The first round of NFL training camp cuts are near. Here's where Iowa's rookies stand:
With three weeks until the first NFL regular season game, Iowa football rookies have reached a critical point in 2022 training camp.
Tuesday is the first day of mandated roster cuts. By 3 p.m. on Tuesday, NFL teams must cut down their rosters from 90 players to 85 players. Roster cuts will take place every Tuesday until August 30 when teams must reach the 53-man limit for active rosters.
Some players like Tyler Linderbaum (Ravens) and Dane Belton (Giants) will surely make their rosters, but for undrafted players like Tyler Goodson (Packers), Matt Hankins (Falcons) and more, the looming cutdown is the first hurdle to clear to make their team's active roster or practice squad, which is up to 16 players.
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Safety Jack Koerner added himself to the list of Iowa rookies in training camp, resigning with the New Orleans Saints last Wednesday. Elsewhere, teams released unofficial depth charts last week, a clear indication of where each player stands entering preseason games and other rookies are on the mend.
At the midway point of NFL training camp, here's an update on where each of Iowa football's NFL rookies stand with their teams:
More details on Jack Koerner to the Saints
The Saints interest in Jack Koerner dates back to the NFL Draft process. Koerner met with the team a few times throughout the spring including the night before Iowa's NFL pro day on March 22. There, Koerner impressed with a 4.51 second 40-yard dash and 20 bench press reps, solidifying his place as a priority free agent.
Koerner signed with the Saints over other teams quickly after the NFL draft on April 26. However, the team signed several other safeties over the next few weeks including All-Pro Tyrann Mathieu which created a logjam at the position. Koerner was waived on May 19.
The Saints experienced injuries at safety early in training camp, placing two on injured reserve that opened the door for Koerner to return. Since his signing, Koerner's worked at safety and heavily on special teams.
Three days after his signing, Koerner played in the Saints first preseason game against the Houston Texans, primarily at safety. Playing on a quick turnaround was a good sign, making it past Tuesday's cut day would be another good sign.
Tyler Goodson receives first NFL start
Running back Tyler Goodson has been an emerging storyline in Green Bay Packers training camp. Taking advantage of an opportunity created by injury, Goodson is squarely in the mix for the third running back spot behind established duo Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
Goodson appeared as the third running back on the Packers first unofficial depth chart last week. In the Packers first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, he received his first NFL start.
He finished with 12 carries for 37 yards, two catches for 24 yards and returned one kickoff for 19 yards. Expect for Goodson to continue to compete for a 53-man roster spot until the end of camp.
Belton, Linderbaum and Shudak are battling injury
A trio of Iowa rookies are battling injuries right now and are inactive: fourth round pick and defensive back Dane Belton (New York Giants), first round center Tyler Linderbaum (Baltimore Ravens) and undrafted kicker Caleb Shudak (Tennessee Titans).
Belton was receiving some first team reps early in camp before suffering broken collarbone. His injury didn't require surgery and as of last week is out of his sling. Despite his injury, Belton was still listed as a second team safety in the Giants initial depth chart. It's unlikely that he'll play this preseason but will have a role whenever he's back healthy.
During the first few weeks of camp, Linderbaum made a large impression on his new team. The first round pick is the Ravens' No. 1 center on their depth chart but suffered a setback last week.
Initial reports stated that Linderbaum re-aggravated his Lisfranc foot injury, which dated back to Iowa's Citrus Bowl loss. Ravens coach John Harbaugh cleared up those reports stating that it is a foot injury but not Lisfranc. The prognosis is that it will take one to two weeks of healing.
Undrafted kicker Caleb Shudak remains on the Titans' PUP (physically unable to perform) list through three weeks of training camp. Titans special teams coach Craig Aukerman said Shudak is still working in the training room but there's no timetable for a return. Shudak appeared as the Titans' No. 2 kicker on their initial depth chart.
Matt Hankins, Zach VanValkenburg see game action
Two former defensive standouts fighting for roster spots are cornerback Matt Hankins (Atlanta Falcons) and defensive end Zach VanValkenburg (Las Vegas Raiders). Both appeared as third string/reserve options on their teams' respective first depth charts.
Hankins played throughout the fourth quarter in the Falcons opening preseason game against the Detroit Lions, recording one tackle. VanValkenburg played in his second preseason game on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings; in two appearances he has two total tackles.
Both will be players to watch on Tuesday's cut deadline.
Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.