Terps in the NFL: how former Maryland stars fared on cut day

NFL 53-man rosters have been set and it’s time to see which former Terps made it.

Stefon Diggs, who checked in at 16th in the NFL Top 100, returns to the Bills for the fourth straight year and is looking for his fourth straight 100-reception season and fifth in six years. After battling through camp among a host of young receivers, undrafted rookie Rakim Jarrett made the Bucs’ final roster and could see some playing time this year in an open receiver room behind Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, especially after the loss of Russell Gage.

Two rookie defensive backs will also look to make an impact early on with Deonte Banks of the Giants and Jakorian Bennett of the Raiders. Banks and fellow rookie Tre Hawkins will start on the outside, with Adoree Jackson at the nickel. Nick Cross of the Colts was moved from strong to free safety in the offseason and excelled in the preseason, where he could be a starter in his second season.

After getting drafted in the fourth round, Chad Ryland beat out veteran Nick Folk for the starting kicking job, leading Folk to be traded to Tennessee on Tuesday.

Maryland’s other three draft picks, Spencer Anderson, Chad Ryland, and Jaelyn Duncan, all made the 53-man roster. Ryland won the Patriots kicking battle against Nick Folk, who was traded to the Titans on Tuesday. Anderson saw the Steelers make a trade with guard Kevin Dotson being traded to the Rams, solidifying Anderson’s status with his versatility sticking out to the Steelers through camp. Anderson is joined in Pittsburgh by running back Anthony McFarland, who joins Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren in the backfield.

DJ Moore has made a case for himself as one of, if not the most, underrated wide receiver in the league as he’ll look to make noise in Chicago with Justin Fields. Moore enters year six of his career with including three consecutive 1,100-plus yard seasons under his belt.

After battling an injury earlier in the summer, cornerback JC Jackson has battled back and is on track to return week one for the Los Angeles Chargers.

While Chigoziem Okonkwo will look to become an integral part of a new-look Titans offense that added DeAndre Hopkins, rookie offensive tackle Jaelyn Duncan found himself on the 53-man roster after competing for the open job at right tackle.

Two defenders that made their squads were Yannick Ngakoue for the Bears and Josh Woods of the Cardinals. Ngakoue has been one of the most consistent edge rushers during his time in the league, recording at least eight sacks in all seven seasons.

After losing his starting spot last year, Darnell Savage is expected to return as the starter for the Packers this season after playing in all three preseason games.

It wasn’t all good news for Maryland wide receivers, though, as Dontay Demus was waived by the Ravens on Monday despite leading the team in receiving yards in the preseason finale. Demus was one of several Terps who were casualties of roster cuts as Tino Ellis (Dolphins), Michael Dunn (Browns), Jake Funk (Colts), Byron Coward (Texans) DJ Turner (Raiders), Tino Ellis (Dolphins), Johari Branch (Chargers), Tyler Mabry (Seahawks), Ty Johnson (Bills), Keandre Jones (Bengals) and Jacob Copeland (Vikings) were waived.

Ellis, who was waived with an injury settlement, could rejoin Miami’s practice squad where he was last season, while Dunn’s departure is expected to be shortlived.

“The Browns also waived veteran guard Michael Dunn and veteran defensive tackle Maurice Hurst II, but both of those players are expected to be back soon. They were essentially bookkeeping moves designed to help get some of the Browns’ injured players such as linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk on short-term injured reserve, where they must remain until four games have been played.”

Funk was competing for the final roster spot and led the Colts with a pair of rushing touchdowns during preseason and despite the long-term uncertainty around Jonathan Taylor, the former Damascus star will look for a new home. Ty Johnson, who was signed last week following Nyheim Hines’s injury, was among the final cuts for the Bills on Tuesday while Copeland will look to catch onto a practice squad after previously being waived by the Titans.

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