As the NFL season nears, teams around the league are slowly but surely narrowing down their rosters to get to the Opening Day magic number of 53 players.
Most teams have made cuts to the 75-player maximum ahead of the afternoon deadline, and another 22 players will have to go when Saturday comes and goes. Some former Iowa State players didn't survive the cuts, but many are still on teams and will stick on either 53-man rosters or practice squads.
- Ahtyba Rubin, Defensive line — Cleveland Browns Entering his seventh NFL season with the Browns, Rubin figures to be an integral part of the team’s defensive line. Rubin, who was selected out of Iowa State in the 2008 NFL Draft, has earned high praise from new Browns coach Mike Pettine, who has called him one of the best defenders he’s had in his system.
- A.J. Klein, Linebacker — Carolina Panthers
While Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn has battled a back injury during training camp, Klein has capitalized. Klein, a fifth-round pick from a season ago, appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers last season, starting twice in place of Blackburn.
He now appears in line to be the team’s starting outside linebacker come Week 1. In the last two pre-season games, Klein has four tackles and an interception, which he returned 29 yards.
- Carter Bykowski, Offensive tackle — San Francisco 49ers
Bykowski appears to be having a decent camp with the 49ers and has seen time throughout the pre-season with the second-string offense. The second-year pro is likely competing for one roster spot, which could put the seventh-rounder from last season on the practice squad early on. Although he is down to the final cut, so he could be in the 53-man roster picture.
- Deon Broomfield, Defensive back — Buffalo Bills
After going undrafted this spring, Broomfield latched on with the Buffalo Bills. The rookie has appeared to perform well enough thus far in camp to at the very least remain with the team’s practice squad. Over the last three contests, Broomfield has seven tackles, an interception and two pass deflections.
- Jeremiah George, Linebacker — New York Jets
After seeing some time with the starting defense in the pre-season opener, George recorded one tackle in the second game and didn’t play a single defensive snap in the latest. Speculation among some New York media is that George could be a candidate to be cut or fighting for a practice squad spot.
- Jeremy Reeves, Defensive back — New York Jets
Reeves missed the 2013 season following pectoral surgery after going undrafted, but a strong Pro Day got him a deal with the Jets for training camp. Injuries to the team’s defensive backs early on appeared to help Reeves’ chances of making the team, but it’s possible he is fighting for a spot on the practice squad rather than the team’s 53-man roster. Jets coach Rex Ryan has said that Reeves will get playing time in the pre-season finale.
- Josh Lenz, Wide receiver — Indianapolis Colts
Lenz was inactive for the Colts’ first pre-season game, but made his mark in their most recent one when he was targeted four times and came away with a 22-yard catch for a touchdown along with another seven-yard reception. He has gotten reps with the second and third team offense during camp.
- Kelechi Osemele, Offensive line — Baltimore Ravens
Back in action after he appeared in only seven games last season because of a herniated disk, Osemele figures to start at left guard for the Ravens. The second round selection in the 2012 Draft began his career at right tackle before switching to guard in the postseason as the Ravens marched to a Super Bowl title.
- Leonard Johnson, Defensive back — Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Once an undrafted free agent, Johnson has turned himself into a starting defensive back with the Buccaneers. Over the last two seasons, Johnson has played in 32 games and started 14, and he appears in line to be Tampa Bay’s starting nickel this season.
- Reggie Stephens, Offensive line — Baltimore Ravens
Stephens could be headed for the Ravens’ practice squad with tight competition on the team’s offensive line. He has made the most noise during this season’s training camp after getting into an altercation with linebacker Nicholas DiMarco in mid-August.
- Tim Dobbins, Linebacker — Atlanta Falcons
Dobbins has dealt with ankle injuries during training camp. The NFL veteran, drafted in 2006, is with the fourth team of his career this season, but could be fighting for a linebacker spot. He has remained on the field despite his ankle injury early on, recording four tackles last time out.
- David Sims, Defensive back — Free agent
After a year away from football, he signed with the Colts in February before being cut following the team's third pre-season game. In the last two games, Sims recorded a total of six tackles.
- Jake Knott, Linebacker — Free agent
Knott is on the search for a new team after the Eagles released him during the weekend. Already suspended four games for violating the league's performance enhancing substance policy during the off-season, Knott was hampered during camp with a hamstring injury. Those factors didn’t help his cause.
- Jake McDonough, Defensive end — Free agent
A late signing in July by the Redskins, McDonough had one tackle through the team’s first three pre-season games. The Redskins, though, cut McDonough on Sunday, making him a free agent.
- Jansen Watson, Defensive back — Free agent
Watson signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent during the spring and appeared to be performing well early on in camp before leaving the team to contemplate his future in football. After eventually returning to camp, Watson didn’t appear in either box score and was cut from the roster Sunday.
Missed the cut