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Duke in the NFL: Week 3 and 4

As the NFL season continues, former Blue Devils have moved into new roles on their respective teams and become to get more playing time. We take a look at what some of Duke's finest have done in the last two weeks: 

Jamison Crowder, WR – With an injury to DeSean Jackson two weeks ago, Crowder was finally given the chance to show what he can do in the slot in Week 3 against the Giants. Crowder responded with six receptions for 45 yards out of the slot in his team's 32-21 loss. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden was so impressed with Crowder’s performance that he benched struggling veteran Andre Roberts and started the former Duke star in the slot against the Eagles this past weekend. Crowder cemented his place as a valuable asset on the team with seven receptions for 65 yards on 12 targets. Late in the third quarter with the Redskins deep in Eagle territory, quarterback Kirk Cousins launched a third down pass 22 yards downfield for Crowder, who made a leaping catch in triple coverage to pick up the first down.

With his consistent play, Crowder appears set to become a key cog in the Redskins' offense going forward. 

Ross Cockrell, CB – The former fifth round pick of the Bills back in 2014 was signed by the Steelers earlier this season to shore up their depth at cornerback. But thus far, the former Blue Devil has been more of a play-maker than anybody could've expected. Cockrell intercepted the first pass of his career this past Thursday against the divisional rival Baltimore Ravens. Late in the first half, Joe Flacco darted a pass towards receiver Steve Smith Sr., only to watch Cockrell jump the pass perfectly and take it 37 yards into Raven territory

Later in the game, Steelers linebacker Cam Heyward stripped Flacco and Cockrell recovered the fumble. It was quite the coming out party for the second year pro at Heinz Field on Thursday who will look to continue earning playing time in Pittsburgh's secondary. 

Vincent Rey, OLB – The fifth-year pro has cemented himself on the outside for the Bengals. Rey had a quieter game two weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens, totaling only eight tackles. This past weekend though, Rey helped the Bengals bottle up star Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. He totaled 15 tackles, 10 being solo.

Laken Tomlinson, OG – The Lions rookie first round pick has proven himself and has become a swing lineman for the Lions veteran offensive line this season. The offensive guard was profiled by ESPN for the Lions’ Monday Night Football matchup with the Seattle Seahawks last night. In the game, Tomlinson—No. 72 on the Lions made an impressive play on defensive end Bruce Irvin that caught the attention of some fans online. 

Tomlinson took the chance to swap jerseys with fellow former Blue Devil Cooper Helfet. Helfet has received limited action at tight end for the Seattle Seahawks this season. 


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