Football season started off with a bang on Saturday, with Maryland taking down Texas for the second straight season.
And now, less than one week later, the NFL season is set to kick off on Thursday night with an opening matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the defending-champion Philadelphia Eagles.
The Week 1 rosters are set for all 32 teams, and between active rosters and practice squads, 14 former Terrapins have found an NFL home for 2018. Here’s who made the cut.
S Sean Davis (2012-15) — Pittsburgh Steelers
The former Maryland cornerback starts his third season as a starting safety for the Steelers in 2018. Davis had three interceptions and 69 tackles in 2017.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (2006-08) — Pittsburgh Steelers
Heyward-Bey has never quite been a star, but 2018 will be his 10th NFL season as the former Terps standout has carved out a pretty nice career for himself. However, he only had two catches in 2017 and currently sits fifth on Pittsburgh’s wide receiver depth chart.
RB Trey Edmunds (2016) — Pittsburgh Steelers (Practice Squad)
Edmunds only played one year at Maryland after transferring from Virginia Tech, and he will now be heading into his second NFL season. Edmunds spent 2017 with the New Orleans Saints and scored his first career touchdown, but was cut last week, before being signed by the Steelers to their practice squad on Wednesday. Trey will now get to play alongside his brother Terrell, who was drafted by the Steelers this year.
CB J.C. Jackson (2016-17) — New England Patriots
Jackson left after his junior season at Maryland for the NFL Draft but wound up being undrafted. However, that didn’t deter his NFL hopes, as he signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent. However, he had a great camp and an even better preseason, and earned himself a roster spot. He will start down the depth chart and probably see most of his early time on special teams, but Jackson could make a rise soon.
DE Yannick Ngakoue (2013-15) — Jacksonville Jaguars
After a Pro-Bowl 2017 season in which he compiled 12 sacks and forced six fumbles, Ngakoue is back to help lead the Jaguars back to the AFC Championship game, or maybe even further. The third-year pass-rusher is only getting better, and has a chance to enjoy a very nice raise once his rookie contract is up.
DT Darius Kilgo (2011-14) — Houston Texans (Practice Squad)
With Kilgo being signed to the Texans practice, he is now on his fourth team in four seasons. He spent all 2017 on Jacksonville’s practice squad, but he does have two Super Bowl Rings on his fingers. Kilgo was with the Broncos when they won it all in 2015, and the Patriots in 2016.
S A.J. Hendy (2011-15) — Los Angeles Chargers (Practice Squad)
After a solid career at Maryland, Hendy went undrafted in 2016, but the Miami Dolphins signed him to the practice squad. He appeared in his first and only NFL game in week 17 that season, and has been a member of the Chargers practice squad ever since.
WR Stefon Diggs (2012-14) — Minnesota Vikings
You may know Diggs from the pretty awesome play he made in the playoffs last season, and he’s back for more glory in 2018. After racking up 849 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2017, Diggs got his payday, signing a five-year, $81 million contract extension with the Vikings in July. Now, he looks for his first 1,000-yard season and a Super Bowl ring.
LB Josh Woods (2014-17) — Chicago Bears (Practice Squad)
After playing safety at Maryland, Woods went undrafted this year and then signed with the Bears. He impressed enough at the linebacker position at camp and in the preseason that after cutting him last week, Chicago signed him back to the practice squad.
TE Vernon Davis (2003-05) — Washington Redskins
The career continues for Vernon Davis, who managed 43 catches with Washington last season and will now begin his 13th NFL season in his second year of a three-year deal in our nation’s capital.
WR DJ Moore (2015-17) — Carolina Panthers
Moore was the prize of the Maryland draft class in 2018. He was the first wide receiver to go off the board, being taken by the Panthers with the 24th overall pick after he caught 80 passes for 1,033 yards in College Park last season. Moore will start on the depth chart as Carolina’s No. 3 wide receiver, but don’t be surprised if he’s No. 1 soon.
WR Torrey Smith (2008-10) — Carolina Panthers
Two of Cam Newton’s main targets will be Terps this season as Torrey Smith will start his eighth NFL season with his fourth team. After winning his second Super Bowl ring with the Eagles last season, Smith was traded to Carolina in March.
LB Jermaine Carter (2014-17) — Carolina Panthers
The Panthers will officially be dubbed “College Park South” with three Terps on their roster this season. After three straight seasons with at least 90 tackles at Maryland, Carter was picked in the fifth round by the Panthers. He is listed as Carolina’s No. 2 strong-side linebacker on the depth chart, which he could get some early snaps on the defensive side of the ball in week one.
DE Quinton Jefferson (2012-15) — Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks drafted Jefferson in the fifth round in 2016, and he has been with the team ever since. Jefferson appeared in nine game over his first two seasons, including one where he was involved in a little scuffle. However, Jefferson has moved past that, and is listed on Seattle’s depth chart as its starting left defensive end, which would make Sunday against the Broncos his first NFL start.