The answer to the headline of this post is, not necessarily, and it’s too soon to tell.
But Marvin McNutt, Iowa’s all-time leader in single-season and career receiving yards and touchdown catches, has work to do to make the Philadelphia Eagles’ 53-man active roster.
It was a surprise to most Hawkeye followers when McNutt wasn’t drafted until the sixth round. But he apparently hasn’t done enough in training camp or preseason games yet to elevate his status.
This Eagles blog on the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Web site projects McNutt to not making the team’s 53-player roster two weeks from now.
McNutt, Jeff McLane wrote, “can’t get separation.” Later, McLane wrote:
“McNutt was targeted three times in the preseason opener and had zero catches. He did not have a pass thrown in his direction on Monday night. He’s been playing some special teams but hasn’t stood out. He’s a draft pick, has size (6-3) and could be kept on the roster as a developmental receiver. But I think the Eagles can stow him away on the practice squad.”
It’s one person’s opinion, and it’s given with two preseason games left to play. The Eagles play at Cleveland on Friday night.
Meanwhile, former Hawkeye linebacker Jeff Tarpinian is trying to make the New England Patriots’ roster for the second-straight year.
Tarpinian made the Pats as an undrafted free agent, and started the team’s Nov. 13 game against the New York Jets. But less than two weeks after that game, he was placed on season-ending injured reserve for reasons that were never made clear.
The Patriots, to my knowledge, have never disclosed what Tarpinian’s specific injury or illness was. Last Nov. 24, New England Coach Bill Belichick was asked if it was concussion-related, and he said “I think it was an illness we listed.”
This Worcester Telegram story says it was a non-football related medical issue.
“It was something I had no control over,” Tarpinian said.
Belichick said: “Jeff did a good job for us. We really felt like he was coming along. Unfortunately, last week he had this thing come up, so we’ll just have to see how it all works out. In the meantime, he’s not going to be able to participate for awhile. He was a young player doing well, playing on defense a little bit. I think he was starting to develop a role there and he certainly was improving in the kicking game. He was giving us a solid player in all four phases – the big four: kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return. He was giving us solid play in all four phases of special teams that he was involved in, so I’m disappointed for him and disappointed for us, but we have to move on”
But Tarp is back.
“I feel comfortable,” Tarpinian said in this MassLive.com story. “I got a chance in the offseason to learn and be part of the OTAs, which was really helpful,” Tarpinian said. “I got a chance to get some reps there and learn the defense, which made me comfortable here in training camp.”
Tarpinian had a team-high six tackles in the Patriots’ preseason-opener, against New Orleans. He added four more Monday night in the Pats’ 27-17 loss to Philadelphia.
Finally, Buffalo Bills receivers coach Bob Bicknell said this about Buffalo tight end Scott Chandler of Iowa:
Last season, Chandler tied a Bills record for touchdown catches by a tight end with six, and had 38 receptions for 389 yards.