According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Arizona Cardinals have claimed 6 players off waivers.
Arizona claimed six players on waivers: C Trystan Colon from the Jets, TE Elijah Higgins from the Dolphins, C Keith Ismael from the 49ers, OT Ilm Manning from the 49ers, DB Starling Thomas from the Lions and DB K’Von Wallace from the Eagles.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2023
I am posting this now and will adding player info as we go along.
C Tystan Colon 6-3, 320, 4 ys. NFL exp., Missouri
Colon (6-3, 313) played in six games for the Ravens last season and started in one. He took 47 snaps at right guard and 2 at center. Colon first signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri in 2020. He’s appeared in 20 games over the three seasons and has started four. In his career, he’s taken 162 snaps at right guard and 135 at center.
In college, Colon was a three-year starter at center and started the final 38 games of his college career. He was a part of a Tigers offensive line in 2018 that led the SEC and was ranked eighth nationally in fewest sacks allowed (1.0). He was awarded the team’s Lifter of the Year award after his redshirt season in 2016 and was named the team’s outstanding underclassman leadership award after the 2017 season, his first playing.
TE Elijah Higgins, 6-3, 228, MIA 6th Round pick 2023 Stanford
Michael Wilson’s teammate at Stanford —- bolstered by the Cardinals WRC Drew Terrell’s Stanford connections (Cardinal alum)
2023 Draft Profile:
By Lance Zierlein
Draft grades for Higgins could vary depending on how teams envision using him in their offense. While teams might see him as a big possession receiver with limitations, he appears to have the necessary tools to become a dynamic F tight end with the ability to work all three levels of the field. Higgins has average ball skills but can run a more robust route tree than most tight ends. Also, he has the frame and technique to be an adequate run blocker in space. He might never be more than a backup at receiver but could blossom for an offense ready to plug him into two tight end sets.
- Big slot receiver with potential to become a pass-catching tight end.
- Will rough up crowding coverage at the top of the route.
- Runs routes with rhythmic feet and well-timed breaks.
- Breaks out patterns with crisp cuts and tight angles.
- Consistently creates room to throw for quarterbacks.
- Has speed to attack the seam with success.
- Elusive after the catch with a runner’s field vision.
- Gets into blocks with strong grasp and balanced base.
- Just six receiving touchdowns in 40 career games.
- Below average push in his drive phase.
- Missing second gear to run down the deep throw.
- Catch radius and focus are very average.
- Slightly disappointing success rate catching through contact.
- Might need to prove he can engage and block linebackers.
C Keith Ishmael, 6-3, 309, 3 years NFL experience, Sand Diego St.
By Lance Zierlein
Reliable interior blocker with guard/center flexibility who is better-suited for zone blocking than trying to push people around heads-up. Ismael is a rhythmic move blocker with footwork and feel to find his landmarks. He’s also scrappy enough to hang in against power across from him, but he can’t do it alone. While he hasn’t consistently faced off against NFL-caliber competition, he appears to have enough anchor to help fortify the pocket for quarterbacks. He could find early work as a backup G/C, with the potential to become a starter.
- Has two-position flexibility at center and guard
- Snap-to-step quickness is instantaneous
- Smooth lateral movement into block fits
- Upward strike to create points of leverage
- Always looking for additional work in run game
- Good footwork and angles up to second-level linebackers
- Very capable option as pull-blocker
- Foot quickness to mirror athletic, sub-package rushers
- Efficient punch with hasty hand resets when needed
- Impressive recovery athleticism
- Length and build appear to be a little stubby
- Had shoulder surgery in 2019 offseason
- Initial contact lacks pop in base or down blocks
- Positional blocker lacking consistent sustain
- Early advantages don’t hold up against size
- Inconsistent improving block positioning on base blocks
- Needs to stay aware of delayed blitz shots
- Rushers slip through on backside from play-action
T Ilm Manning, Hawaii, 6-2, 294, CFA 2023
- Undrafted rookies Ilm Manning and D’Shawn Jamison have impressed and could make the roster
- The 49ers are considering which players to keep despite minor injuries
The San Francisco 49ers are in the process of making roster cuts, and there is speculation about whether an undrafted free agent will make the team. Undrafted rookies Ilm Manning and D’Shawn Jamison have impressed, with Manning outplaying a draft pick from last year and Jamison showing versatility as a cornerback and returner. The team is also evaluating which players to keep on the active roster despite minor injuries and which to settle with in terms of injuries. The article also discusses potential players who have been recently released that could help the 49ers.
