Ex-Cats

NFL roster cuts include several undrafted former Kentucky football stars

Saturday wasn’t just the start of Kentucky’s college football season. It was also the day that NFL teams must determine their initial 53-man rosters, and several former Cats on the roster bubble learned their fates.

All five of UK’s 2019 draft picks — Jacksonville Jaguars edge rusher Josh Allen, Houston Texans cornerback Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Mike Edwards, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell and New York Giants offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei — have made their teams at this point, though Asafo-Adjei will spend the season on injured reserve because of a concussion.

Snell, Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher, was considered by some to be on the roster bubble after averaging 1.9 yards per carry during the preseason. But NFL teams rarely cut loose a draft pick and Snell showed an interest, and skill, in contributing on special teams which surely helped his case.

Saturday’s news wasn’t as good for the Cats’ undrafted players from last season’s roster. CJ Conrad (tight end/Giants), Derrick Baity (cornerback/Texans), Dorian Baker (wide receiver/Cleveland Browns) and Bunchy Stallings (offensive lineman/Jaguars) were all released. However, they could end up on their respective former teams’ practice squad if they’re not claimed on waivers by another team.

Another undrafted former Cat from last season, cornerback Chris Westry, was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury by the Dallas Cowboys.

Other former Cats who were released or waived were Jeff Badet (wide receiver/Minnesota Vikings), Farrington Huguenin (outside linebacker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Jon Toth (center/New York Jets).

Dennis Varney is the assistant sports editor for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. He is a Pike County native and Western Kentucky alum. He has also worked at The Times of Northwest Indiana, The Seattle Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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