Prokies: NFL Regular Season Preview
Fans around the World have been patiently waiting for the NFL to kickoff, and with many Hokies around the league it is an appropriate time to preview which teams will have a significant impact coming from our Hokie Alum. There are currently 21 Hokies signed with 16 different teams in the NFL. Here are some teams with multiple Hokies making an impact this season.
Washington has had many Virginia Tech players in the past couple of years and that tradition will continue into this season. The Commanders hold the most players from Hokies going into this season, with three Hokies with starting spots on their roster. Kendall Fuller is going into his fifth season with Washington and his third since rejoining the team after his stint with the Kansas City Chiefs. Fuller will be starting at Left Cornerback for a lackluster core of defensive backs in Washington. Secondly, Washington will bring back Joey Slye to be their starting kicker. Slye played for three teams last season eventually landing in Washington. Slye went a perfect 12-12 on his field goal attempts in 6 games on the Commanders in 2021. Lastly, going into his third season with the Commanders is Logan Thomas. Thomas is questionable to play Week one due to a knee injury that ended his season last year, but he would be starting at Tight End. Thomas only played in six games last year while reeling in 3 receiving touchdowns and 196 yards.
See Logan Thomas' highlight Touchdown from last season below.
With Raheem Blackshear relegated to the practice squad, there will be two Hokies suiting up for Buffalo this season. Tremaine Edmunds goes into his fifth season with the Bills after being drafted 16th overall in by them in 2018. Tremaine has been a solid starting Middle Linebacker in Buffalo for years. Edmunds was named a defensive captain alongside veteran captain Linebacker Von Miller. Going into his first year of his near $13 million per year contract at age 24, look for Edmunds to realize his full potential in the upcoming years. Tim Settle is listed as the Bills second string Right Defensive Tackle, and played well in his time in Washington. Expect Settle to see the field most games in his attempt to grab a starting spot.
The Colts have two Hokies on their roster going into this season with the lone starter being Brandon Facyson. Facyson will be starting at Left Cornerback for Indianapolis after starting 9 games for the Las Vegas Raiders last season. Brandon marked a career high in tackles and pass deflections last season, while also securing his first interception. Facyson signed with the Colts following Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, who has been his defensive coordinator for all four of his seasons in the league. With an impressive training camp, Rookie Luke Tenuta earned his spot on the Colts roster currency listed as their third string Right Tackle. Barring an injury or suspension at his position, Tenuta will have a long road to seeing playing time.
Two Hokies will play crucial roles in the Ravens secondary this year. Firstly, 8 year veteran Kyle Fuller will start for Baltimore at Nickleback. At age 30, Fuller is certainly seen as a quality veteran in this league. Playing for his third team in three years, Fuller is likely brought in for his experience and and his leadership ability. Secondly, Chuck Clark will return to the ravens where he has proved himself valuable. Clark will go into his third year as the Ravens starting Strong Safety after transitioning from free safety. Clarke achieved a career high in interceptions at 2, as well as a career high in pass deflections at 12.
See a highlight from Clark's last season below.
Other Notable Prokies
Wyatt Teller is likely to start at Right Guard in Cleveland after an injury pulled him from the Browns preseason finale. Allowing only four sacks last season, Teller is one of the premier offensive lineman in the NFL.
Tyrod Taylor has been a topic of the past Prokies highlights due to his battle to takeover the starting spot for the New York Giants. Taylor is the only Hokie Quarterback actively signed in the NFL. Tyrod also was pulled from his last preseason game with a back injury, but has been listed as ready to go for week one. Tyrod likely won’t see the field for a few games, but watch for him to compete for playing time around week 4 and 5.
Duane Brown will be starting in his first game with the Jets, replacing rising star Mekhi Becton. After securing his two year $22 million dollar contract, Brown is ready to make an immediate impact in protecting Veteran Quarterback Joe Flacco.
There are four Rookies from VT who are signed to NFL teams including Luke Tenuta, Amare Barno, James Mitchell, and Lecitus Smith.
All four players will have to prove themselves to attempt to see the field this season. Due to a successful preseason, Amare Barno is listed as a second string right Defensive End for the Carolina Panthers. This means that Barno will likely get a chance to play in the first few weeks to prove himself on their roster. Lecitus Smith is going into the season as the backup Right Guard for the Arizona Cardinals. Smith could find himself in an emergency starting role, or as a season long backup. James Mitchell was the highest drafted Hokie at 177th overall in the fifth round. Mitchell is currently the third string Tight End for the Detroit Lions. The Lions had depth problems at Tight End last season, with that and their tendency to use multiple Tight End schemes, expect James to play enough to make a difference.
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All stats from pro-football-reference.com