The Giants worked out a pair of linebackers today, according to ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (via Twitter): Shaq Riddick and Carlos Thompson. The auditions are a bit surprising, as the Giants don’t appear to have any injury concerns among their linebackers. Furthermore, the team promoted rookie linebacker Deontae Skinner to the active roster yesterday.
Riddick, a former fifth-round pick, has yet to see the field after one-plus season in the NFL. The 23-year-old spent the entire 2015 campaign with the Cardinals organization, but he was released prior to this season. He briefly caught on with the Cardinals practice squad, but he was subsequently cut. Riddick had six sacks during his senior season at West Virginia.
Thompson, 24, went undrafted out of Ole Miss in 2015. The former defensive end spent all of 2015 with the Texans, but he was waived in late August. Thompson had 29 tackles during his senior season at Mississippi.
Lansanah, 31, had spent the last two seasons and change with Tampa Bay before spending a week with the Dolphins in August. Over the last two years, Lansanah appeared in every regular season game for the Bucs, making 22 total starts. In 2014, Lansanah recorded three interceptions, eight pass breakups, 1.5 sacks, and 81 total tackles. His production tailed off last season, though he still notched 47 tackles, one sack, and four pass breakups.
Horton, Lotulelei, Moses, and Mulamba also have prior NFL experience, and Moses leads the pack, as he’s appeared in 45 games with the Packers and Chiefs (mostly on special teams duty). Horton, meanwhile, started 15 games for the Panthers as recently as 2014.
August 23rd, 2016 at 12:00pm CST by Dallas Robinson
Case Keenum has performed well enough during the preseason to earn the Rams‘ starting quarterback job over No. 1 pick Jared Goff, argues Vincent Bosnignore of the Los Angeles Daily News. The duo’s stats aren’t all the different — Keenum has 10 of 13 attempts for 111 yards and a touchdown, while Goff is 12 of 21 for 121 yards, one score, and one interception — but Goff has struggled with snaps and penalties while Keenum has shown a command of the Los Angeles offense. Additionally, says Bonsignore in a few follow-uptweets, the Rams could be competitive in 2016 thanks to their defense and running game, so Keenum makes more sense for the club right now rather than Goff, who will need some time to develop.
Let’s check out a few more notes from the NFC West:
Cardinals linebacker Shaq Riddick has a torn oblique and is facing an uncertain timetable, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com tweets. Riddick didn’t play a single snap after being selected in the fifth-round of the 2015 draft, and wasn’t even on the gameday active roster until December. However, Arizona has expressed faith in Riddick (and the club’s other young edge rushers), and had refrained from re-signing Dwight Freeney in the hopes of handing more snaps to its more youthful players. Riddick isn’t the only Cards defender dealing with an injury, as fellow linebacker Alex Okafor is set to play through a biceps tear.
Once roster cutdowns begin over the course of the next few weeks, the Cardinals could be looking for help at cornerback, offensive tackle, and linebacker, according to Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 (Twitter link). Linebacker is an obvious area of need given the injuries to Riddick and Okafor, and Arizona’s depth at corner is depleted, even when counting its recent signings of Mike Jenkins (who is hurt) and Alan Ball. Swing tackle is another area of concern, and the Cards have been linked to free agent Will Beatty.
Former first-round pick Jimmie Ward, who spent his first two seasons with the 49ers as a reserve safety and nickel corner, is likely to be San Francisco’s starting outside corner opposite Tramaine Brock, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “It’s looking that way right now,” said 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil. “He hasn’t really been tested in a game, yet. But he’s done a great job in the three practices we’ve had with other teams and the two preseason games.” Ward played on roughly 65% of San Francisco’s defensive snaps a year ago, and should see that percentage rise as he takes on a larger role.
The Falcons signed third-round pick Tevin Coleman, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (on Twitter). With the running back in the fold, Vic Beasley stands as the last draft pick unsigned in Atlanta.
The Buccaneers signed fourth-round linebacker Kwon Alexander, according to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (on Twitter). The Bucs traded up in the fourth round with the Raiders to land the LSU product.
The Buccaneers also signed Nebraska product Kenny Bell, according to Smith (on Twitter). The wide receiver was taken in the fifth round.
FSU tight end Nick O’Leary, a sixth-round choice, has signed his rookie contract with the Bills, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Seventh-round wideout Dezmin Lewis has also signed his rookie deal with the team, tweets Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News.
The Bengals signed safety Derron Smith, a sixth-round pick, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. Smith is just the second of nine picks to sign.
The Cardinals announced (via Twitter) that they have signed a pair of fifth-round picks in linebacker Shaquille Riddick and wide receiver J.J. Nelson.
Despite already having a starting-caliber quarterback in Nick Foles, the Rams are doing their due diligence with the position as the NFL draft nears. They worked out Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota for roughly an hour Thursday, tweets the NFL Network’s Albert Breer. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted earlier Thursday that, in addition to Mariota, the Rams will work outFlorida State’s Jameis Winston, Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson and UCLA’s Brett Hundley in the coming days. Mariota and Winston should be long gone by the time the Rams’ first-round selection, the 10th overall pick, rolls around, while the rest are viewed as options in the second round and beyond.
More draft-related news:
NFL teams were already aware of Jameis Winston’s latest legal troubles before the news broke Thursday and those issues won’t affect his draft status, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (video link).
The Vikings have done their homework on a pair of safety prospects, Louisville’s James Sample and Central Florida’s Clayton Geathers, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). Both are projected as mid-round picks.
Although West Virginia defensive end Shaquille Riddick wasn’t among the 323 prospects invited to February’s scouting combine, he has drawn pre-draft interest from the Giants, Cardinals, Eagles, Texans, Saints, Bears and Chiefs, tweets Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. Riddick told Ulrich that is using the combine snub as motivation. “Wherever I go, I’m going to be a surprise that they’re going to benefit from,” said Riddick. “And whoever doesn’t select me, they’re going to have to worry about me terrorizing their quarterbacks.”
The Saints will host their local pro day on Friday, according to Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com. Per Woodbery, at least a dozen players will participate. Only those who grew up within a 40-mile radius of New Orleans or attended college within the same distance are eligible to partake.