With approximately 250 players on active NFL rosters or practice squads each Sunday, there are numerous NFLPA Collegiate Bowl standouts every week around the league. Our Week 17 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Alumni Spotlight features a do-it-all dynamo, a pass-rush rookie phenom, a Polynesian prime-time performer, and looks at the life of an undrafted journeyman. Buckle up and enjoy!
Detroit Lions rookie linebacker James Houston continues to make history, registering another three sacks this past week against the Chicago Bears. With eight sacks on the year, Houston and Adrian Hutchinson are the only rookie teammates to have seven sacks apiece. Even more fascinating is that Houston has only appeared in just six games in 2022. The Lions are assembling a strong nucleus of young core players and Houston plans to be a key cog of the future!
The more you can do, the more valuable you are. No one exemplifies that more than NFLPA Collegiate Bowl alumni Avery Williams of the Atlanta Falcons. Originally chosen in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft as a defensive back, Williams has earned his way onto the playing field in an array of ways. His versatility was on full display once again this past week during the Falcons win over the Arizona Cardinals, as he was a factor in the running attack, receiving game, plus special teams as a gunner and return man. On the season, Williams has accumulated 746 all-purpose yards, along with three special teams tackles.
Another player who has made his mark on special teams is Steven Sims of the Pittsburgh Steelers. At this stage of the season, players who have excelled on special teams often get rewarded when opportunities arise at their position. On Sunday Night Football, Sims made several spectacular grabs, as the Steelers rallied back to defeat their division-rival Baltimore Ravens. Sims would finish with three catches for 34 receiving yards, in addition to having a 29-yard kick return.
After starring on special teams a year ago, Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu has emerged as a bust-out player, as evidenced by his fifth double-digit tackle performance on the season this past week. The 2018 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl alumni has racked up 105 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits, seven sacks, one forced fumble, and one pick-six interception return this season. Clearly, Luvu has been one of the most improved players in the NFL. The league has seen an influx of Polynesian players of late, as Luvu is one of approximately 70 Polynesians in the NFL, despite representing less than one-half percent of the US population.
With the departure of several notable veterans on the Las Vegas Raiders, the opportunity has arisen for cornerback Tyler Hall, who has made the most of his extended reps down the stretch of the season. He has been one of the Raiders’ best defenders over the last several weeks and he had a pair of pass deflections this past week while getting in on a tackle. On Christmas Eve, Hall totaled six tackles and now has three straight games with pass deflections. After stints with the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams, the 2020 undrafted free agent out of Wyoming may have finally found a permanent landing spot in Las Vegas due to his impressive play.
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Alumni Spotlight
- Week One
- Week Two
- Week Three
- Week Four
- Week Five
- Week Six
- Week Seven
- Week Eight
- Week Nine
- Week Ten
- Week Eleven
- Week Twelve
- Week Thirteen
- Week Fourteen
- Week Fifteen
- Week Sixteen
*Be sure to follow us @NFLPABowl for the latest player acceptances and updates for the 11th Annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, January 28th, 2023 on NFL Network.