Tuesday, August 25, 2009
A look at some long shots
By Paul Kuharsky
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
A quick trip around the division to consider some long shots who've looked good. Rosters get cut from 80 to 75 on Sept. 1, then to 53 on Sept. 5.
Free safety John Busing is a big hitter and a solid special teamer. Does he have enough upside at a questionable position for the Texans to keep him over a veteran like Nick Ferguson or Brandon Harrison, a fifth-rounder from 2007?
I also heard good things about defensive end Tim Jamison, who's got some likeable rush skills.
Two receivers have created a little bit of a buzz. And it wouldn't be a big surprise if Glenn Martinez or Darnell Jenkins make the team, especially if the Texans find another punt returner and decide they're done with Jacoby Jones.
Cornerback Jacob Lacey has gotten his hands on a lot of balls and could prompt the Colts to keep him at the back end of their cornerback group. Might he stick ahead of Dante Hughes or prompt them to go heavy at the spot?
Linebacker Ramon Humbler has shown promise and can be a good special teamer.
The last receiver could be one of two relative unknowns. Both Brett McDermott and John Matthews are quiet and go unnoticed until the ball comes their way, then they catch it. Both are more quick than fast and they are roughly the same size at about 6-0, 200.
Chad Simpson and Lance Ball are likely going head to head for the final running back slot, but neither qualifies as a long shot.
Word is that receiver Nate Hughes has moved beyond long shot and is early assured of a spot. He could rank as high as fourth now, and could make the team at the expense of one of the three draft picks. Or maybe that means Mike Thomas (groin) to IR?
Linebacker Russell Allen was the team's primary target among undrafteds and looks to have a great shot of making the roster.
Longer shots? Michael Desormeaux could oust Marlon McCree as a reserve safety or Pete Ittersagen could overtake Scott Starks as a reserve corner.
A deep roster with a draft class of 11 doesn't leave room for many street free agents or undrafted to emerge. So a late-round draft picks making it could qualify as a bit of an upset.
Cornerback Jason McCourty's been far better than Cary Williams and Dominique Edison looks to rank fourth at wide receiver right now.
With Leroy Harris heading back to a backup role as Kevin Mawae comes off PUP, Fernando Velasco's chance is probably gone.