Team of the Preseason: Second Team
It’s not long to go now until we get to the stage of meaningful action. But just because we’re excited about that doesn’t mean we should neglect the preseason.
Indeed we’ve been grading every player on every play of every game. Want to see? Well you just need a year-long PFF Premium Stats subscription, and then you’ll get yourself access to this preseason, the upcoming season and all our historical grades dating back to 2007.
For now get a small glimpse with our team of the first three weeks of preseason – this time looking at the guys who were playing once the starters came off the field. (…and see the ‘starters’ on their team, here)
Quarterback: Matthew McGloin, OAK (+7.4)
While he’s been the victim of some drops, McGloin hasn’t let it bother him with some crisps displays that show he may have a future in this league greater than the role of No. 3 quarterback.
Honorable Mention: Blake Bortles, JAX
Running Back: Cyrus Gray, KC (+4.1)
Gray might be an afterthought when you’ve got Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis on the roster, but he certainly made an impression with his 134 yards on 26 carries, earning our top rushing grade of all running backs.
Honorable Mention: Devonta Freeman, ATL
Tight End: Travis Kelce, KC (+5.0)
While Kelce spent some time with the starters, the majority of his impressive preseason came rolling with the 2’s. And impressive it was. More yards than any other tight end and the only one to get triple digits after the catch.
Honorable Mention: Chase Coffman, TEN
Wide Receivers: Brian Tyms, NE (+5.5), Corey Washington, NYG (+4.0) and Brice Butler, OAK (+3.4)
With too small a sample size for any of the second-string fullbacks, an extra receiver included here. That meant room for Butler who has more yards from the slot than any other receiver in preseason. Outside of him, Washington and Tyms were no-brainers with dynamic preseasons that should have secured roster spots.
Honorable Mention: Allen Hurns, JAX and Ryan Broyles, DET
Tackles: Ryan Harris, KC (+4.8) and Cameron Fleming, NE (+4.2)
You rarely get bad play from Harris, it’s more a case of him being able to handle a full workload with a history of back problems. Playing on the more unfamiliar left side, he’s delivered again. Fourth-rounder Fleming could prove useful insurance for the oft-injured Sebastian Vollmer.
Honorable Mention: Carter Bykowski, SF and Sam Young, JAX
Guards: Matt Tobin, PHI (+8.5) and Travis Bond, SL (+3.9)
The Eagles continue to produce line talent, with Tobin having a fantastic preseason. He’s unlikely to feature this year barring injury, but he looks like an able backup to have on hand. Outside of one sack given up, the seventh-rounder Bond has likely ensured himself of a roster spot as he’s rarely put a foot wrong.
Honorable Mention: Gabe Jackson, OAK and Dennis Kelly, PHI
Center: Eric Kush, KC (+4.7)
Something to be said for development. Kush looked terrible last year in preseason but the former sixth-rounder has taken a big step forward in 84 snaps this year. Patience is a virtue, you know.
Honorable Mention: David Molk, PHI
Click over to Page 2 for the Defense…
We put forward a hybrid defense that features two edge rushers (4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers), three players on the “interior” of the defensive line (3-4 defensive ends or defensive tackles) and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive Interior – Ends: Zach Kerr, IND (+7.0) and Landon Cohen, BUF (+7.7)
The undrafted free agent out of Delaware has made his presence felt in the run game and rushing the passer, with the best grade of any 3-4 defensive end in preseason. He’s a keeper. Cohen might not be the flashiest name out there but he’s pushed himself into contention to be a part of the Bills’ rotation as he’s reuniting with Jim Schwartz brings out the best in him.
Honorable Mention: Julius Warmsley, HOU and Tyrunn Walker, NO
Defensive Interior – Nose: Kendrick Ellis, NYJ (+3.2)
You won’t get a lot of standouts from a nose tackle in preseason but Ellis has reinforced the idea that in any other team, he’d be a more than capable starter.
Honorable Mention: Mike Purcell, SF
Edge Rushers: Ethan Westbrooks, SL (+11.8) and Brandon Graham, PHI (+6.5)
Perhaps the standout undrafted free agent, it’s hard to envisage Westbrooks doing anything other than locking up a roster spot with a dominant preseason where he’s shown the versatility to line up at end or tackle. Graham continues to be on the outside looking in, but whenever he takes the field he makes plays.
Honorable Mention: Margus Hunt, CIN and Shelby Harris, OAK
Linebackers: Henoc Muamba, IND (+5.7) and Jason Trusnik, MIA (+5.6)
Former CFL star Muamba has shown a knack for making plays, proving very able at generating pressure which is a handy skill to have. He might be a project worth putting some serious work into. Trusnik spent some time with the starters and solidified his status as a guy who can come in and do a job in addition to working on special teams.
Honorable Mention: Chris McCain, MIA and Akeem Jordan, WAS
Cornerbacks: Davon House, GB (+6.6) and Darrin Walls, NYJ (+6.2)
The Packers aren’t short on defensive backs so it was vital for House that he made his 63 defensive snaps count. Five pass break-ups against five completions allowed is a good way of doing that. Walls keeps on hanging in with the Jets, impressing in preseason once again and making a strong case for some regular-season playing time.
Honorable Mention: Bashaud Breeland, WAS and Tyler Patmon, DAL
Safeties: Cooper Taylor, NYG (+4.1) and Malcolm Bronson, KC (+3.7)
The Giants’ 2013 fifth-rounder impressed so it’s shame the team had to put him on injured reserve today. Over in KC, Bronson hasn’t really built on that fantastic first week showing, but the undrafted free agent from last year has made a case for a roster spot.
Honorable Mention: Earl Wolff, PHI and Josh Aubrey, CLV
Given the more isolated nature of specialists, we’ve pushed all of our nominations into the first-team piece you can read here.
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