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Week 8 NFL Practice Squad Power Rankings 2021: Let’s give these wide receivers an opportunity

Observe Squad Broad Receivers Matter. I have to slap that on a T-shirt. Significantly. 

Final night time, in one of many extra compelling Thursday Evening Soccer video games I can bear in mind, the Packers obtained 4 receptions and 30 yards from practice-squad name up Juwann Winfree. These figures got here in a contest that featured an uncharacteristic efficiency from Aaron Rodgers. He completed with a yards-per-attempt common underneath 5.0 for simply the eleventh time in his illustrious tenure because the Packers starter. 

Winfree was the main yardage accumulator on the receiver place for Inexperienced Bay in Week 8, which after all was helped by the truth that Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling had been sidelined. Winfree’s effort piggybacks off last week’s illumination of more-than-just-capable observe squad working backs, and boils all the way down to this — ancillary manufacturing within the NFL will be generated by easy alternative.

Plug in your hungry observe squad wideout who’s been going laborious throughout the week, give him some seems to be as both the primary or second learn on a cross play, and he’ll make an influence. Belief me. 

Due to this fact, to push ahead the Observe Squad Receivers Matter motion, I am giving a bit of further consideration to these wideouts patiently ready on observe squads throughout the league, who I’m completely constructive might present, on the very least, a Winfree-esque efficiency if referred to as upon. 

Dazz Newsome wants an opportunity in Chicago. He ascends the rankings this week as a result of, effectively, the Bears have to do issues in a different way on offense. My 4 12 months previous can see that. And Newsome is a younger quarterback’s finest good friend. He can get open in a rush beneath, and his YAC talents can flip three-yard routes into 10-yard features. 

I really feel equally about Seahawks rookie receiver Cade Johnson, and the way he might assist Seattle’s anemic Geno Smith-led assault. He is a compact, artful route runner with simply sufficient juice wanted to generate sizable features on high-percentage throws. 

Added to The PSPR for Week 8 is Kawaan Baker of the Saints, a seventh-round choice in April. The Saints are one other NFC workforce that, my phrase, should make some modifications offensively. They’re unrecognizable. The Bears are averaging 124.4 passing yards per sport, which looks like a misprint. The Saints are thirty first in passing yards per outing, at a pedestrian 176.2. Sean Payton can’t be joyful. 

And hats off to New Orleans for grinding out wins throughout this aerially challenged interval. However they’ve the Buccaneers, Payments, and Cowboys inside their subsequent six video games. They’ll have to crank issues up on offense or they will get their doorways blown off. 

Heading into the weekend, THE CALL — call-ups from The PSPR listing — stays at 5. We have hit a bit of snag. Derrek Tuszka in Pittsburgh. Hjalte Froholdt from Houston to Cleveland. Cam Lewis with the Bills. Kenny Robinson and James Wiggins final week. 

In case you hear of a PSPR member getting The Name, alert me @ChrisTrapasso on Twitter, and be at liberty to make use of the hashtag #PSPR. Thanks prematurely. Your subsequent drink’s on me. As a refresher, groups can have as much as 16 gamers on the observe squad with as much as six “veterans” on it, gamers with no limitations as to their variety of accrued seasons within the NFL. 

In a way, I am working the Observe Squad Energy Rankings parallel to the NFL. Which means, as was the case final 12 months, I am not going to characteristic “veterans.” To proceed to take care of the PSPR’s sterling integrity, I am going to solely be together with practice-squadders who’re rookies, second-year gamers, or third-year gamers. That is it. 

And as you may see beneath, I could not resist rating extra gamers, given the rise in observe squad sizes this season. To remain consistent with the league’s determine, I hope to write down about 16 people each Friday: 10 formally within the rankings and 6 honorable mentions. 

Haynes was Seattle’s fourth-round choose in 2019, and after starting his rookie season on PUP on account of a sports activities hernia surgical procedure, he was thrust onto the sector within the Seahawks’ wild-card spherical win over the Eagles in Philadelphia. And he seemed stable! He spent most of final season on IR with one other damage, however he is wholesome now and was dominant — largely towards backups — within the preseason. Plus, he examined like a highly explosive guard prospect on the mix. 

I had a fourth-round grade on Inexperienced only a few months in the past. He checked many of the bins I’ve for a mid-round blocker who can are available and begin instantly. And he tested like a high-caliber athlete. For causes unbeknownst to me, Inexperienced went undrafted. However he protected like a — you guessed it — early Day 3 choose within the preseason with one allowed strain on 43 pass-blocking snaps. Naturally, the Texans launched him on cutdown day, as a result of Houston is totally set on its offensive line and does not want any younger and proficient blockers. Yeah proper. 

It should take greater than a first-year reduce for me to drop my #TrustTheTape draft crush from the 2021 class. He recovered from a damaged collarbone early within the offseason to get restricted reps within the preseason. Get Newsome within the slot and let him work, Nagy. 

