Former Boise State STUD Kamalei Correa often lined up at the hybrid defensive end/outside lineback spot on the edge with the Broncos, but he was moved to inside linebacker a month after being drafted in the second round by the Baltimore Ravens.
When I asked ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. about Correa back in February, he said he could see Correa eventually making the move inside with his 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame.
Correa has quickly fit into the role with a bit of physical play and some attitude. He put a big hit on receiver Mike Wallace in practice last week, the same day a hit on tight end Dennis Pitta prompted a scuffle.
“This is what it’s all about, this is football,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We’ve got a bunch of young guys that like to play and get after it and have a lot of pride. It’s a tough game. I did like the spirit and physicality.”
On Thursday, Correa made his preseason debut for the Ravens, but did not register any stats. He’s listed as a backup at one of the team’s two inside linebacker spots.
Next preseason game: at Colts, 5 p.m. Aug. 20
GEORGE ILOKA, S, BENGALS
Like former Boise State teammate Doug Martin, Iloka was one of the top free agents at his position this offseason, but chose to remain in Cincinnati when he signed a five-year, $30 million deal. He’s the Bengals’ starting free safety.
Last season, Iloka started and played in 12 games, making 47 tackles and an interception.
“I want to elevate my game, elevate it for myself, elevate it for my team and for my defense and give us a better shot to win,” he said after resigning. “I want to do that because that’s just the person I am. That doesn’t really change. I feel like it kind of makes you want to work harder, if anything. Because it’s like, all right, now you’ve got it, now you’ve got to show why you deserve it and things like that.
“My approach doesn’t change. I just gotta make a more conscious effort to do everything right, all the little things right, because I think that’s what’s expected of me by offering me the contract. That’s what I feel they expect of me, personally.”
First preseason game: vs. Vikings, 5:30 p.m. tonight
JAMAR TAYLOR, CB, BROWNS
Spending the first three years of his career with the Dolphins, Taylor was traded to the Browns during the draft. He has 79 tackles to the last two seasons, but has yet to get his first career interception. Taylor even compared Cleveland to Boise. Not sure if that’s a good thing for who.
Taylor embraced the fresh start when he spoke with the team’s website this summer.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do it,” Taylor said. “If they want me to be on special teams, they want me to be on offense, defense, whatever, O-Line, whatever, I’m going to do it. And if I don’t know how to do it, I’m going to figure it out. So my plan coming in here is to listen, be coachable and go on the field and put it on tape.”
Coach Hue Jackson said: “He’s very talented. I’ve known Jamar from the past when he was coming out and the guy was a second-round draft pick. Sometimes guys get drafted in places where maybe the environment's just not right for them, so he’s getting another opportunity and I think he’s let the past go and I think he’s walked in and said, ‘Hey, I want a job.’”
First preseason game: at Packers, 6 p.m. tonight
This week with preseason games beginning, we’re checking in with former Boise State players in NFL camps, by division. On Monday, we took a look at the NFC North. On Tuesday, it was the NFC West, and the lone Bronco in the division, Rees Odhiambo. On Wednesday, the NFC East, chock full of former Boise State stars. Thursday, the NFC South. Tomorrow we’ll look at the AFC West.
Here’s the current list of former Broncos on rosters, as of today:
Kamalei Correa, LB, Baltimore
Charles Leno, OL, Chicago
George Iloka, S, Cincinnati
Jamar Taylor, CB, Cleveland
Tyrone Crawford, DL, Dallas
DeMarcus Lawrence, DL, Dallas
Kellen Moore, QB, Dallas
Orlando Scandrick, CB, Dallas
Matt Paradis, C, Denver
Billy Winn, DL, Denver
Jeron Johnson, S, Kansas City
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami
Tyler Gray, LB, Miami
Blake Renaud, FB, Minnesota
Shea McClellin, LB, New England
Marcus Henry, C, New Orleans
Kyle Wilson, CB, New Orleans
Ryan Clady, OT, New York Jets
Donte Deayon, CB, New York Giants
Darian Thompson, S, New York Giants
Rees Odhiambo, OL, Seattle
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay
Kelsey Young, RB, Washington
Note: Lee Hightower, who played at Boise State in 2011 and 2012 before transferring to Houston for his final three seasons, is on the Indianapolis Colts’ roster.