Dores in the NFL

Tracking how former Vanderbilt standouts are doing in professional football

This information on former Vanderbilt student-athletes on current National Football League rosters was updated Nov. 18, 2019.

Khari Blasingame (2015-18) // Tennessee // Blasingame earned a spot on the practice squad in Minneosta after making a favorable impression during the preseason as a rookie free agent fullback prospect.

This past week he was signed to the Titans’ 53-man roster. Tennessee was off this weekend.

Oren Burks (2014-17) // Green Bay // Burks was a third-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft and competed for a starting job at linebacker as a rookie in Green Bay. Burks was forced to the sideline with a chest injury suffered in the 2019 preseason opener, but returned to the practice field Sept. 30.

Burks made his 2019 debut against Dallas on Oct. 6 and assisted on one tackle while playing 11 snaps on defense and 20 plays on special teams. He had two tackles Oct. 20 against Oakland and played 33 snaps combined on defense and special teams.

The Packers were off Sunday and Burks was in attendance during Vanderbilt’s game against Kentucky on Saturday.

Adam Butler (2013-16) // New England // Butler is in his third season in New England and comes off a year when he helped the Patriots capture the Super Bowl. Butler has played multiple defensive line positions and has been most effective as a pass-rushing specialist from the defensive tackle role.

Butler has played in 10 games this season, has 16 tackles and 5.5 sacks. On Oct. 27 against Cleveland he had four tackles, two sacks and three hits on the quarterback.

Zach Cunningham (2013-16) // Houston // The 57th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Cunningham became a starter and one of Houston’s most-productive defenders as a rookie. He was a consensus first team All-American at inside linebacker for the Commodores in 2016.

Cunningham led the Texans in 2018 with 73 solo tackles and 105 combined tackles, adding two forced fumbles, one interception return for a score and a fumble recovery.

In 10 games this season Cunningham has 75 tackles (five for a loss), a sack and two fumble recoveries.

Casey Hayward (2008-11) // Los Angeles Chargers // Hayward is in his eighth season and is considered among the NFL’s elite cornerbacks. He is a two-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro defender who topped the NFL in 2016 with seven interceptions.

In 2017, he was named the Chargers’ most valuable player and defensive player of the year. In 2018, Hayward finished the regular season with 47 solo tackles, 53 total stops and nine passes defended.

As the Chargers’ top cover corner in 2019, Hayward has 22 tackles in 10 games, seven passes defended and two interceptions.

Tre Herndon (2014-17) // Jacksonville // Herndon is in his second NFL season after playing in 11 games on coverage units and at cornerback as a rookie with Jacksonville. He made the Jags’ active roster after signing with the team as a rookie free agent and finished his rookie season with 10 solo tackles and 13 total stops.

Getting his first career start at cornerback replacing All-Pro Jalen Ramsey in Jacksonville’s win over Denver in Week 4, Herndon posted four solo tackles and defended a pass that game.

Herndon has played in 10 games and started eight this season. He has 37 tackles – one for a loss – and has defended seven passes.

Will Holden (2013-16) // A fifth-round pick by Arizona in 2017, Holden has been with three NFL teams as an offensive tackle and guard. Holden is currently on the practice squad in San Francisco.

Jordan Matthews (2010-13) // Philadelphia // After being released by San Francisco in late August, Matthews returned to the league Oct. 3 by resigning with the 49ers. He was then picked up by Philadelphia earlier this month.

Matthews suffered from injuries in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, but has accumulated 270 receptions, 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns during tenures with Philadelphia, Buffalo and New England.

This season, Matthews had played three offensive snaps Oct. 20 in a win at Washington for the 49ers before being signed by Philadelphia. He had one catch for six yards this weekend against New England.

Spencer Pulley (2011-15) // New York Giants // Pulley joined the Giants early in the 2018 season, and eventually went on to start nine games on the offensive front. In 2017, Pulley served as the Chargers’ starting center for all 16 regular season games. In 2018-19, Pulley earned eight starting assignments at center.

Now in his fourth NFL season, Pulley started for this first time earlier this month in the Giants’ game against the New York Jets and played all 71 offensive snaps. The Giants were off this past weekend.

Trent Sherfield (2014-17) // Arizona // Sherfield is in his second NFL season after making the most of his rookie campaign in Phoenix. Signed as a rookie free agent, Sherfield played in 13 games and earned two starts at wide receiver for the Cardinals.

By the end of the 2018 season, he was one of the team’s top receiving threats, finishing with 19 receptions, 210 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Sherfield has been targeted 13 times in 11 games this season and has four receptions for 80 yards.

Justin Skule (2015-18) // San Francisco // Skule was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the 49ers. He moved into the 49ers’ starting lineup while replacing injured tackle Joe Staley and earned his first start at tackle against Pittsburgh on Sept. 22.

Skule has played 528 offensive snaps this season and has started the past seven games.

Emmanuel Smith (2014-17) // Kansas City // Emmanuel Smith is in his second NFL season and is on the practice squad for the Kansas City Chiefs. The inside linebacker was signed as a rookie free agent by Atlanta and finished the 2018 season as a practice squad contributor in Tampa Bay.

Stephen Weatherly (2012-15) // Minnesota // Weatherly is in his fourth NFL season while coming off the best year of his career. In 2018, Weatherly became an occasional starter at defensive end and valuable pass-rush specialist for the Vikings, enjoying the most playing time of his pro career.

Weatherly accumulated 23 solo tackles, 33 total tackles and three quarterback sacks – all single-season career highs.

This season Weatherly has played 11 games, recorded nine tackles, a sack and forced a fumble.

Ralph Webb (2013-17) // Pittsburgh // Webb was signed Monday to Pittsburgh’s practice squad.

The running back was signed by New England as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and spent time on the practice squad with Tampa Bay during that season.

Joejuan Williams (2016-18) // New England // Williams was selected as the 45th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Patriots. Williams was on New England’s active roster through the first month of the regular season and played 13 special teams snaps Sept. 22 against the New York Jets.

In Week 5 against Washington, Williams played eight snaps on defense and eight more snaps on special teams. He was inactive the following week.

Williams played Oct. 21 against the New York Jets and was on the field 2o combined snaps on defense and special teams – he also made his first career tackle and defended a pass in that win. This past Sunday, Williams played one snap on special teams in a win over Philadelphia.

Jonathan Wynn (2014-17) // Detroit // Wynn was signed to Detroit’s practice squad after competing for a roster spot during preseason camp. He was originally signed by Minnesota as a rookie free agent in June 2018.


 

Wesley Johnson (2010-13) // A sixth-year veteran, Johnson was released by the 49ers in August. Johnson saw action in 10 games last year on the offensive line in Miami and was a 16-game starter at center for the New York Jets in 2017.

Dare Odeyingbo (2015-18) // Odeyingbo was picked up by Cincinnati on Aug. 14. He was originally signed as a rookie free agent by Tampa Bay.

Kyle Shurmur (2015-18) // Kansas City // Shurmur was added to Kansas City’s practice squad on Aug. 30 after a strong preseason showing with the Chiefs. He was released by the Chiefs on Oct. 22.

Josh Smith (2015-18) // Josh Smith was released Aug. 30 by the Tennessee Titans. The outside linebacker also worked out for the Titans after the 2019 NFL Draft.