Arlington Hambright came to the Colorado Buffaloes a year ago looking for an opportunity.
Hambright made the most of his year in Boulder, became an NFL draft pick and this weekend made the final cut for the Chicago Bears’ 53-man roster.
A seventh-round pick of the Bears in April’s draft, Hambright is one of 13 former Buffaloes to make 53-man rosters, as NFL teams made cuts this weekend in advance of next weekend’s opening games.
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In addition, at least four former Buffs, including quarterback Steven Montez, have been signed to practice squads.
Hambright, who transferred to CU from Oklahoma State a year ago and started all 12 games at left tackle in the 2019 season, is one of six players from last year’s CU team to have an NFL home.
Receiver Laviska Shenault, Jr. (Jacksonville Jaguars) and linebacker Davion Taylor (Philadelphia Eagles) both made the 53-man rosters of their teams. Montez (Washington), receiver Tony Brown (Washington) and cornerback Delrick Abrams Jr. (Atlanta) were all signed to practice squads on Sunday.
Shenault, who skipped his senior year to enter the draft, was a second-round pick (42nd overall) of the Jaguars. He led the Buffs in receiving the past two years, finishing his career eighth in program history in catches (149) and 11th in receiving yards (1,943).
Taylor was a third-round pick (103rd) of the Eagles. A junior college transfer in 2018, Taylor was a two-year starter with the Buffs and was second on the team in tackles (69) last year.
Montez was released Saturday, but will go into his rookie year on the practice squad. A three-year starter at CU, Montez set numerous school records, including for career passing yards (9,649) and touchdown passes (63). He went undrafted in April, but was quickly signed by Washington, which kept three quarterbacks on the active roster.
Brown was also undrafted and has already been with three teams. He was signed after the draft by the Cleveland Browns, who waived him this summer. He signed with the New York Giants in August, but landed with Washington last week.
After tying Shenault for the CU team lead in receptions last year (56), Brown will get a chance to prove himself on Washington’s practice squad.
Like Taylor, Abrams joined the Buffs as a junior college transfer in 2018. He started 19 games over the past two seasons and earned a shot with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent.
In addition to Hambright, Shenault and Taylor, 10 other former Buffs made 53-man rosters. Teams with former Buffs on their 53-man rosters:
Atlanta Falcons: CB Isaiah Oliver
Baltimore Ravens: CB Jimmy Smith
Chicago Bears: Hambright
Dallas Cowboys: CB Chidobe Awuzie
Denver Broncos: RB Phillip Lindsay
Green Bay Packers: OL David Bakhtiari, PK Mason Crosby, CB Kabion Ento
Jacksonville Jaguars: Shenault
Kansas City Chiefs: S Tedric Thompson
Philadelphia Eagles: Taylor
San Francisco 49ers: CB Ahkello Witherspoon
Tennessee Titans: OL Daniel Munyer
Ento made the 53-man roster despite recently having surgery on a broken foot. By placing Ento on the roster, the Packers can move him to injured reserve and potentially activate him during the season. A receiver at CU, Ento signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent last year, was moved to cornerback and spent the 2019 season on the practice squad.
Former CU receiver Devin Ross was released by the New England Patriots, despite having a good training camp, but was added to their practice squad on Sunday. Ross, who played at CU from 2013-17 and ranks ninth in career catches, has been on the practice squads of the Titans and Eagles during his NFL career, but has yet to appear in a regular season game.
Receivers Paul Richardson (Seattle Seahawks) and Juwann Winfree (Broncos) and cornerback Ken Crawley (Arizona Cardinals) were all released. As of Sunday afternoon, they had not been signed.
Richardson was a second-round pick of the Seahawks in 2014 and spent the past two seasons with Washington. He re-signed with Seattle on Aug. 29 and was given a $75,000 signing bonus, but practiced just once. In six NFL seasons, he has 143 catches for 1,809 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Two other former Buffs are with NFL teams, but on the reserve/COVID-19 opt-out list: offensive lineman Nate Solder (Giants) and defensive lineman Josh Tupou (Cincinnati Bengals).
Also of note, tight end Caleb Wilson, the son of CU defensive line coach Chris Wilson, was released by the Eagles, but signed to the practice squad Sunday. Caleb Wilson played at UCLA.
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