There are several Jewish stories going into this year’s NFL season. Although I cannot promise you stellar Fantasy Football tips (Julian Edelman is a nice #2 wide receiver), I can give you hints of where to look for progress among the league’s many MOTs.
Braverman’s 2nd and Long
Let’s start in Chicago. Daniel Braverman is known as a hard worker. I saw it myself at Bears training camp; last guy off the field and last guy to finish signing autographs. His work ethic is undeniable, but he is part of a crowded receiving corps and has yet to shine in preseason. His potential as a punt returner makes his chances better to retain a roster spot.
Josh Rosen … in 2018
While technically not in the NFL yet (he’s a junior at UCLA), the outspoken quarterback is projected as a top pick in next year’s NFL draft. What does that mean? Keep an eye on the NFL teams that need QBs in 2018. Rosen may be their answer.
Gabe Marks and other training camp invitees
It seems like every year there are a host of Jewish undrafted free agents who get invited to camp. This year includes Michael Bercovici (Chargers), Anthony Firkser (Jets), Mitchell Kirsch (Bears), and Gabe Marks (Jets). All players have the potential to make their respective squads, but thus far it has been wide receiver Marks who has shined the most, even catching the attention of recently retired receiver and possible future Hall of Famer Steve Smith. The Washington State product has a chance to make the roster given the Jets’ depleted depth at the position.
Adam Bisnowaty’s rookie campaign
The New York Giants grabbed former Pitt tackle Adam Bisnowaty in the sixth round. He has been very outspoken about his Jewish roots and even sports a Hebrew tattoo. He is competing for a starting job on the offensive line; his progress looks good and the Giants’ look like they’ll need all the help they can get opening holes for the running game and protecting Eli Manning.
Mitchell Schwartz, the All-Pro
The Kansas City offensive lineman is one of the highest paid at his position, and he’s earned it. What’s next on the agenda? Having a Pro-Bowl season and gaining All-Pro status.
Ali Marpet’s big move
Marpet is still in Tampa Bay, but he is making a big move to play center. He will be aligned with Jameis Winston, who he was drafted to protect. Lots of eyes will be on Marpet’s progress as the Bucs look to ascend into the upper tier of NFL teams.
Julian Edelman’s new contract
The NFL’s most famous Jew made a magnificent catch to help the Patriots win another Super Bowl. In June he was rewarded with a well-deserved contract extension that will keep him in New England through 2019; it’ll be interesting to watch him now that he’s a big money player — and given that New England is loaded with pass-catchers competing for Tom Brady’s attention.