Camp Alumni: Tar Heels in the NFL

By Turner Walston | 6 Comment(s) | Posted

You know about Hakeem Nicks and Julius Peppers, so I thought I'd update you on some other Tar Heels you might be wondering about and their NFL prospects in 2012.

Quinton Coples - NEW YORK JETS. The first-round pick is making a splash in the preseason, but his reputation has followed him to New York.

Zach Brown - TENNESSEE TITANS. Brown was drafted in the second round by Tennessee, and he is in a battle to start at the 'Will' linebacker.

Matt Merletti - INDIANAPOLIS COLTS. Merletti will have a battle on his hands to win a spot in the secondary for new Indy coach Chuck Pagano, a former Tar Heel defensive coordinator. Merletti tweeted the above picture after a preseason game with the Rams.

And speaking of the Rams,

Kendric Burney - ST. LOUIS RAMS - Burney has returned from injury to fight for a job in the defensive backfield in St. Louis.

T.J. Yates - HOUSTON TEXANS - Yates, the winningest quarterback in Texans playoff history, is the entrenched no. 2 quarterback behind a healthy Matt Schaub.

Da'Norris Searcy - BUFFALO BILLS - Searcy, who logged 34 tackles as a rookie, is working in with the 1's during training camp.

Johnny White - BUFFALO BILLS - White saw limited action a year ago and is battling for the third tailback spot in Buffalo.

Kyle Jolly - PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Jolly, a member of practice squads (Pittsburgh, Atlanta) in years past, is attempting to hang on in Pittsburgh this season.

Bruce Carter - DALLAS COWBOYS - Carter is happy to be healthy after spending the early part of the 2011 season recovering from a knee injury.

Quan Sturdivant - ARIZONA CARDINALS - Sturdivant had six tackles in a preseason win over the Raiders on Friday.

Ryan Taylor - GREEN BAY PACKERS - Taylor played in 15 games a year ago (one catch, four yards, touchdown), but has missed time with a concussion this preseason.

Richard Quinn - Washington Redskins - Quinn is in camp in Washington.

Brandon Tate - Cincinnati Bengals - Tate is in competition for the no. 2 receiver spot in Cincinnati.

Shaun Draughn - KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - Draughn is fighting to be the no. 3 tailback in Kansas City. Here, Arrowhead Addict breaks down his touchdown from last week's game against the Cardinals.

Cam Holland - KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - Holland is in a fight to keep a roster spot at center with the Chiefs.

Tydreke Powell - MINNESOTA VIKINGS - With depth along the defensive line, Powell will be in a fight to stick in Minnesota.

Zack Pianalto, Mike Ingersoll - TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Both Pianalto and Ingersoll appear on the Bucs' first depth chart of the season.

Garrett Reynolds - ATLANTA FALCONS - Reynolds sits near the top of the depth chart at right guard.


  1. doug's avatar
    | Permalink
    What about Connor Barth?
  2. packer fan's avatar
    packer fan
    | Permalink
    To add to the list, Jeff Saturday is starting center at Green Bay.
  3. Steven's avatar
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    What about Greg Little starting in Cleveland? And who the hell is Richard Quinn and why is he in Washington because *Robert Quinn starts for St Louis. Oh and Connor Barth is dominating at Kicker for Tampa Bay.
    This list missed a lot of players...
  4. Turner Walston's avatar
    Turner Walston
    | Permalink
    Thanks for the comments, guys. This was not intended to be a comprehensive list of former Tar Heels in the NFL; just a quick update on some you might have missed. And Richard Quinn is a former Tar Heel tight end, taken by the Broncos in the second round in 2009.
  5. Big Vince's avatar
    Big Vince
    | Permalink
    Ryan Taylor: Packers
    EJ Wilson: Bucs
    Greg Little: Browns
    Marvin Austin: Giants
  6. Dave's avatar
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    Great info, Turner .. good to read some positive news on some of the more obscure former Tar Heels!

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