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Knights in the NFL: 2020 Season Preview

Find out where former Rutgers players will suit up on Sundays this fall.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL season is finally upon us. As the campaign gets prepared to kickoff, 15 former Rutgers Scarlet Knights are on league rosters around the NFL. Of these 15 players, 10 are active, three are on practice squads, and two are currently on injured reserve.

Looking back at 2019, there were six former Scarlet Knights who played on the offensive side of the ball. The list was highlighted by Gus Edwards and Mohamed Sanu. On. The defensive side, nine Rutgers’ alum were featured.

It is necessary that we mention Mohamed Sanu on this list, who was recently waived by the New England Patriots and is a free agent. He was as dominant as could be during his time at Rutgers. As a senior, Sanu set the Big East record for receptions for 115. He totaled 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns as well. Sanu fiit well in Rutgers’ offense because of his ability to act as a receiver and carry the ball.

Sanu still holds many records at Rutgers. They include career receptions (210), receptions in a season (115), and receptions in a single game (16). In 2011, Sanu was named the 2011 Maxwell Club Tri-State Player of the Year, All-Big East, and the Rutgers’ Offensive MVP.

Below, we will take a look at the list of Scarlet Knights on NFL rosters for the 2020 season.

Active Players

Blessuan Austin, DB | New York Jets

Austin played in 27 games for Rutgers. He finished with 89 tackles, 23 passes defended, and four interceptions. As a rookie for the New York Jets, Austin spent time on injured reserve. In 2019, he played the final seven games and made quite the impression. Heading into Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, Austin is expected to be one of the Jets’ starting cornerbacks.

Week 1 matchup: at Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 13

Michael Burton, FB | New Orleans Saints

Burton spent the 2019 season with Washington and performed on special teams. This offseason, he signed a one-year deal with New Orleans. He is slated as their starting fullback. Burton was a staple at fullback during his time at Rutgers. He earned the starting job late in his freshman season. Burton totaled 517 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns throughout his career.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 13

Gus Edwards, RB | Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens featured the best rushing attack in 2019 and Edwards was apart of it. He carried the ball 133 times for 711 yards and two touchdowns. He signed a one-year exclusive-rights free agent tender in July. Prior to his NFL career, Edwards spent one season with Rutgers. The grad transfer from Miami finished with 713 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns in 2017. He was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Sept. 13

Duron Harmon, DB | Detroit Lions

The Lions acquired Harmon back in March in a trade with the New England Patriots. He played in all 16 games last season, making eight starts, with the Patriots last season. He is expected to be one of the Lions’ starting safeties in Week 1. Harmon was a four-year player for the Scarlet Knights. He started all 26 games over his junior and senior seasons. In 2011, Harmon finished with five interceptions and earned one of his two First Team All-Big East awards.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 13

Clark Harris, LS | Cincinnati Bengals

Harris is the longest-tenured Rutgers’ player in the NFL. He will begin his 13th year on Sunday and will be the long snapper for the Bengals. As a Scarlet Knight, Harris was a three-time First Team All-Big East selection. He totaled 143 receptions and 11 touchdowns with over 2,000 receiving yards. Harris is currently top 10 in Rutgers’ history for career receptions and receiving yards.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 13

Sebastian Joseph-Day, DT | Los Angeles Rams

Joseph-Day finished his career at Rutgers playing 50 games, including 49 in a row. He started every game during his final season. Over the course of his career with the Scarlet Knights, Joseph-Day totaled 97 tackles, 14.5 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He is entering his third professional season and will be the starting nose tackle for the Rams once again. Joseph-Day started 15 games in 2019.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Sept. 13

Tyler Kroft, TE | Buffalo Bills

Kroft spent three years at Rutgers and played in 34 games. In 2013, he finished with 43 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns. Kraft will begin the 2020 season as the backup to Dawson Knox in Buffalo. He missed the first five games in 2019 and finished with 71 yards and a touchdown.

Week 1 matchup: vs. New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 13

Devin McCourty, DB | New England Patriots

McCourty is remembered as one of the best defensive backs in Rutgers’ history. In four years, McCourty played in all 52 games for the Scarlet Knights. He finished with six interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He also totaled 238 tackles and 12 tackles-for-loss. This success transferred into the NFL.

In March, McCourty signed a two-year, $23 million contract extension to remain with the Patriots. He has been with New England since 2010 and has three Super Bowl rings and two Pro Bowl appearances. In 2019, McCourty finished with 58 tackles, seven passes defended, five interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 13

Jason McCourty, DB | New England Patriots

Jason will join his brother, Devin, in the secondary for the Patriots in 2020. This comes after a 2019 campaign where McCourty started eight games and played in 12 games. During his time with Rutgers, McCourty played in 48 games and started every game during his final two years. McCourty finished with 150 tackles and two interceptions in a Scarlet Knights’ uniform.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 13

Logan Ryan, DB | New York Giants

Ryan will return home after he signed a one-year deal worth $7.5 million with the Giants in August. Ryan, a Pro Bowl alternate in 2019, logged one of his best seasons with the Tennessee Titans last year. He finished with 113 tackles, 22 passes defended, four forced fumbles, four interceptions, and 4.5 sacks.

This is no surprise given his success at Rutgers. Ryan played three years at Rutgers. He played 11 games as a redshirt freshman before being named the starter for the final two years of his career. Ryan was named Second Team All-Big East as a sophomore. During his junior year, Ryan totaled 94 tackles, five sacks, four interceptions, and 21 pass breakups on his way to a First Team All-Big East selection.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Monday, Sept. 14

Injured Reserve

Saquon Hampton, DB | New Orleans Saints

As a rookie, Hampton payed in five games before being played on IR. He will begin this season on the IR list. At Rutgers, Hampton was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection in 2018. He totaled 177 tackles, 24 passes defended, and five interceptions in 39 collegiate games.

Week 1 matchup: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 13

Kemoko Turay, DL/LB | Indianapolis Colts

Turay is currently on the active/physically unable to perform list heading into 2020. He appeared in five games for the Colts last season. Turay played in 44 games at Rutgers and was named a Freshman All-America after logging 7.5 sacks. He finished with 15.5 career sacks.

Week 1 matchup: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 13

Practice Squad

Andre Patton, WR | Arizona Cardinals

Patton was a late signing for the Cardinals. He will begin the season on their practice squad after playing 13 games with the Los Angeles Chargers. He finished with just six catches for 56 yards. Patton made 27 starts in 44 games as a Scarlet Knight. Throughout his career, he caught 90 passes for 1,164 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Week 1 matchup: at San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 13

Willington Previlon, DL | Green Bay Packers

Last season, Previlon started all 12 games on the defensive line and was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection. He started 36 straight games to end his impressive career. Previlon totaled 71 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss, and four sacks. The Packers signed Previlon as an underrated free agent in 2020.

Week 1 matchup: at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 13

Kamaal Seymour, OL | Las Vegas Raiders

Seymour signed with the Raiders as an underrated free agent and will begin the season on the practice squad. At Rutgers, Seymour started 41 consecutive games to end his career. The right tackle joined the program as a defensive lineman but made the switch to offense as a redshirt freshman. He would go onto become a four-year starter in New Brunswick.

Week 1 matchup: at Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Sept. 13