Snowden is impossibly lengthy at over 6-foot-6 with 34-inch arms. He is basically the scale of a few of the longer offensive tackles within the NFL, besides he is most likely enjoying someplace within the 240s. So he clearly wants so as to add weight. However Snowden understands easy methods to use his size to maintain blockers from obliterating him. At Virginia, he had 28.5 tackles for loss in his ultimate three seasons. The Bears have two high-end edge gamers in Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn. However Snowden is usually a hybrid overhang participant to create much more mismatches for Chicago’s protection. 

The Payments grabbed Lewis from close by College at Buffalo throughout the undrafted free company frenzy instantly following the 2019 draft. And he is quietly gone about his enterprise in two preseasons by permitting simply 91 yards on 10 receptions, and he is clung to a practice-squad spot in Buffalo as a result of he is a super-steady tackler in area. Head coach Sean McDermott loves that from his corners. 

6. Cade Johnson, WR, Seahawks

The Seahawks are the Patriots of the NFC in that they adore late-round and undrafted free agent receivers. Johnson would be the subsequent against-all-odds story in Seattle, a small, crisp route-runner who’s feisty after the catch and hauls in every thing thrown in his course. Sound like every just lately productive Seahawks receiver?

Doaks’ yards-per-carry averaged dipped in every of his three seasons with the Bearcats, however the 5.9 yards-per-carry clip as a freshman signifies he is had “it” from a younger age. And his movie was loaded with critically highly effective finishes by means of contact. Plus, he is a dependable receiver, and the Dolphins make the most of their backs as pass-catchers usually. 

With J.J. Watt out for the monstrous Week 8 outing, why did not Arizona give Carter a shout? I do know, they do not play the very same positions, however the Cardinals wanted as many pass-rushing our bodies as they may get for his or her matchup towards Aaron Rodgers. The Name was by no means made, and, Arizona misplaced. SMH. Carter has the girth, leverage, burst, and simply sufficient pass-rush strikes to be a productive contributor Arizona. I am very excessive on him. 

Brown had an extended and illustrious profession at UAB. He introduced a stable 4.7 yards-per-carry common in 858 carries throughout 4 seasons into the NFL. He is a hybrid-type again who’s not extremely shifty nor overwhelmingly highly effective, however there’s some juice in his decrease half and he can sometimes make deal with makes an attempt look extraordinarily weak. 

10. Kawaan Baker, WR, Saints

Baker had three years of solid-albeit-unspectacular manufacturing at South Alabama however didn’t get named to the hometown Senior Bowl. However at his professional day, he obtained everybody’s consideration, working 4.45 with a 39.5-inch vertical and 129-inch broad leap. His gradual three-cone positioned him within the second percentile amongst receivers over the previous 21 years, however the explosion that was evident on vertical routes and in contested-catch conditions in faculty was clear at his pre-draft exercise. 

Honorable Point out

David Moore, G, Browns

Moore is a mauler with a pure heart of gravity offensive line coaches dream about throughout REM sleep. He was slightly below 6-2 and 330 kilos at his professional day earlier than the draft. After a blinding profession at Grambling State, Moore obtained a Senior Bowl invite and thrived in Cell. He isn’t going to be probably the most athletic blocker should you’re working a zone scheme, however he is fast sufficient off the ball to be efficient on hole runs, and he is very near being NFL robust already. Plus, no defensive deal with goes to rise up and beneath him to drive him into the quarterback. 

Elijah Holyfield, RB, Bengals

Holyfield averaged 4.6 yards per keep on 20 totes this preseason in Philadelphia and 4.0 yards per with the Panthers in 2020. He is a compactly constructed, decently shifty again with gentle ft and good imaginative and prescient. The Bengals backfield’s a bit of banged up proper now. Holyfield may also help. 

Olaijah Griffin, CB, Payments

I had a late fifth-round grade on Griffin after a gradual profession with the Trojans in Southern California. He had 9 cross breakups in 2019 and three extra in a shortened 2020 marketing campaign. He is a fluid mover with severe placing means when planting and driving on the soccer. 

Javian Hawkins, RB, Rams

Within the preseason, he amassed 97 yards on 20 carries with a rating, and three of these 20 carries went over 10 yards. And it isn’t as if he is solely a low-volume scat again with improbable velocity. Hawkins toted the rock 264 occasions at a 5.8 yards-per-carry clip in 2019 at Louisville. He performs larger than his dimension too. 

Stephen Sullivan, TE, Panthers

Sullivan was buried on the receiving pecking order at LSU, and the Seahawks tried to morph him right into a defensive finish after selecting him within the seventh spherical two years in the past. Again to his pure place in Carolina, Sullivan has an opportunity to make a splash and not using a bunch of stars in entrance of him. He is 6-5 and 248 kilos with 4.66 velocity and a catch radius the scale of a Chevy Tahoe.

Tyrone Wheatley, OT, Giants

I am fascinated by Wheatley’s journey, from marquee tight finish recruit — who was huge coming into the Michigan campus — to beefed up offensive deal with. The tight finish to deal with converts are at all times compelling to me as a result of the I do know athletic traits wanted to excel blocking on the sting are there. 

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