MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — 35 days. The National Football League 2022-23 regular season is just over one month away, and all 32 teams have began training camps with a plethora of former Mobile & Baldwin County high school stars well represented through out the NFL. 15 total former high school standouts are in NFL training camps as of Thursday.
The 2022 NFL Draft produced five rookies whose roots reside in the Mobile and Baldwin County areas including Williamson High School standout and former Auburn Tiger, Roger McCreary, who was drafted No. 35 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2022 NFL Draft.
In addition to the new faces among the league, there are plenty of seasoned veterans & All-Pro players on NFL rosters including Foley native Julio Jones, who signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on July 26.
Preseason, which is a three-game schedule, kicks off Thursday, August 11 with two matchups including the New England Patriots versus the New York Giants and McCreary’s Titans facing off against the Baltimore Ravens. The annual ‘Hall of Fame’ game is Thursday, August 4 featuring the Las Vegas Raiders and the Green Bay Packers in Canton, Ohio. Murphy High School native, Neil Farrell Jr., was drafted by the Raiders with the No. 126 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
WKRG News 5 took a look at all the rookies on NFL rosters & provided some additional information for each Mobile/Baldwin County native as we inch ever so closely to NFL kickoff, which is Thursday, September 8.
Roger McCreary — Tennessee Titans
College: Auburn University
High School: Williamson High School, Class of 2018
2022 NFL Draft Pick: No. 35 overall
Roger McCreary joined a long list of Williamson High School alumni to go on to play at a Division-1 program and play in the NFL. Among those are Jamarcus Russell and Nick Fairley, another Auburn alumni. McCreary was a First-Team Class 5A All-State and All-Coastal Alabama selection with Williamson. In his senior season, McCreary tallied 100 tackles & eight interceptions on defense and totaled 21 touchdowns on the air & ground on offense.
At Auburn, McCreary picked up First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC selections in 2021 after an SEC-league best, 14 pass breakups in his senior season. In his career, McCreary totaled 13 tackles along with six interceptions and 32 pass breakups.
Randy Patrick One on One with Roger McCreary
Velus Jones Jr. — Chicago Bears
College: University of Tennessee (Southern California transfer)
High School: Saraland High School, Class of 2016
2022 NFL Draft Pick: No. 71 overall
Velus Jones Jr. was born and raised in Mobile, Ala. before moving to Saraland when he was eight years old. Jones Jr. earned All-State honors following both his junior and senior seasons. In his junior season in 2014, Jones. Jr.’s hauled in nine touchdowns on 1,118 yards en route to a 2014 Saraland Class 6A state championship appearance.
Before his redshirt senior season in 2020 with Tennessee, Jones Jr. spent fours years at the University of Southern California where he became a multiple All-Pac 12 team honoree. With the Volunteers, Jones Jr. picked 2021 Co-Special Teams Player of the Year. Jones Jr. racked up 2,416 all-purpose yards with the Vols and was selected to the 2021 All-SEC First Team.
Jalen Tolbert — Dallas Cowboys
College: University of South Alabama
High School: McGill–Toolen Catholic High School, Class of 2017
2022 NFL Draft Pick: No. 88 overall
Jalen Tolbert was a three-time letterman in three different sports for McGill-Toolen Catholic and helped lead them to a Class 7A state championship during his junior season. He won a state title on the basketball team. Tolbert earned honorable mention all-region accolades after his senior season in which he totaled 696 yards and nine touchdowns.
At South Alabama, Tolbert earned 202o First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors after starting all 11 games for the Jaguars in which he led all receivers in every category. As a junior, Tolbert set a program record in receptions (64), receiving yards (1,085) making him the first 1,000-yard receiver in Jaguar program history. In his senior season, Tolbert totaled 1,474 yards along with eight touchdowns.
Jalyn Armour-Davis — Baltimore Ravens
College: University of Alabama
High School: St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Class of 2018
2022 NFL Draft Pick: No. 119 overall
Jalyn Armour-Davis attended St. Paul’s in Mobile, Ala. where he was ranked as the No. 2 player in the state of Alabama for the Class of 2018 and the No. 11 ranked cornerback in the nation by 247Sports. Armour-Davis won three state titles in the Class 5A for St. Paul’s. Armour-Davis earned All-State honors following his junior and senior seasons.
At Alabama, Armour-Davis redshirted for his 2018 freshman campaign after a knee injury. The corner back earned the starting role before the 2021 season where he picked up 2021 All-SEC Second Team honors after finishing fifth among SEC league leaders with three interceptions.
Neil Farrell Jr. — Las Vegas Raiders
High School: Murphy High School, Class of 2017
2022 NFL Draft Pick: No. 126 overall
Neil Farrell Jr. was rated as the No. 1 defensive tackle in the state of Alabama by ‘Scout’ a recruiting site. Farrell Jr. was selected to the Class 7A First Team Defense All-State team in 2015 and 2016 by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. In his senior campaign, Farrell Jr. totaled 101 tackles, 28 tackles-for-loss along with 13 sacks. He totaled 17 tackles-for-loss in his junior season.
At LSU, Farrell Jr. was selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll both in 2020 and 2021. Farrell Jr. started in 21 games for the Tigers, appearing in 51. In his career, Farrell Jr. totaled 143 tackles, 22.5 tackles-for-loss and 7.5 sacks.
- Rodney Hudson, B.C. Rain High School, Arizona Cardinals
- Julio Jones, Foley High School, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Bryce Huff, St. Paul’s Episcopal School, New York Jets
- CJ Mosley, Theodore High School, New York Jets
- La’Mical Perine, Vigor High School, New York Jets
- Michael Pierce, Daphne High School, Baltimore Ravens
- Taylor Stallworth, Murphy High School, Indianapolis Colts
- Jaquiski Tartt, Davidson High School, Philadelphia Eagles
- Kadarius Toney, Blount High School, New York Giants
- Jimmie Ward, Davidson High School, San Francisco 49ers
Unsigned (potential to land on a roster)
- AJ McCarron, St. Paul’s Episcopal School (last on Atlanta Falcons, 2021)
- Darius Philon, Vigor High School (last on Las Vegas Raiders, 2021)
- Ito Smith, McGill-Toolen Catholic School (last on Dallas Cowboys practice squad, 2021)