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Cougs in the NFL: Recapping Former BYU Players Week 1 Performance

Solid week for former BYU players after week one.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

For a while it seemed like BYU lacked star-power in the NFL while the school up north had plenty. Now, the trend seems to be shifting as more and more former BYU Cougars are making plays each Sunday in the National Football League.

Let’s take a look back at the first week of NFL action and how BYU alums fared.

Taysom Hill, QB/RB/WR/TE/Everything, New Orleans Saints

Hill has become a bit of a darling in the NFL over the last few seasons. Highlight reels and social media accounts are always on Taysom Watch, wanting to see how head coach Sean Payton will use him each and every week. In Sunday’s big matchup against Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hill was all over the place.

He touched the ball four times and threw it once. Hill gained 13 yards on three rushes along with a 14-yard catch on the first play from scrimmage from New Orleans. Late in the fourth quarter, he completed a long pass to Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara for 38 yards. All in all, Hill accumulated 65 yards of total offense in the 34-23 victory over Tampa Bay.

Kyle Van Noy, LB, Miami Dolphins

It’s a new year with a new team for former Patriot KVN. Lucky for him, he got to face his former club in Week 1 and had the tough task of containing a healthy, rejuvenated Cam Newton at quarterback for the Patriots. Despite Miami’s 21-11 loss to New England, Van Noy performed admirably, racking up five tackles including stuffing Newton on a 2nd down for a loss.

Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers

After garnering praise from his quarterback, former MVP and eight-time Pro Bowler Aaron Rodgers, saying Williams “had something different to him this year,” the Packers took the field against their division rival Minnesota Vikings. Though Williams was in the shadow of starting running back Aaron Jones, he got 11 touches for 42 total yards. Between seven rushes and four catches, Williams earned four first downs for the Packers in the 43-34 victory for Green Bay.

Fred Warner, LB, San Francisco 49ers-

Newly minted team captain Fred Warner took the field with the defending NFC Champion 49ers on Sunday against division rival Arizona Cardinals. Warner was all over the place, racking up 10 tackles and knocking down a pass from Kyler Murray. San Francisco was stunned by Arizona 24-20 but Warner certainly did his share, with the second-highest tackle total of the game.

Sione Takitaki, LB, Cleveland Browns

After starting just one game all season last year, Takitaki was one of three Browns linebackers to get the starting nod on Sunday against the high-flying Ravens. Takitaki showed he belonged in his second season after being a third round pick ahead of last year. With perhaps the toughest task of the week in Lamar Jackson in front of him, the California native racked up seven tackles and hit Lamar Jackson once in the backfield. The Ravens blew out the Browns 38-6 but Takitaki turned in a solid day in the office.

Harvey Langi, LB, New York Jets

Langi began his second season with the Jets after a long road to recovery following his car accident in New England back in 2017. He seems healthy and ready to roll as he took 83 snaps on defense for New York in their loss to the Buffalo Bills. He collected six tackles and batted down a pass from Josh Allen.

Daniel Sorensen, S, Kansas City Chiefs

With a Super Bowl ring now on his finger (not during the game, however) Sorensen and the defending champion Chiefs opened the NFL slate with a resounding win over the Houston Texans on Thursday night. He took 97 percent of the snaps on defense and got two tackles in the 34-20 win for KC.

Michael Davis, CB, Los Angeles Chargers

Davis enters his fourth year with the Chargers after impressing as an undrafted free agent. He played cornerback against the number one overall pick Joe Burrow and the Bengals on Sunday and the defense shut him down for the most part. Davis contributed with a tackle, playing 60 percent of the defensive snaps in the 16-13 win for L.A.