all three touchdowns, one of which on a crazy “hail mary” pass.

Earlier this week, Falcons’ safety Ricardo Allen praised Cobb for his abilities on the field:

“He can do it all. He can get in the backfield. He was an ex-quarterback, so he can do double passes. He can play running back. He can play slot. He can play inside; he can play outside. He’s a screen guy. Just looking at him a little bit on TV, he kind of reminds me a little bit of Antonio Brown. He’s a good route-runner with good hands and a good intermediate guy. But he can also take you deep. He’s a short and deep-ball threat. He’s probably one of the best wide receivers Poole will go against this whole year.

While Allen mentioned rookie cornerback Brian Poole would be covering Cobb, it now looks like that task will move to Jalen Collins. With the Packers’ Jordy Nelson out with injured ribs, Cobb becomes their number one receiver. You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on #18 today.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the field, Jacob Tamme will be sitting on the Falcons’ sidelines. Tamme suffered a season-ending shoulder injury back in November, after being a contributing player in Matt Ryan’s passing game.

The NFC Championship begins at 3:05 pm ET, with live coverage of the game on FOX.

The AFC Championship game will immediately follow the NFC’s. In this hard-nosed match-up, we have the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the New England Patriots. Much like Cobb, Bud Dupree has emerged as a major contributor for his team in the postseason. So far, Dupree has 10 combined tackles and one-half sack in the playoffs, but it’s his pressure on the QB that’s been crucial.

Who could forget that vicious hit on Matt Moore of the Miami Dolphins? Even though it was ruled illegal, it’s this style of play that gains attention around the league. Believe me, Tom Brady knows who wears #48 in black & yellow.

Speaking of Tom Brady, the Texans were able to pressure the elite QB into making mistakes last week. The Steelers’ 3-4 defense hope to continue that pressure. Dupree has been watching the tape, trying to learn how he can rattle the Patriots’ QB in similar fashion:

“We watched it, but they’re probably prepared for that so we probably have to take different angles,” Dupree said. “They’re too good a team to let something like that repeat. They do a lot of great things to systematically try to prevent him from being touched. You got to man-up and win your 1-on-1’s.”

The AFC Championship is set to kickoff at 6:40 pm ET, live on CBS.

Good luck to our former Cats!


Photo:247Sports

Bud Dupree making plays for the Steelers

 

Photo:247Sports

Photo:247Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs are just starting the second half of the final playoff game of the weekend, and the Steelers are up 12-7 at this point. Former Cat Bud Dupree is a part of a very athletic Steelers’ defense and he has already been making things happen tonight.

Dupree has only two tackles through half of the game, but he also has a QB hit that led to an interception for Pittsburgh. Take a look at the big play for Dupree below.

Dupree also made a nice play on a quick screen pass, getting the deflection.

And in case you missed it earlier, our own Haley Simpson did a short write up on how Bud Dupree’s teammate refers to him as a different species for his athleticism on the field. Give it a read here.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Randall Cobb is moving on in the playoffs!

Randall Cobb is moving on in the playoffs!

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For all of you who have been living under a rock for the past few hours, the Green Bay Packers and the Dalls Cowboys just put on a show in the first of two NFL playoff games. Green Bay ran out to a 21-3 lead before Dallas battled back to tie the game twice within the last four minutes. Dallas kicked a field goal with 35 seconds left to tie the game, but those 35 seconds were entirely too much time to write Aaron Rodgers off.

Rodgers led the Packers into field goal range despite running into a 3rd down and 20+ yards to go on the wrong side of the 50 yard line. The following play was one of the most clutch throw and catch plays I’ve ever seen. Check it out below.

The following play was a 51-yard field goal attempt by Mason Crosby that looked like it would miss wide-left, but straightened out and stayed between the uprights, remiscent of Austin Macginnis’ kick against Florida a few years back. You can compare the two yourself.

As for former Cat Randall Cobb, he finished with 7 catches for 62 yards. Those stats include this catch along the sideline as he barely keeps himself in-bounds.

The Packers move on to the next round of the playoffs to take on the Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the Atlanta Falcons.

In the second game of the night, the Steelers are currently taking on the Chiefs in Kansas City. Bud Dupree and company are looking to advance to take on the Patriots in the next round of the playoffs.

Go former Cats. Win rings.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Mitch Stringer - USA Today/Joe Robins - Getty Images

Watch former Cats in the NFL playoffs tonight

Mitch Stringer - USA Today/Joe Robins - Getty Images

Mitch Stringer – USA Today/Joe Robins – Getty Images

It’s been a good week for some former basketball Cats and now its time for some former football Cats to do their thing in tonight’s NFC and AFC divisional games.

First at 4:40 p.m. on FOX, Randall Cobb and the Green Bay Packers will be taking on my boys from Dallas. As much as I love Cobb and Aaron Rogers, I’ve been a Cowboys fan since birth and I want nothing more than some revenge from 2015s NFC divisional game.

Following that at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, watch Bud Dupree and the Steelers annihilate the Kansas City Chiefs in the last AFC divisional round.


John Calipari on Bud Dupree’s performance yesterday: “He was ridiculous”

John Calipari on Bud Dupree’s performance yesterday: “He was ridiculous”

Wild Card Round - Miami Dolphins v Pittsburgh Steelers

If you missed yesterday’s Steelers/Dolphins game, you missed Bud Dupree’s bone-crushing sack of Matt Moore, which went viral:

Okay, so, yes, that was an illegal hit and Dupree was flagged for roughing the passer, but, thankfully, Moore came back in after missing only one play. John Calipari saw the play in person at Heinz Field, and said it was one of many on a “ridiculous” day for the former UK linebacker.

“Bud Dupree – whew! Let me say this: They had to drag him off of the field like four different times. He was fighting everybody: officials, the other guys, the linemen. He was ridiculous.”

Seeing the Steelers win to advance to the divisional round was a special moment for Cal, who told reporters today that he couldn’t even get a ticket to a game as a kid.

“Look, when I grew up, I could not get into Steelers games. I couldn’t get into a Steeler game. I took my dad to a game and we walked out on the field with Marvin (Lewis) and Mike (Tomlin), and my dad as we’re walking off says, ‘We couldn’t get a ticket to these games. We’re at midfield right now.’ So I had an opportunity to go to the game and see my Steelers. And boy did they play good.”

If you’re one of those people worried that ‘Calipari’s watching football and not caring about our boys!’, well, don’t. Cal said he was invited to the Steelers’ game in Kansas City this upcoming Sunday, but declined.

“It’s just too much. This was an easy thing for me.”