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Buffalo Bulls In The NFL

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Khalil Mack - Oakland Raiders

We all know that Khalil Mack is a little good at being a linebacker. Turns out he is well-matched on the other side of the defense and that makes the folks at Silver and Black Pride eager to see the defense they bring.

What condition the Raiders position is in: Outside linebacker - Silver And Black Pride
After just his rookie season, fifth overall pick Khalil Mack is one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL. He is the key to the Raiders defense both as a run defender and as a pass rusher from the strong side. On the other side is Sio Moore, who is coming off a hip injury and looks to be full strength to start training camp. He is a fiery presence from the weak side, offering plenty as a pass rusher as well as in coverage. His one area which could use improvement is his discipline, both as a run defender and in his maturity. When focused, he is a very good linebacker.

James Starks - Green Bay Packers

Starks is almost 30, which is old by NFL running back standards. On the flip side his injury problems a few years back have limited the wear and tear his body has taken. He may have a few more years in the tank than your average NFL running back.

This is also the final year of his contract in Green Bay. In a way this is Starks auditioning for his next contract, either with the Packers or elsewhere in the NFL.

Fansided Profile - James Starks
Most Packer fans remember the run Starks had in the latter part of his rookie year in 2010. Starks was a key player in helping the Packers secure their Super Bowl XLV win. After 2010, Starks struggled to stay healthy and put up consistent numbers. The Packers needed to improve their running game and they did so by drafting Lacy and Jonathan Franklin in the 2013 NFL Draft.  Starks’ job was on the line in 2013, but he made the team and has flourished in his new role as a backup to Lacy and being a change of pace back.

Branden Oliver - San Diego Chargers

Last season Branden Oliver was the undrafted pickup in San Diego's camp who "did not have a chance". Even after he broke out in the preseason many Charger fans thought he would never see the 53 man roster.

Yet he made the team, started a number of games and was one of the more productive rookie running backs in the NFL.

So I take the following with a huge grain of salt.

Chargers Training Camp Battles - Offense - Bolts From The Blue
No real drama here.  Melvin Gordon, Branden Oliver, Donald Brown, and Danny Woodhead will all be Bolts and it is unlikely that the team keeps a 5th RB.  That is bad news for Jahwan Edwards and Dreamius Smith, the two UDFA backs that will get their chances in 2nd halves of games in August.

Steven Means - Baltimore Ravens

Means is a part of a new picture in Baltimore and the gents over at Baltimore Beat Down are wondering if means and those like him can be counted upon when the time comes.

Can Unproven Players be Relied Upon? - Baltimore Beatdown
is it crazy to think that the Ravens can go on relying on unproven commodities like WR Kamar Aiken, TE Crockett Gilmore, DE Brent Urban, LB Zach Orr, LB Steven Means, and S Terrance Brooks? I don't think so. But remember, the Ravens bet on Chykie Brown replacing Corey Graham. Mistakes can be made.

Josh Thomas - Minnesota Vikings

In my own backyard Josh Thomas is back! Of course Vikings fans are not very high on the defensive back.

Minnesota Vikings Sign Josh Thomas - Daily Norseman
In the wake of the Jabari Price suspension, the Minnesota Vikings have decided to use their last roster spot on another player at the cornerback position. The team has just announced the signing of cornerback Josh Thomas. He was a fifth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2011 NFL Draft, and has spent time with the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, and Detroit Lions as well.

In case you're wondering Thomas is wearing #33

Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Day Two: AM News and Notes - Daily Norseman
New signing Josh Thomas was out on the field, with no name yet above the #33 on his jersey. He was mostly getting third team reps.

Kristjan Sokoli - Seattle Seahawks

While Sokoli has a ton to prove before taking the starting job he is at least in contention for one of the more wide open spots in Seattle

2015 Seattle Seahawks training camp preview - NFL Nation - ESPN
Carroll added the center position is the one to watch through the preseason, saying it will be as competitive as any spot they have. Rookie Kristjan Sokoli, a nose tackle in college, also is part of the competition. The man who wins the job has big shoes to fill to help keep the Seahawks the best running team in football.

Jake Schum - New York Jets

I have no Schum updates this week :(