Scarlet Knights face final NFL cutdowns

Let's look around the National Football League, surveying where the various Knights stand. Many cuts are already being announced, and others will go public over the next few hours.

NFC East:

New York Giants - C Shaun O'Hara is entrenched as a starter. WR Tim Brown was excellent early in camp, but missed time due to an injury, and hasn't looked great on returns. His absence allowed Victor Cruz the opportunity to excel, and Cruz has been playing much more during the preseason. Cruz isn't even a lock to make the roster, as Duke Calhoun is the best special teams player of the lot. It's not the end of the line for Brown, but that's the way things are looking. He should land on his feet on a practice squad somewhere. They have too many question marks on the offensive line and on defense for my liking.

NFC North:

Chicago Bears - The Bears cut LB Kevin Malast on Friday, despite playing well as a starting MLB in the team's final preseason game. It's not out of the question that Chicago brings back Malast to its practice squad. Otherwise, he'll have to latch onto a Tampa-2 defensive scheme, which is quickly disappearing from the league.

Minnesota Vikings - FB Ryan D'Imperio is a likely cut, with a chance to catch on their practice squad. He'll have a better chance to make the roster in 2011. His preseason highlight was a touchdown catch in a week three victory over Seattle.

NFC South:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OG Jeremy Zuttah is entrenched as the team's offensive line supersub, and started week four of preseason for an injured Davon Joseph. Tampa wanted a more physical player at left guard; Zeus is a better fit at center or on the right side, and can play tackle too. CB Derrick Roberson is likely to make the team, but DE George Johnson's chances are longer.

NFC West:

San Francisco 49ers - OT Anthony Davis still looks raw, but is going to start on the right side owing to a lack of better options. It should be an up and down rookie year, as the 49ers are the preseason favorite in what is a dreadful division. He could be a sleeper for offensive rookie of the year honors if they win the division and Frank Gore leads the league in rushing, but Davis is a year or two away from reaching his potential.

St. Louis Rams - DT Gary Gibson is not only safe, but a candidate to start or at minimum see considerable playing time. St. Louis should be awful again, and their roster is thin owing to years of poor drafts. Gibson is a favorite of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and the competition is less than inspiring.

AFC East:

New England Patriots - CB Devin McCourty will likely be thrown into the fire from day one with the season-ending injury to Leigh Bodden. The Patriots lost two defensive starters to IR in Bodden and Ty Warren, lowering expectations for their defense. McCourty had a very good preseason, and might also be involved in the return game.

New York Jets - OLB Calvin Pace broke his foot and will miss an undetermined amount of time, which will lead to more snaps for Jason Taylor and Jamaal Westerman. However, it remains possible that the Jets could bring in veteran help, such as Adalius Thomas. The Jets will be a contender, but don't really have an elite pass rusher, which creates more pressure to pay Darrelle Revis.

AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens - No red flags over the past month for RB Ray Rice. Baltimore is as good a bet as any to win the Super Bowl this year.

Cincinnati Bengals - Clark Harris has made the team as a long snapper. RB Brian Leonard was having a strong camp, but will be out for the first few weeks of the season with a foot injury. He was pushing for more carries this year, but backup Bernard Scott excelled in Leonard's absence. The Bengals should be decent, but are an older team with a lot of question marks.

Pittsburgh Steelers - LB Brandon Renkart briefly came in as a camp body, before being waived several days back.

AFC South:

Houston Texans - FB Jack Corcoran was waived in their first round of final cuts.

Indianapolis Colts - Roster spots for LB Gary Brackett and DT Eric Foster look safe and secure. Count on another double digit win season in Indy, despite an unheralded defense that's continuously overshadowed by Peyton Manning.

Jacksonville Jaguars - WR Tiquan Underwood had an impressive offseason, but dropped a few passes (you don't say...) against the Falcons. He's squaring off with veteran Troy Williamson for the last receiver spot on the roster. Underwood probably makes it, and will certainly make their practice squad if he doesn't. S Courtney Greene played well against Atlanta, but has otherwise been invisible during the offseason. Kevin Haslam has been playing tackle, and has a good chance at sneaking onto the roster or making the practice squad. The Jaguars are probably a year away from blowing up their roster and rebuilding.

Tennessee Titans - WR Kenny Britt's offseason from hell continues, with Jeff Fisher calling him out after an awful game against the Saints. It's disheartening, but Britt is still by far their most talented receiver. Things have gone well however for CB Jason McCourty, who's expected to start in week one. Tennessee is a fun sleeper for 2010, but I think they're a year away.

AFC West:

Denver Broncos - CB Nate Jones will make the team as a reserve defensive back. Many of Denver's personnel moves don't make a lick of sense. Their trade up to draft Alphonse Smith hasn't paid off, which will create more playing time for Jones. This team is going to struggle.

Oakland Raiders - It doesn't sound like CB Joe Porter will make the team.

San Diego Chargers - It's not a good sign that OG Cameron Stephenson's named hasn't even been mentioned since he signed.

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