Hawks in the NFL: Golden opportunity for McNutt


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McNutt running out of opportunities as a pro

Two years have passed since the Philadelphia Eagles took Marvin McNutt in the sixth round of the NFL draft, and he’s been with three organizations.

With those organizations, he has appeared in just five games: four with the Eagles in 2012 and one last year in the final game of the regular season with the Carolina Panthers.

And after his small amount of experience, McNutt has yet to record a single reception in the NFL.

That all could change this season, however, because he has a golden opportunity to separate him from the pack in the league’s thinnest receiving corps.

It’s a unit that saw long-time star Steve Smith released by the organization during the off-season and lost receivers Ted Ginn Jr., Domenik Hixon, and Brandon LaFell to free agency as well.

McNutt is one of two returning wide receivers for the Panthers, and the other is Tavarres King — who has never caught a pass in the NFL.

The Panthers drafted Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State and signed veterans Jericho Cotchery and Jason Avant in an attempt to add options for Cam Newton in the passing game.

McNutt’s time is now; if he can’t make it here, he won’t make it anywhere in the NFL.

He’ll need a good preseason to show his coaches he’s worth holding onto.

Angerer’s health a roadblock in comeback bid

The Indianapolis Colts drafted Pat Angerer with the 63rd overall pick in 2010 after a solid career at linebacker with the Hawkeyes.

In 2011, he burst onto the scene and led the Colts in tackles, starting all 16 games.

It looked for a while that Angerer might become one of the league’s better linebackers and have a solid future in the middle of the Colts’ defense.

But Angerer has since struggled with concussion and leg issues, and he ended last season on injured reserve because of a knee injury.

In March, he became a free agent, after the Colts declined to resign him; he remained one until late July.

After Atlanta Falcons’ stud linebacker Sean Witherspoon tore his Achilles tendon, the team decided to give Angerer a one-year deal.

If he can stay healthy, he may become valuable to a defense that struggled mightily last year, ranking 27th in points allowed.

But his health is a big question mark; the 27-year-old suffered another concussion in practice last week and has not yet been cleared to return to action.

Myers part of deep tight-end unit in Tampa Bay

Former Hawkeye Brandon Myers is entering his sixth season in the NFL with his third team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In the past two seasons, Myers has tallied more than 1,300 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns, emerging as a solid tight end in a league is increasingly coveting productivity at the position.

Fortunately for Tampa Bay, it has a lot of depth at the position. But the team’s fortunes aren’t necessarily a great thing for Myers — he will compete for snaps with three other tight ends in training camp.

Veteran Luke Stocker played well for Tampa Bay last season, but the biggest threat to playing time for Myers could be second-round rookie Austin Sefaris-Jenkins — an more athletic option than Myers.

But Myers’ spot on the team is safe, and over the past two seasons, he has proven to be a big, reliable target in the middle of the field.

For new quarterback Josh McCown, there can never be enough reliable receivers in a pass-happy league.

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