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Hoos in the NFL Week 9: McLeod Emerges

In his fourth season in the NFL, Rodney McLeod has come into his own on one of the league's best defenses.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Rodney McLeod (S, St. Louis Rams), Season Stats: 36 Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble
McLeod may not be the biggest name of all the UVa alums in the NFL, but he's likely been the most productive this season. McLeod leads all former Hoos with 36 tackles on the season, and he notched another stellar performance with seven tackles in the Rams' overtime loss to the Vikings. On a team renowned for its defensive line, McLeod has brought a much needed level of consistency to the secondary.

Heath Miller (TE, Pittsburgh Steelers), Season Stats: 30 Catches, 305 Yards, 1 Touchdown
With 284 yards receiving last week, Antonio Brown became the fourth Steeler to eclipse 6,000 receiving yards in his career. Sitting just above him on that list is Heath Miller with 6,339 career yards. Let's start building this man a bust in Canton already, he's earned it and it's close enough to Cleveland to irk Browns fans yet again.

Dontrelle Inman (WR, San Diego Chargers), Season Stats: 9 Catches, 142 Yards, 1 Touchdown
The good: Inman caught three passes for 28 yards on five targets in the Chargers Monday Night loss to the Bears. The bad: Inman fumbled to set up one of the Bears scores and dropped a pass on the Chargers' final drive which would've allowed them to have a more manageable fourth down. With an offense beset by injury the opportunities for Inman to prove himself are there, he just needs to be more dependable.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson (OT, New York Jets)
It's certainly isn't Ferguson's fault the Jets ran for just one yard per carry against the Jaguars. After all, when you have Ryan Fitzpatrick as your quarterback you have to build your offense around the pass. Since they can't play the Jaguars every week, however, Ferguson and the rest of the Jets will need to have more of a ground game going forward to be successful.m

Branden Albert (LT, Miami Dolphins)
Well the Dolphins showed signs of life for Dan Campbell's first two games as coach, but a 33-17 loss to the Bills on Sunday likely puts the nail in their coffin for the season. This is too bad for Albert, who continues to be one of the game's best tackles even in defeat. Despite the loss, Albert and the Miami offensive line allowed the team to rush for a respectable 4.6 yards per carry while giving up just two sacks.

Morgan Moses (OT, Washington Redskins)
Much like with Albert and the Dolphins, Moses and the Redskins offense is heading in the wrong direction. The Redskins notched only 37 rushing yards against the Patriots, marking their fourth straight game with fewer than 100 yards on the ground. Washington began the season with a power-running game but teams have adapted in the past few weeks. For the Skins to get back on track, Moses and the rest of the line will need to up their level of play.

The following UVa players were on an NFL roster (or Injured Reserve) but either did not play or appeared only in limited action last week: Oday Aboushi (OG, Houston Texans), Luke Bowanko (C, Jacksonville Jaguars), Ahmad Brooks (LB, San Francisco 49ers), Chris Canty (DE, Baltimore Ravens) Eli Harold (LB, San Francisco 49ers), Chris Long (DE, St. Louis Rams), Austin Pasztor (OT, Cleveland Browns), Cedric Peerman (RB, Cincinnati Bengals), John Phillips (TE, San Diego Chargers),  LaRoy Reynolds (LB, Chicago Bears), Matt Schaub (QB, Baltimore Ravens), Brent Urban (DE, Baltimore Ravens)