With no former Kentucky Wildcats set to play in next week’s Super Bowl, the 2019-20 season is in the book for all NFL Cats.
Eleven former Wildcats took the field on Sunday’s, and three were named pro bowlers. Which former Cats had the best 2019-20 season? Here’s a look back.
No. 11: Danny Trevathan, Chicago Bears
Former Wildcat linebacker Danny Trevathan was held to just nine games in 2019 due to injury.
He made the most of his limited playing time as he recorded 70 total tackles with two coming for a loss and one being a sack.
Trevathan will be a free agent come March after spending the past four seasons with the Chicago Bears.
No. 10: Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee Titans
2019 was a magical season for the Tennessee Titans as they shocked the world by making it within one game of the Super Bowl.
For former Wildcat, Wesley Woodyard 2019 was a difficult year individually as he lost his longtime starting job at middle linebacker.
Despite this, he still recorded 41 total tackles with a sack in 15 regular season games and served as a team captain.
No. 9: Corey Peters, Arizona Cardinals
Former Kentucky defensive tackle put together another quality season in his 10th year in the NFL.
Peters played in all 16 games for the Arizona Cardinals recording 38 total tackles, with 2.5 sacks, six tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.
The Cardinals finished the season 5-10-1 which was a two game improvement from their 3-13 2018 campaign.
No. 8: Mike Edwards, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Edwards had a successful rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In 15 regular-season games, Edwards made seven starts and recorded 45 total tackles. Of those tackles, three came for a loss and one was a sack. The safety also recovered two fumbles.
Edwards will look to become a full-time starter in his second pro season.
No. 7: Lonnie Johnson, Houston Texans
Former Wildcat corner Lonnie Johnson also had a stellar rookie season.
Johnson played in 14 regular-season games and made seven starts for the AFC South champion Houston Texas. He made 38 total tackles and defended seven passes in those games.
In the Texans AFC divisional round playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Johnson returned a blocked punt for a touchdown for his first career NFL score.
No. 6 Benny Snell Jr, Pittsburgh Steelers
In his first pro season, Kentucky all-time leading rusher Benny Snell quickly made fans in Pittsburgh.
Snell played in 13 games rushing for 406 yards and two touchdowns on 108 attempts. The rookie started the season behind both James Conner and Jaylen Samuels on the Steelers depth chart but due to injuries quickly found himself in the starting lineup.
Snell will look to continue climbing the Pittsburgh depth chart in 2020.
No. 5: Randall Cobb, Dallas Cowboys
After eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb spent 2019 with the Dallas Cowboys.
In his first year in Dallas, Cobb made 55 catches for 828 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned six punts for an average of 8.5 yards.
Cobb will again be a free agent this offseason.
No. 4: Larry Warford, New Orleans Saints
Long-time Saints offensive lineman and former Wildcat Larry Warford earned his third career pro bowl honor in 2019.
Warford helped the Saints win the NFC South by allowing just one sack and committing only four penalties.
The veteran will enter the final year of his contract with the Saints in 2020 as he looks to put together another pro bowl season and cash in afterward.
No. 3: Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars
Kentucky’s all-time sack leader put together a pro bowl season as a rookie in 2019.
Allen got to the quarterback for 10.5 sacks, forced two fumbles, and recorded 22 quarterback hits.
He will hope to take home NFL defensive rookie of the year honors at next week’s NFL honors.
No. 2: Bud Dupree, Pittsburgh Steelers
After four up and down seasons, former Wildcat and first round draft pick Bud Dupree had a breakout 2019 campaign.
Dupree recorded a career high 11.5 sacks, 66 total tackles and 17 quarterback hits. The former Cat was a game wrecker as he forced four fumbles and recovered two.
The edge rusher picked the perfect season to breakout as he’ll be a free agent come March.
No. 1: Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay Packers
The top NFL Cat Wildcat of 2019 is Za’Darius Smith.
In his first year of a four-year contract with the Green Bay Packers, Smith recorded 13.5 sacks, hit the quarterback 37 times, and forced a fumble to earn pro bowl honors. His big season helped guide a Packers team that had missed the postseason in two straight seasons post a 13-3 record and come within one victory of the Super Bowl.
Smith will hope to take the next step in 2020 and lead Green Bay to Super Bowl 55 in Tampa.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 24, 2019