After the first week of the NFL preseason, let’s check in with the former Hokies in the NFL.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills have gone from hero to zero in a hot hurry as the whole team seems to be in disarray. Mike Rodak, a staff writer for ESPN, writes: “Turn out the lights on the Buffalo Bills’ 2017 season, because it is over before it started.”
All of this buzz comes after the trading of Sammy Watkins to the Rams for a second-round pick and cornerback E.J. Gaines. In another shocking trade, on the same day, the Bills traded their star cornerback, Ronald Darby. In exchange for Darby, the Bills received Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick.
After taking a pay cut as a sign of trust in the front office, only to lose his top receiver in the same offseason, Taylor must not be too happy.
One man who stuck around in Buffalo is tight end Logan Thomas. He played quarterback for the Hokies for five seasons (2009-13) and broke all sorts of school records. When he got to the NFL, Thomas bounced around for a bit before landing in Buffalo with Taylor.
This past offseason, Thomas made a switch many people had predicted even in his college days, going from quarterback to tight end. Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 250 pounds, Thomas has the ideal frame for the position. After running a 4.6 40-yard dash, his speed isn’t a question, either.
In training camp, Thomas caught a pass from Taylor, which had Hokies fans reminiscing of the two hooking up in 2010.
Several other NFL preseason games featured former Hokies, many of them making their pro debuts.
In the preseason Week 1 game between Minnesota and Buffalo, Taylor and Thomas weren’t the only ex-Tech players involved. Three other one-time Hokies played: Bucky Hodges of Virginia Beach and Antone Exum for the Vikings and Nigel Williams for the Bills.
The Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears went head-to-head in Ken Ekanem’s pro debut. The undrafted rookie faced former Tech defensive back Kyle Fuller, who recorded three tackles in the Bears’ loss. Fuller has been the focus of trade talks over the past few weeks, potentially involving the Eagles.
The Washington Redskins battled the Baltimore Ravens in Chuck Clark’s first NFL game. Clark, from Suffolk, recorded a tackle as the Ravens beat former Tech defensive back Kendall Fuller’s Redskins. (Side note: Clark made news this summer while training for camp when he raced and beat Natasha Hastings, a Rio Olympics gold medal sprinter, in the 40.
Trey Edmunds, a former Tech player who later transferred to Maryland, got his first NFL carries with the New Orleans Saints in a loss to the Cleveland Browns.
D-lineman Woody Baron of Dallas made his first appearance as well as the Rams’ Sam Rogers, as the Cowboys fell to Los Angeles.