CFL Pass

A look at Canadians Varga, Boyko, Covington, Jones on day of NFL roster cuts

In standard fashion, a few higher-end CFL Draft prospects have been given at least short-term contracts with NFL teams. Today, teams in the big league must submit official 75-man rosters which will in turn become the 53-man rosters for Opening Day.

CFLpass takes a brief look at the short- (and possibly medium-) term futures of four top-ranked Canadian players currently trying to make their way in the USA.

This weekend saw Yale graduate Tyler Varga score his first NFL touchdown for the Indianapolis Colts; Varga’s smart play and efficient work (hey, he’s an Ivy League guy!) have earned him steady attention throughout the preseason, culminating in lots of quality playing time against the Rams last Saturday.

The touchdown and playing time indicate that Varga will still be a Colt after today, but his future beyond nabbing a spot on the practice squad is still uncertain. In 2014, the pass-happy Colts began the season with four running backs on the roster; new acquisition Frank Gore is naturally a shoo-in for the list of 53, as are Dan Herron and draftee Josh Robinson. Varga’s main opposition for the fourth spot would appear to be Vick Ballard, a former fifth-round pick who has missed the past two seasons due to injuries – and has been dogged by more this offseason.

Brett Boyko was at one point projected to be drafted in as high as the fourth round of the NFL draft, but ultimately signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie. By all reports, Boyko is seriously on the bubble to make Philly’s 53-man roster, having earned sobriquets from the media such as “uninspiring” and “underachieving.” One local outlet had Boyko listed as the 10th best of the 10 likely offensive linemen currently with the team.

On the flip side is Christian Covington, a relatively unheralded DL who just might yet convincingly win a place within the monstrous Houston Texans defence. Complimented by head coach Bill O’Brien as having done a “pretty good job” this offseason, Covington has slowly worked his way up the Texans’ depth chart and appears to have won himself a spot on the 53-man side already, particularly with nose tackle Louis Nix reportedly performing underwhelmingly.

Summarized sportswriter Sean Pendergrast of the Houston Press, “Covington not only has made the team, but I’m confident he can be a contributor this season, not just a placeholder.”

Finally, Brett Jones seems to have carved his niche on the New York Giants, as he’s currently listed at no. 3 on the depth chart at centre despite seeing rather limited playing time in the first three preseason games. On the other hand, some sources call him “a long shot to make the club.”

No matter: Should Jones not crack the Giants’ roster, BC Lions are ready to snap him up…

 

– written by Os Davis