The preseason portion of the NFL season is here and LOOK WHAT WE HAVE HERE there are a ton of former Rebels in the league in some semblance or another. Whether they are two-time Super Bowl MVP, special teams lifer, or on a reserve/practice squad contract, Ole Miss has a big-time presence in the league now.
Here we will give you a quick tid bit on each player, what they are up to with their current team, and where we think they stand in terms of fantasy football draft stock.
Eli Manning - New York Giants
There should be some concern if the Giants struggle out of the gate that they will replace Eli with 2018 first rounder Daniel Jones. This is a real problem and should keep you away from drafting Eli.
Enjoy Elisha with the Giants while you still can because his time in New York in coming to an end. A trade in mid season to a contender wouldn’t be the most surprising thing.
Brandon Bolden - New England Patriots
Bolden left such a hole in the Patriots locker room, Belichick brought him back for his seventh season after one year in the wilderness with the Dolphins. Bolden is a true glue guy who can play special teams, get quality carries, and be used as an emergency outlet out of the backfield for Tom Brady. His next game will also be his 100th in the NFL. There are worse players you could pick in the last round of a 12 team draft.
Jordan Ta’amu - Houston Texans
The Texans picked up Ta’amu as a late free agent signing after the first preseason game. While Ta’amu has his work cut out for him to make a roster, he should get plenty of work in the preseason. All it takes it one quality outing to get on other teams radars for a backup role, so August will be an important month for the Hawaiian.
John Jerry - Cincinnati Bengals
Jerry was picked up off waivers after the Bengals released fellow Reb (and currently injured) Rod Taylor. He should start for the Bengals in case you love offensive line play.
Bobby Massie - Chicago Bears
The 3-year starter in Oxford is the presumptive starting right tackle for the Bears, and should get plenty of play in prime time as the Bears are among the favorites in the NFC.
Bradley Sowell - Chicago Bears
Sowell had been a swing tackle for Chicago the last two seasons, but Matt Nagy believe the vet can use his big frame to catch passes in the red zone for the Bears. Sowell caught a trick play touchdown last year, so the big man clearly has soft hands. Avoid him early in fantasy as position switches have a steep learning curve, unless you just wanted to pick a team featuring only Ole Miss players
Donte Moncrief - Pittsburgh Steelers
Moncrief looks set for a second act as a big-time receiver in Pittsburgh and would fit in nicely in the early-to-mid round picks.
Cody Core - Cincinnati Bengals
The Auburn, Ala. product has turned into a reliable NFL receiver and should be the Bengals No. 3 pass catcher after A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Grab him with a late round pick.
Laquon Treadwell - Minnesota Vikings
Treadwell started as the No. 3 receiver in Vikings camp but has dropped a couple spots heading into the preseason. Minnesota is shopping the former first round pick, so they’ll likely want to get him the ball in the preseason to find some suitors. For now, he’s a stay away pick until he finds a coach that wants to feature him in the offense regularly.
He can still block, though.
Laremy Tunsil - Miami Dolphins
Not exactly surprising to anyone that watched Tunsil play a game in Oxford, but the (Lake City) Florida Man has quietly turned into one of the best linemen in the NFL. Tunsil has said he wants to spend his career with the Dolphins, but logic tells you he is going to get PAID by a contender who needs a left tackle within the next couple of seasons. If you have a weird offensive line draft—take him early.
Evan Engram - New York Giants
Eli may not play for Big Blue much longer, but there will still be a Rebel on the sidelines in the Meadowlands. Engram is a top-five tight end pick and will be catching passes in the NFL for a long time.
Chad Kelly - Indianapolis Colts
Maybe our favorite son, the deliverer of maybe the greatest trick play in Ole Miss history, is getting another shot at the NFL by backing up (oft-injured) Andrew Luck. Chad made the most of his shot by showing his speed and breaking away for a 33-yard touchdown run in his first preseason game in Indianapolis. Don’t put him in your mock drafts yet—but do pay attention to him as the preseason progresses.
Jordan Wilkins - Indianapolis Colts
As a rookie in 2018, Wilkins played in every game and totaled 60 carries and caught 16-of-17 passes thrown his way. Entering his second season, and with Andrew Luck healthy, Wilkins should show steady year-over-year improvement.
Greg Little - Carolina Panthers
Little continues a long line of Rebels at the tackle position in Carolina. As a rookie, Little has hardly made strides in training camp but appears to have somewhat of an edge on a starting tackle spot for the Panthers.
A.J. Brown - Tennessee Titans
A.J. slipped in individual drills during the first day of Titans training camp, but the Mayor of Starkville should return later in the preseason. I wouldn’t spend a pick on him, but have him at the top of your watch list in case he has a big week. By years end, I expect him to be on most fantasy rosters due to his affinity for the big play and volume catch games.
D.K. Metcalf - Seattle Seahawks
The former Oxford Charger was a second round pick and so far in practice is showing the Seahawks made no mistake taking him. He’s got the size and speed to make it in the NFL, so showing he can get free in the preseason will go a long way towards getting touches in the regular season. Take D.K. in the late rounds or pick him up quick off the waiver wire.
DK Metcalf still drawing high praise from Russell Wilson https://t.co/1SynUvY6BT— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 13, 2019
Dawson Knox - Buffalo Bills
The Athletic wrote the definitive Dawson Knox profile earlier this week. The tight end position in the NFL requires players to know both the entire blocking scheme, and the full route running tree used by wide receivers, so the learning curve is steep. Don’t expect much this season, but given how athletic Knox is, expect him to make some noise in 2020.
DaMarkus Lodge - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lodge is day-to-day with a hamstring injury suffered in Bucs camp but should return during the preseason. He may need a few weeks to get his legs under him but don’t be surprised to have him on a roster come 2020.
Javon Patterson - Indianapolis Colts
Patterson recently suffered a torn ACL and will miss the 2019 season while he recovers.
Floyd Allen - Houston Texans
Almost surely the best story off of the 2018 Ole Miss team, the former walk-on caught his first pass in an NFL uniform last week. He’s a long shot to make the 53-man roster, but Allen has overcome more than his fair share of obstacles.
Mike Wallace - Free Agent
The former highest-paid wide receiver in the league caught 124 passes for nearly 1,800 yards in his last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Wallace is currently a free agent but still has some tread on the tires, and the Steelers are in talks about reuniting Mike with the franchise who drafted him. Avoid Wallace for now, at least until he signs a contract.
Rod Taylor - Free Agent
The retired boxer was recently waived to make a spot for John Jerry of all people, but the former Callaway star is still recovering from an ACL injury and should find a spot when healthy.
Quincy Adeboyejo - Free Agent
Quincy has been plagued by injury and was waived from camp with the Ravens. The Cedar Hill, Tex. native has yet to play in an NFL game due to a leg injury, and will remain on the injured list moving forward.