With final NFL cuts looming, where do the various pro Knights stand?
SAFE (7) - LB Gary Brackett (Colts), WR Kenny Britt (Titans), DT Gary Gibson (Rams), C Shaun O'Hara (Giants), RB Ray Rice (Ravens), LB Jamaal Westerman (Jets), OG Jeremy Zuttah (Bucs)
There is absolutely no chance that any of these players will be released. In fact, Gibson has an even shot at starting for the Rams, in a battle that parallels Gholston and Westerman for the Jets. Gibson has outplayed former first round pick Adam Carriker in camp, and is a favorite of head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
LEAN SAFE (6) - DT Eric Foster (Colts), TE/LS Clark Harris (Texans), CB Nate Jones (Dolphins), RB Brian Leonard (Bengals), TE L.J. Smith (Ravens), QB Mike Teel (Seahawks)
Teel has basically made the team, firmly entrenched over last year's third stringer Jeff Rowe at this point. However, you never know when a franchise will bring in someone at the eleventh hour. Leonard/Dorsey is close in Cincinnati, but Leonard played well last night, is more versatile, and overall just plain has more talent. Foster has been hurt by Indy's switch to a new defensive scheme, but he can play multiple positions, and also is great for their locker room. Smith has battled a hamstring injury, but is important depth with starter Todd Heap an injury risk. You never know with long snappers, but Harris is the incumbent in Houston. I've heard little to nothing about Jones this offseason, and Bill Parcells loves players from the Northeast, but veteran backups always have to watch their backs.
50/50 (3) - LB Brandon Renkart (Jets), CB Jason McCourty (Titans), SS Courtney Greene (Seahawks)
Renkart is vying to be the fourth inside LB, and it ultimately may come down to special teams. McCourty has impressed in Tennessee, and could see time on returns while he gets his feet wet at corner. Friday's cuts make me think he has a chance. Projections in Greene haven't been kind to Greene (although most want to keep him around in the practice squad), but he's a future starter at the position, and will be claimed by another team if cut.
LEAN CUT (3) - CB Joey Porter (Packers), OG Cameron Stephenson (Jaguars), WR Tiquan Underwood (Jaguars)
Porter hasn't done much of anything in GB over the past month (seeing time at safety last night), although their GM, Ted Thompson, loves raw athletes. Stephenson and Underwood have a good chance to make Jax's practice squad if they don't make their roster. Underwood is hurt by talk that the Jaguars will only keep five receivers.
Brock still needs time to develop, and is seeemingly a good fit for the practice squad with the Jets or another team. Malast will almost certainly make Chicago's practice squad, if another Tampa 2 team doesn't claim him, being the second Scarlet Knight to outplay an overrated Ohio State product in preseason.
Injured reserve (2) - C/G Darnell Stapleton (Steelers), NT J'Vonne Parker (Bronc0s)
Stapleton's injury came at the worst possible time, but he likely would have made Pittsburgh's roster regardless.
Update: Carriker is out for the season, leaving Gibson a certain starter barring further moves from St. Louis.