Written by: The Blitz Team
We are just a few weeks away from teams kicking off training camps! Each team will start of with a 90-man roster, and in a little over a month they will work that down to 53 players. This is a process that can be difficult to navigate through and it’s stressful for players that are on the roster bubble. Sometimes players find themselves in the right situation in which a team lacks depth at a position, so it offers them a better chance to make the roster. On the flipside, increased competition may mean unemployment for others. For this month’s All32, we take a look at players we believe have a chance at making the 53-man roster.
Andre Chachere (DB)
Andre Chachere was signed shortly following the draft as an undrafted free agent. The Texans have tried to revamp their secondary this offseason; by signing Tyrann Mathieu and Aaron Colvin, and using their first selection of the draft on Justin Reid, the Texans have put a ton of capital in fixing their worst unit. With the front seven loaded with athletes, the Texans have put in an effort to sure up the back end.
Chachere is someone who could have an impact in a few roles. In order to make the team, he must first prove that he can contribute on special teams at the NFL level after recording 13 tackles as a gunner at San Jose State. That will be key in his chances, not only to make the roster, but also make an early contribution. He has good ball skills, and is skilled in coverage.
Chachere is someone who may be able to play a center field free safety role if he isn’t able to break through as a corner. He could spend a year transitioning to safety, which the Texans have a need with Andre Hal’s health in the air as well as if Tyrann Mathieu is viewed more than a rental. If he is able to prove that he is versatile, look for Chachere to give some of the Texans veterans a run for their money.
Deon Cain (WR)
Deon Cain was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft. The Colts are searching for a wide receiver that can help open things up for T.Y. Hilton. The spot behind him is open to grab. Cain will be in competition with Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant, Daurice Fountain, and others for spots on the team’s starting lineup. Cain has impressed his head coach, Frank Reich, throughout the offseason so far with his play-making ability.
One thing that will help Cain make the 53-man roster is his ability to go up and get 1-on-1 ball opportunities. The Colts need a red-zone threat, and with his long, athletic body Cain can be that player the team is looking for opposite of Hilton. If Cain continues to impress his head coach, then he should not only be able to make the 53-man roster but see plenty of playing time throughout his rookie season.
Jalen Myrick (CB)
Jalen Myrick managed to work his way onto the 53-man roster after being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 7th round of the 2017 draft. He did make contributions during his rookie season, but that was in extremely limited action. The Jaguars have moved on from Aaron Colvin and signed D.J. Hayden to replace him. Hayden, a former first round pick, has disappointed throughout his career. He is currently projected to be their slot corner but if he doesn’t live up to expectations then that will open opportunities for others.
Myrick will be competing with several UDFAs for spots on the roster. He has the speed to be a return specialist, so he does have an opportunity to increase his chances by getting on special teams. This is the type of things that will help him get on the 53-man roster and provide Jacksonville some depth at the cornerback position.
Akrum Wadley (RB)
The Titans backfield had quite the shake up this offseason. The team moved on from starter DeMarco Murray and decided to go with 2016 second-round pick Derrick Henry. The Titans weren’t done yet, as they proceeded to sign former New England Patriots running back Dion Lewis to a 4 year, $19,800,000 contract to fill their third down role on offense. Even though the Titans have these two roles seemingly secured, they could use a third back. Insert Akrum Wadley.
The UDFA rookie out of Iowa looked like a surefire Day 3 pick in this year’s draft but failed to get a call on draft day. The Titans ended up calling afterwords, and Wadley answered after reportedly having a handful of teams asking for his services. He can find his role as a great complementary back who can run between the tackles, but also serve as a dangerous receiver out of the backfield. Since new Titans OC Matt LaFleur relied heavily on his running backs to catch passes for the Rams last season, having a third back with receiving prowess is a must.
Make no mistake, Dion Lewis was brought in to handle a majority of the targets out of the backfield, but with pass-catching not a strength for both Derrick Henry and David Fluellen, Wadley has a chance to carve out a role as a rotational piece in the backfield. Look for Wadley to make a strong push for a spot on this year’s roster.