Danny Trevathan, Bud Dupree, Tim Masthay and Randall Cobb will live to play for at least another week, but here is how things shook out for Wildcat alumni in the NFL in 2016.
Trevathan was the team-leader in tackles for the best defense in the NFL and the #1 overall seed in the AFC. He did all of this despite missing two games with a concussion and losing two teeth during a game against the Chargers. Trevathan swallowed one tooth and spit out the other, but didn’t stop playing. That’s toughness at its best.
Avery Williamson & Wesley Woodyard
How bad were the Titans this year? So bad that their biggest win was getting the #1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Even though the team was terrible, they still had the 12th-best defense in the NFL. Failing to produce offensively was frustrating for the defensive duo, which showed when they got into it with Cam Newton during a touchdown celebration. The Titans have a lot to fix on offense next year, but the defensive will be strong with Williamson, the Titan’s 2015 leader in tackles, and Woodyard as the pillars.
After hitting a mid-season slump, the rookie came into his own at the end of the season, getting nearly half of his tackles and 3.5 sacks during his final four games. Big Z will be one of the Ravens’ premiere pass rushers next season.
After sacking Tom Brady in his NFL debut, Bud struggled to find consistency. He ended the season with six consecutive starts, but his production didn’t meet his expectations. He has another chance to prove himself vs. the Bengals on Saturday.
Winston was a Special Teams player for the Colts, getting 6 tackles on most of their units, primarily playing the role of “gunner” on punt and punt return.
Cobb was expected to have a huge year after a contract extension and the injury of Jordy Nelson, but without Jordy he drew extra attention from defenses that limited his big-play ability. Excluding the 2013 season that sidelined him with injury, he had the fewest yards, catches and touchdowns since his rookie season. His best game came against the Chiefs with 3 touchdowns in the Red Zone.
Tamme isn’t the kind of guy to give you Earth-shattering highlights, but he quietly had one of his best NFL seasons. In his first year for the Falcons, Tamme had a career-high 657 yards and caught the second-most passes in his career, just eight less than he did with Peyton Manning’s Colts in 2010. He was steady and consistent throughout the season, catching about four passes a game. His best game came against the Bucs with 10 catches, 103 yards and a touchdown.
After struggling in San Francisco, Stevie had a bounce-back year in 2015. He averaged about 50 yards receiving per game in a season that was cut short by a groin injury.
After getting only 4 catches in 9 games, he was cut by the Seattle Seahawks. The move turned out to be a positive for Matthews, who was picked up the the injury-prone Ravens. He was quickly thrust into action and progressively improved. He caught a pass in every game, ending the year with a season-high 4 catches for 51 yards.