Henry McKenna

Checking On The Pro Cardinal

Created on Aug. 19, 2013 4:52 PM EST

Let's take a look at how recent Stanford players are doing in the NFL.

• Stepfan Taylor has an opportunity by way of injuries. His showing against Green Bay of 20 carries for 64 yards was not terrible considering that many of his carries came on short-yardage opportunities. However, by the time all the other Arizona running backs like Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams come back, Taylor must set himself apart if he wants carries. Otherwise he will have to wait until they get injured for the next opportunity. Taylor should be blowing up on these second- and third-team defenses. Keep an eye out for him the rest of the preseason.

• Chip Kelly remembers just how important Zach Ertz was in helping develop Stanford’s young quarterback, Kevin Hogan. Ertz torched the Ducks last year and was a big reason the close game went Stanford’s way. Like Taylor, Ertz will have to show that he can rise up through the depth on the Eagles’ roster. He’s doing well thus far with four receptions, the most of any tight end this preseason. If you are looking for a fantasy sleeper in a deep league, Ertz might be a sneaky pickup. He appears to be coming along in just the right ways. He’s a big red zone target like Kyle Rudolph.

• With Tony Gonzalez not in town, Levine Toilolo might see some good time and may get a snapshot into what next year will be like. The Falcons likely will expect him to start next year. However, fellow rookie Chase Coffman has looked like he understands more of the offense. If that’s the case, Toilolo might end up on the practice squad. Like many of these Cardinal players, he needs to make a push up the depth chart. Unlike Taylor and Ertz, he doesn’t stand a good chance, but the Falcons didn’t expect that out of him. The team knew he would be something of a project.

• Saints fans have an eye on Chase Thomas. He was the biggest undrafted pickup for them. However, he’s stuck behind a deep linebacker group and has not received any first- or second-team reps. He may have to spend a year on the practice squad as a redshirt like he did at Stanford.

• Terrence Stephens has made more waves with his singing in camp than with his playing. His singing has already been featured in the early episodes of the HBO’s series Hard Knocks. It even softened James Harrison, the scariest man in football.

• Terrence Brown, former Stanford cornerback, still is trying to fit in with the Bengals. Alex Debniak suffered a torn Achilles and will spend the season on the IR with the 49ers after clearing waivers. Unfortunately, Daniel Zychlinski and Drew Terrell have not found homes in the NFL and may never do so.

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