49ers roster 2023: Ilm Manning has an intriguing UDFA pedigree
Undrafted free agents always have a tough road to a 53-man roster, and that’ll be no different for the 49ers’ Ilm Manning.
By Peter Panacy | Jul 23, 2023
Ilm Manning was one of the more experienced linemen entering the 2023 NFL Draft, who ultimately signed with the 49ers after not hearing his name called on draft day.
Manning is intriguing for a number of reasons. For starters, he was one of the draft’s most experienced offensive linemen, having started 60 games over the course of his five-year collegiate tenure, most of them at left tackle.
At 6-foot-2 and 294 pounds, though, he’ll likely transition inside to guard or center. Yet that’s where the Niners have some depth needs and concerns.
What kind of prospect do the 49ers have in Ilm Manning?
San Francisco has a number of veteran linemen in the mix for the back end of the depth chart, including second-year pros Jason Poe and Nick Zakelj, as well as Jaylon Moore, too. Fisher is also in the mix, but the nature of effective linemen can be awfully fluid.
At worst, Manning rounds out the training camp depth chart. As Pro Football Network draft analyst Tony Pauline noted, Manning isn’t a zone-blocking lineman. And while head coach Kyle Shanahan has strayed away from zone for some time now, it’s still the basic foundation of his system.
Pauline did point out some positive attributes, though:
“Manning was productive and durable the past five years at Hawaii, but he comes with average size and athleticism. He’s an intelligent prospect who should seamlessly transition to the interior offensive line. However, Manning must do a much better job blocking with leverage to have any shot of sticking on an NFL roster.”
DB Starling Thomas V, 5-10, 194 CFA 2023, UAB
ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions surely hoped to sneak Starling Thomas onto their practice squad.
Thomas has been claimed via waivers by the Arizona Cardinals. He was the only Lions cut to be claimed by another team, while Detroit was not awarded any players.
An undrafted rookie out of UAB, Thomas quickly climbed the depth chart after arriving in Allen Park. He repped as the third cornerback throughout much of training camp, and brought the toughness that Detroit wants on that side of the ball. But his play waned down the stretch, while fellow youngsters Steven Gilmore and Khalil Dorsey finished strong. Gilmore picked off passes in his final two exhibitions and returned the last one for a touchdown, while Dorsey forced a key fumble on defense and returned a kick 62 yards on offense.
With cornerback Emmanuel Moseley coming off the physically unable to perform list, someone had to go, and the Lions made the hard decision to part with Thomas.
He was an easy choice for the practice squad because of his ability and temperament, but had to make it through waivers first. That didn’t come close to happening, with Arizona — third in the waiver order — claiming him on Wednesday afternoon.
Note from Mitch: Thomas was projected by some draft pundits as a possible Day 2 pick. He went undrafted, which was surprising given that at his pro day he wowed the scouts with a 4.36 40, 37.5” vertical and putting up a respectable 14 reps at 225.
S K’Von Wallace, 5-11, 205, 4 yrs. NFL exp., Clemson
Through five practices, one of the biggest surprises at Eagles training camp has been all the first-team reps K’Von Wallace has been getting this summer.
It’s no surprise to Wallace.
“Every year is a competition,” the fourth-year safety said after Thursday’s practice. “Every year, you gotta prove and reprove yourself. Each and every year, I just try to elevate, try to get more playing time.
“Definitely trying to get a starting role. If you’re not playing to be a starter, then what you out here for? I’m prepared and I’m ready and I’m willing to scratch and claw for that starting spot.
