Former Yellow Jackets’ dreams on line as NFL reaches cutdown day

A day that seven former Georgia Tech football players will long remember, one way or another, has arrived.

Seven former Yellow Jackets who turned professional after last season will learn Tuesday whether they’ve made the regular-season rosters for the NFL season that begins next week. Teams are required to make cuts to get to their 53-man limits by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Safeties Tariq Carpenter (Green Bay) and Juanyeh Thomas (Dallas), long snapper Jack Coco (Green Bay), offensive tackle Devin Cochran (Cincinnati), running back Jordan Mason (San Francisco), wide receiver Kyric McGowan (Washington) and cornerback Tre Swilling (Tennessee) have made it this far through the exhibition season, but teams will drop down from as many as 80 players to reach the regular-season limit.

Remarkably, Coco looks like the best bet to make a roster and even play in the Packers’ season opener. Coco signed with the Packers from a tryout at their rookie camp and received a significant vote of confidence when the team cut its incumbent snapper, Steven Wirtel, before its first exhibition game. The Packers have not picked up a long snapper to compete against Coco since. It is conceivable that Green Bay could try to pick up a veteran snapper after the league-wide cuts Tuesday.

But making the team would be a remarkable accomplishment for Coco, who came to Tech as a walk-on long snapper and offensive lineman, transformed his body to become a tight end, earned a scholarship and became valuable enough at tight end that he wasn’t even used as a long snapper last season.

Others also have at least a shot at making the roster and, even if cut, could well land on practice squads. Mason, who gave up his extra season of eligibility at Tech to turn professional, was graded the No. 3 running back in the exhibition season by Pro Football Focus and appears to have a shot at making the 49ers’ roster. A roster analysis on the Cowboys’ website said Thomas “will be a tough cut.” Cochran has gotten a good look in Bengals’ exhibition games. A seventh-round pick, Carpenter could be the last safety to make the Packers’ roster.

McGowan and Swilling appear to face longer odds. The seven aren’t the only former Jackets who will hold their breath Tuesday. Wide receiver Jalen Camp (Houston) and tight end Tyler Davis (Green Bay) also are trying to squeeze onto rosters.

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