Former Auburn Tigers NFL Update: Season Preview


Aug 22, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback

Cam Newton

(1) passes against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season begins this week, and quite a few former Auburn Tigers will play significant roles for teams across the league. Furthermore, there are more than a dozen players that played football at Auburn that will be counted on as starters across a wide range of positions.


A Heisman Trophy winner in his only season at Auburn, Cam Newton is the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. A two-time Pro Bowler in three NFL seasons, Newton has struggled with injuries lately, but is expected to start in Week 1.

More from Auburn Football

To date, Newton has recorded 11,299 passing yards and 64 touchdowns with 2,032 rushing yards and 28 more scores on the ground. Last season, Newton led the Panthers to the playoffs for the first time and helped the team capture the NFC South title.

Jason Campbell is the primary backup for the Cincinnati Bengals. The 32-year old is a ten-year NFL veteran with 16,697 career passing yards and 87 touchdowns. Should starter Andy Dalton falter or succumb to injury, Cincinnati will be in good hands with the former Auburn Tiger.

Running Back

Ben Tate is the starting running back in Cleveland after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Houston Texans. After rushing for 1,992 yards in three seasons as a backup (Tate missed 2010 with an injury), the former Auburn Tiger will have an opportunity to be the primary ball carrier for the Browns.

The Houston Texans have two former Auburn Tigers on the running back depth chart. Ronnie Brown is the fourth halfback, while rookie Jay Prosch is the only fullback listed on the roster. Brown has played sparingly in recent seasons and spent the last two years with the San Diego Chargers, but he is a former 1,000-yard rusher with the Miami Dolphins.

In St. Louis, rookie running back Tre Mason is listed fourth on the depth chart. The 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist got a lot of work in the pre-season, but may not get many carries in the first few weeks of the regular season. He could contribute on special teams.

Wide Receiver

Emory Blake is a member of the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad.

Offensive Line

Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs is back in New Orleans to protect quarterback Drew Brees. After spending five seasons in Baltimore, Grubbs has started 32 consecutive games for the Saints.

King Dunlap will protect the blind side for Phillip Rivers as the starting left tackle for the San Diego Chargers. The 6-foot-9, 330-pounder has started 30 games in five NFL seasons, including 11 last year for San Diego.

After missing his rookie season in 2012 due to injury, and appearing in 13 games last year, Brandon Mosley has moved to the top of the depth chart at right guard for the New York Giants.

The second overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and a star at left tackle for Auburn last season, Greg Robinson will start at left guard as a rookie for the St. Louis Rams.

Defensive Line

Sen’Derrick Marks has established himself as a starting defensive tackle with the Jacksonville Jaguars. After working his way into the starting lineup in Tennessee in 2013, Marks moved to Jacksonville and started all 16 games in 2013 for the Jaguars and shined. As a Jag, Marks recorded career highs with four sacks, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Oct 20, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen

Like Marks, Pat Sims established himself as a starter with a new club in 2013. Sims signed with Oakland after spending five seasons in Cincinnati, and started all 16 games for the Raiders. He set a career high with 54 tackles last season and also added two sacks from his starting nose tackle spot.

Another former Auburn Tiger will be starting at defensive tackle in Chicago. Longtime NFL veteran Jeremiah Ratliff spent eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before joining the Bears in 2013. He missed 11 games last season, but is listed atop the depth chart for 2014. Ratliff has 28.5 career sacks to date.

The may begin to call Auburn Defensive Tackle U soon. Nick Fairley regained his starting spot as an interior defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions in the final week of the pre-season. The star of the 2011 BCS National Championship Game started 15 games and had a career-high six sacks for the Lions in 2013.


Karlos Dansby, a veteran of 10 NFL seasons, is the starting middle linebacker for the Cleveland Browns. 2014 will be Dansby’s first season in Cleveland after spending seven years with the Arizona Cardinals and three with the Miami Dolphins. Dansby has recorded more than 1,000 tackles in his career and has notched 38 sacks.

Dee Ford, a sack machine on the defensive line for Auburn, is now an outside linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs. The rookie is currently listed as a second-teamer behind Justin Houston, but should see the field often as a pass rush specialist.

A special teams standout, Daren Bates will also serve as a reserve linebacker again for the St. Louis Rams. Last season, Bates saw action in 15 games for the Rams and recorded five tackles and recovered a fumble.

Also used primarily as a special teamer, Corey Lemonier returns to the San Francisco 49ers this season. Lemonier played in all 16 games last season as a rookie and recorded 15 tackles, a sack, a safety and forced a fumble. He played well in the pre-season and produced seven tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in those four games.

After spending the pre-season with the Houston Texans, Quentin Groves has landed on the Tennessee Titans’ 53-man roster. Groves will be a backup outside linebacker in Nashville, which means he will be with his sixth organization in a seven-year career, and his fourth in the last three seasons. Last season, Groves saw action in five games for the Cleveland Browns.

Defensive Back

Ten-year vet Carlos Rogers is with a new team this season. After starting 48 consecutive games with the San Francisco 49ers, Rogers moved across the Bay to join the Oakland Raiders and will start at cornerback. He has 17 career interceptions.

Live Feed

Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Auburn vs. Texas A&M Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


  • 2023 Week 4 AP Poll Top 25: Every SEC team’s highest, lowest spot on ballotSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Football: Florida, LSU rise in Week 4 2023 power rankingsSouth Bound & Down
  • SEC Tailgating: Where should you go in each town?South Bound & Down
  • SEC football standings based on yards per play through Week 2FanSided
  • Auburn Basketball: Projected starting lineup and depth chart for 2023-24 seasonBusting Brackets
  • Rogers’ teammate Neiko Thorpe is listed as a third-stringer. Thorpe last appeared in the NFL in 2012 when he played nine games for the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Jerraud Powers stared all 16 games last season for the Arizona Cardinals and compiled a career-high 60 solo tackles and 17 passes defended.

    Powers spent the first four years of his professional career with the Indianapolis Colts and has seven career picks. He is currently listed as a second-team cornerback in Arizona.

    Iron Bowl hero Chris Davis made the 53-man roster for the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent. Davis is listed as a third-team cornerback and should contribute on special teams.

    Former Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb is a member of the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad. He has been working as a cornerback.

    Special Teams

    Cody Parkey was traded during the pre-season from Indianapolis to the Philadelphia Eagles and he will begin the season as the kicker in Philadelphia.

    Josh Harris will handle the long-snapping duties for the Atlanta Falcons again this season. In each of the last two years, Harris has appeared in all 32 games for the Falcons.