“And let these coaches know that I’m ready and they can trust me. Just trying to be a better me. I feel like ultimately, it’s all a mind game and ultimately I feel like I’m in the best space I can be in. My spirit is in line, my physical is in line. Just trying to show the team that I can be reliable out there.”
We knew the Eagles were going to have a training camp competition at the safety position, but Wallace’s name wasn’t really on anyone’s list of competitors. It seemed like some combination of Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds and Sydney Brown would earn those roles.
Blankenship has gotten every first-team rep so far and the other guys have rotated next to him. One of those guys have been Wallace.
“You earn your first team reps, so K’Von has done a nice job,” head coach Nick Sirianni said on Thursday. “K’Von has done well for us on special teams these past two years, and now he’s got an opportunity. There’s some safety spots open, and he has an opportunity to be able to be in the mix.”
Wallace, who just turned 26 last month, was a fourth-round pick back in 2020 and he’s carved out a solid career. In three seasons in the NFL, he has played in 45 games with the Eagles and has started seven.
While Wallace started just one game in the 2022 season, he was a core special teams player for the Super Bowl squad and when he was called upon on defense, Wallace played well.
In 2022, Wallace was third on the team with 323 special teams snaps and had 6 special teams tackles. Even though he played just 164 snaps on defense, Wallace still managed to have 28 tackles, 2 pass breakups and a tackle for loss.
So far in camp this summer, Wallace has been playing well.
“Every year I feel like I have a shot,” he said. “It’s me vs. me out there. And I feel like my first few years I had a lot of learning to do and a lot of self-evaluation I had to do. I look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘It’s on me.’ I’ve done that this year and that’s why I feel like I’m out here playing my best ball, out here flying around the defense, even knowing other positions that will help me. Trying to be reliable for my defense and for my coach.”
Maybe there are some people who had higher expectations for Wallace’s NFL career. There were plenty of folks who thought he was a steal in the fourth-round after watching him play at Clemson. The reality is that he’s become a contributor, which is all you can really ask of a mid-round pick.
But maybe there’s more to Wallace. And maybe we’ll see it soon.
How does he view his career thus far?
“I’m still here. I’m still here, still getting better and I feel amazing,” Wallace answered. “I feel better than I felt my first three years. And I feel like I always had to take a backseat. My high school career was kind of the same. I didn’t start until my senior year. College, almost same thing. I didn’t start until my junior year. I always had to be patient, I always had to groom and blossom. But once that flower flowed, man, it looks beautiful.”
Wallace spent a good portion of his offseason back at Clemson, which, as a man of faith, he said was good for his spirit. He also invested in his body, spending money to take care of himself with everything from nutrition to cryotherapy to massages. He didn’t have any weight goals in mind but he did try to cut his percentage of body fat and has seen the results.
Even if Wallace doesn’t earn a starting spot this season, there’s a chance he could still see time on the field in Sean Desai’s defense. In recent practices, we’ve seen Desai implement some three-safety looks and Wallace on Thursday said he embraces the idea of being a versatile “Swiss-Army Knife of the defense.”
When asked to describe his defense this spring, Desai has talked about palpability. He wants people to be able to feel his defense.
That seems to fit Wallace’s aggressive, downhill style.
“I love this defense,” Wallace said. “I love what he got, the game plan for the safeties. I feel like we can really go out there and make some plays and really be impactful for this defense. I’m just ready to show my abilities, showcase why I’m here, why I’m still here. And showcase to Philly fans that they drafted me for a reason. Come sphere to win some games, go to the playoffs and win some Super Bowls. That’s what I’m here to do.”
K’Von is infamous for getting the 49er tackle Trent Williams ejected during this post-play exchange:
K’Von Wallace has signed with the Cardinals.— Brenden Deeg (@BrendenDeeg_) August 30, 2023
His last play with the Eagles was getting Trent Williams kicked out of the NFCCG.
All the best, K’Von pic.twitter.com/ePGT3fvS6e
Woo —- things just got a little hotter in the NFC West!