The NFL’s cut-down day Tuesday wasn’t kind to a few of Pitt’s recent NFL hopefuls, but there are more than a few major names who made the cut.
A number of former Pitt stars have made NFL active rosters across the league, and while a majority of those who were cut will certainly receive practice squad opportunities, there are quite a few Pitt stars in the NFL.
If my calculations are correct, there were 19 former Pitt stars who earned spots on active rosters this season.
Aaron Donald, a seven-time first-team All-Pro, three-time Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl champion, is Pitt’s greatest recent alumni. He’s firmly in the running for the greatest defensive player of all time, and even though he’s rising in age, he’s still one of the most feared linemen in the NFL.
Kenny Pickett might be the most beloved Pitt star in recent memory, and after a very, very strong preseason, he’s in line for a breakout sophomore campaign with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Damar Hamlin, who is firmly in the lead for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year honor, and Dane Jackson are key cogs in the Bills defense. The same goes for K’Waun Williams and Damarri Mathis in Denver.
Calijah Kancey, who has earned starting duties as a rookie, and SirVocea Dennis are thriving in Tampa. And Izzy Abanikanda and Carter Warren have made an impact in New York.
In fact, there are a good number of former Pitt stars who have cracked NFL rosters this season.
James Conner — Arizona Cardinals running back
Damar Hamlin — Buffalo Bills safety
Dane Jackson — Buffalo Bills cornerback
Cal Adomitis — Cincinnati Bengals long snapper
Tyler Boyd — Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver
Damarri Mathis — Denver Broncos cornerback
K’Waun Williams — Denver Broncos cornerback
Aaron Donald — Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle
Patrick Jones II — Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker
Brian O’Neill — Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle
Jason Pinnock — New York Giants cornerback
Israel Abanikanda — New York Jets running back
Carter Warren — New Yoek Jets offensive tackle
Jordan Whitehead — New York Jets safety
Avonte Maddox — Philadelphia Eagles cornerback
Kenny Pickett — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback
SirVocea Dennis — Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker
Calijah Kancey — Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle
Rashad Weaver — Tennessee Titans outside linebacker