Photo Credit: Harley Taylor
Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we here at The Tech Lunch Pail are going to take a look at the top former Virginia Tech players in the NFL each and every week.
So ahead of week 2 kicking off tonight, here's our countdown of the top three Hokies in the NFL from the opening week.
3. Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas
Logan Thomas has slowly improved at the tight end position since moving there a few years ago, and he may be poised for a breakout of sorts if week 1 is any indication.
Thomas had a strong opening performance with 4 catches for 37 yards and a touchdown, emerging as one of the top targets for Dwayne Haskins outside of star WR Terry McLaurin. Thomas has also clearly established himself as the top tight end in D.C. in the post-Jordan Reed era at FedEx Field.
He's had to scrap over the past few years but after a career-high 16 receptions last season, the former Hokies' quarterback seems poised for a breakout season. As mentioned above, he's benefited from a Washington tight end group that looks vastly different now.
Thomas' strong opening game isn't a fluke as the breakout year is here for the former Hokies' QB turned tight end.
2. Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller
Kyle Fuller was the top defensive player from the Hokies in week 1 as the two-time Pro Bowler made a statement about why he could make that three-straight Pro Bowl appearances.
Fuller had a big fourth quarter interception along with 1 forced fumble and 3 tackles as Fuller and the Bears pulled off a tremendous fourth quarter comeback to defeat the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Chicago continues to have a strong defense with Kyle Fuller and the Bears' secondary being a main reason why their defense has remained the strength. For a team that has had talented cornerbacks like Charles Tillman, Fuller is building a strong legacy of his own at Soldier Field that could have him considered among the best Bears' cornerbacks of all-time in the not too distant future.
It hasn't taken long for Kyle Fuller to make the cut with it being safe to expect him to be on this list a lot this season.
1. Los Angeles Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor is back starting for an NFL team and leading them to victory as he has done plenty of times before, leading the Chargers to a 16-13 victory in their first game after the departure of long-time QB Phillip Rivers. He finished 16-30 for 208 yards in what was a solid, reliable performance for the Chargers in his first start in L.A..
Taylor may not have had the most spectacular game, but to replace someone who had made a legacy for the Chargers like Rivers and do so well in your first game is impressive. Yes, the Chargers may have also been helped by Randy Bullock missing a short field goal, but Taylor's play was a main reason why the Bengals had to get a field goal simply to force overtime.
Tyrod Time has gone Hollywood for the 2020 season with the Chargers hoping Taylor can lead them back to the playoffs just as he did in Buffalo previously.
Here's a rundown of some of the top honorable mentions from the opening week of the season.
Chuck Clark just missed the cut after a strong opening game with 6 tackles along with a forced fumble for the Baltimore Ravens in their rout of the Cleveland Browns. This comes after Clark signed a long-term extension with the Ravens.
Terrell Edmunds was the leading tackler among the Hokies in the NFL with 9 tackles in primetime on Monday Night Football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Edmunds is clearly ready to take the next step for a Steelers' defense that looks strong early this season.
During a week that saw plenty of kickers showing rust on field goals, Joey Slye was one of the better kickers going 3-3 including 2-2 from past 40 with a long of 47 yards. He did miss one of his two extra points, but it was a strong performance overall for Slye who seized an opportunity with the Carolina Panthers and hasn't let go of his grasp on it.
Isaiah Ford opener with the Miami Dolphins was solid as he had 2 receptions for 13 yards on 4 targets. While the numbers aren't the most spectacular, the fact that Ford had a regular role in the Dolphins' offense is a great sign of the role he will have this season.