NFL Week 17 practice squad power ranking: Former draft crush lands at No.1 with Bengals


The Bengals have now had two stints on the “it” squad this season in the NFL, and both came after convincing wins over the Ravens. National recognition must be gratifying for a young upstart team that hasn’t finished above .500 since 2015.

But now the Bengals are battling for seed placement for the playoffs and the Chiefs are coming to town. They are a little less friendly than Santa Claus. Of course, when you play Kansas City – in each of the past three seasons and over the past two months – the name of the game is just trying to outdo Patrick Mahomes and Co. And the magic number is probably 30 points.

Still, we’ve seen the Chiefs wrestle primarily offensively from September through October. And overall, it was not an offense to click at the normal Mahomean rate. So the defensive saves – multiple – seem realistic against Kansas City now. The Bengals do have to just settle for a shootout.

And calling in defenders on the practice squad for a meeting with the Chiefs isn’t recommended, but if the Bengals need more speed and instinctive play at linebacker, they’ve got one. from my old draft crashes available.

Tegray Scales was actually one of my first crushes when I started at CBS Sports. At the start of the 2017 college football season – my first with the company – I watched Scales’s film of a 2016 campaign in which he amassed 125 total tackles, 24 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, with a choice and a forced escape.

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His productivity plummeted in his final season, but ended his Hoosiers career with 46 tackles behind the line, 17 sacks, eight interceptions and six missed passes. At 6ft 0 and 230 lbs, Scales felt like the sleek new-age linebacker who appeared on every defense in the league.

He barely generated a buzz after achieving 4.77 on the 2018 combine. But he always appeared faster in the field. In fact, his quickness on short areas and his old-fashioned shedding skills first caught my attention.

As the weekend approaches, THE CUT – aka The Call-Up Tracker – clicks at a frantic pace. Dazz Newsome has been called up again by the Bears. Bills forward Isaiah Hodgins played four snaps against the Patriots. That’s 15 summons this season. Pharoh Cooper, Tony Jefferson, and Jeremy Reaves also received The Call. We have reached 20. Unbelievable. I am ecstatic.

If I missed someone or you hear of a PSPR member receiving the call, let me know @ChrisTrapasso on Twitter and feel free to use the hashtag #PSPR. Thanks in advance. Your next drink is mine.

With COVID-19 rampant, I decided to continue the most tolerant PSPR. All players, no matter how many seasons they have spent in the league, are eligible, although I will be leaning for those in their first three seasons as professionals.

1. Tegray, LB, Bengals scales

Cincinnati will likely recover second-year linebacker Logan Wilson from injury for the monstrous clash with the Chiefs, but I had to jump at the chance to put Scales at No.1. The young and athletic Bengals linebackers were under- estimated. in their ascent to the top of AFC North this season.

It’s going to take more than a freshman cut to let go of my crush for the 2021 #TrustTheTape Draft. He recovered from a broken collarbone early in the offseason to get some limited representatives in preseason. Put Newsome in the slot and let him work, Nagy.

Willekes was the PSPR Cover Guy just a few weeks ago. Dude can get past the quarterback. I tell you! Against the Ravens in Week 9, the former Michigan State star suffered four pressures from Lamar Jackson. Minnesota is at the heart of the NFC wildcard hunt and needs as much rush productivity as it can get.

Yes, Tate is employed by the Titans in 2021. Great. The 33-year-old has been useful over the past two years with the Giants, and while he’s not as explosive as he used to be, he still has some YAC specialization in his game.

In New Orleans and Baltimore, Snead was that possession receiver that I think every team needs. Because he’s never been an intimidating athletic specimen, he does bounce back a bit. And with the Panthers’ current two-quarterback system that includes Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, starting on Sunday, they could use more receiver talent to complement DJ Moore and Robby Anderson.

I had a fourth round rating on Green just a few months ago. He ticked most of the boxes I have for a mid-point tackle who can come in and start right away. And he tested like a high caliber athlete. For reasons unknown to me, Green was not drafted. But he protected like a – you guessed it – the first pick on Day 3 of the preseason with allowed pressure on 43 pass blocking snaps. Understandably, the Texans let him go on cut day, as Houston is completely on its offensive line and doesn’t need young and talented blockers. Yes indeed.

The Seahawks are no longer in the playoff contention, and it feels like the end of an era. Now is a great time to see if Johnson can be a useful part of the future. At South Dakota State, he was a routine winner on all three levels and excelled after the capture.

Froholdt is strong, balanced and as good as a pass blocker as he is at running. Plus, when he got his audition in custody when COVID-19 nicked the Browns’ roster, Froholdt watched the role.

I remember loving the Cooper movie in South Carolina at the time (see: six years ago). He rebounded in the league and was even an All-Pro return man in 2017 with the Rams. Cooper has more juice in return.

10. Tony Jefferson, S, Ravens

Jefferson has been around forever and has always been productive in the field. The Ravens are slightly shaken after the back-to-back defeats of AFC North. Given his vast experience and athleticism, Jefferson can be a valuable part of the blitz-loving Wink Martindale defenses.

Honorable mention

Rodney Smith, RB, Lions

Smith had two 1,000-yard seasons in college, in 2016 and 2019. While his career was riddled with injury in Minnesota, he demonstrated his persistence by coming back every time and always playing with power and rebound between the games. tackles. Small sample size, but in October, against Dallas, Smith carried the ball five times for 48 yards. He deserves a chance in these last two games of the 2021 season for the Lions.

Kawaan Baker, WR, Saints

Baker had three years of solid but unspectacular production in Southern Alabama, but failed to make his hometown Senior Bowl nomination. But on his professional day he caught everyone’s attention, performing 4.45 with a 39.5-inch vertical jump and a 129-inch wide jump. His slow three-cone placed him in the second percentile among receivers for the past 21 years, but the explosion that was evident on vertical roads and in contested capture situations at college was clear during his training before the draft.

Stephen sullivan, TE, Panthers

Sullivan was buried in the receiving pecking order at LSU, and the Seahawks tried to turn him into a defensive end after picking him in the seventh round two years ago. Returning to his natural position in Carolina, Sullivan has a chance to make a splash without a bunch of stars in front of him. It measures 6-5 and 248 pounds with a speed of 4.66 and a catch radius the size of a Chevy Tahoe.

Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Bills

As Emmanuel Sanders heals a knee injury, the Bills may be looking for more help for the receivers, and while they have Isaiah McKenzie and Marquez Stevenson technically ahead of Hodgins on the roster, the former star of Oregon State would provide Buffalo with the size and large catch radius. his group of top receivers don’t have one at the moment.

Luq Barcoo, DC, 49ers

Barcoo recorded nine interceptions and 16 broken assists in his final season at San Diego State. It’s a ball production from another world. He’s a bit lanky but plays with a good burst and, as this masterful campaign in 2019 evidenced, is very conscious when the ball comes in. The 49ers could use more productivity in their high school.

Jeremy Reaves, S, Washington football team

Reaves is an OG PSPR, as I remember placing him on the roster multiple times during his inaugural season in 2019. He got a few calls in his day and mostly impressed. The football team could do a lot worse when it comes to safety, and that position has been a problem this year.

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