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Where the locals are heading into the 2015 NFL season

As we do each season on the BN Blitz blog, the plan is to track the performances of those players from Western New York and the University at Buffalo currently on NFL rosters throughout the 2015 season. Here is that list following the preseason (if I overlooked anyone, please email me at

Corey Graham: The Buffalo native has switched positions for the Bills, from cornerback to safety. Graham will start opposite Aaron Williams in the Bills' backfield. During the preseason, Graham played in three games and made four tackles.

James Starks: The Green Bay Packers running back, a Niagara Falls High School and University at Buffalo product, carried the ball 13 times for 16 yards and one touchdown during the preseason, appearing in four games. He's listed as Eddie Lacy's primary backup on the Packers' depth chart.

J.C. Tretter: The Akron product, a fourth-round draft pick of the Packers in 2013, played in all four games for Green Bay this preseason, with one start. He's listed as Green Bay's backup center on the Packers' depth chart.

Rob Gronkowski: The Amherst native did not play in the preseason for the New England Patriots, but he stayed busy. In addition to writing a book, Gronk also unveiled his own line of hot sauce. He remains one of the best tight ends in football.

Brett Kern: The Grand Island native punted 16 times in four games for the Tennessee Titans, with a gross average of 48.2 yards, but a net average of just 36.0 yards. Kern placed six of his 16 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line, and did have one punt blocked in the Titans' last preseason game. Tennessee's punt coverage team didn't do Kern many favors. Of the nine punts that were returned, opponents gained 115 yards.

John Urschel: The Baltimore Ravens' second-year pro and Canisius High School product is listed as the backup to right guard Marshal Yanda on the depth chart. Urschel started both of the preseason games he appeared in this preseason for the Ravens.

Jacob Schum: The Hamburg native and University at Buffalo graduate is in his first season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' punter. Schum punted 15 times in three preseason games with the Bucs, averaging 48.1 gross yards and a strong 42.7 net yards. He placed three punts inside the 20-yard line, eventually winning the job after competing with Karl Schmitz and Michael Koenen.

UB players

Khalil Mack: The No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 draft by the Raiders, Mack continues to impress as he enters his second NFL season. He had a pair of sacks and a forced fumble in the Raiders' third preseason game against Arizona. He is on his way to becoming a superstar.

Branden Oliver: The Chargers' running back carried the ball 23 times for 80 yards in four preseason games, with one start. Oliver scored two touchdowns rushing, and also took his one preseason reception 70 yards for another touchdown. He is listed as the Chargers' third-string running back behind Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead.

Kristjan Sokoli: A college defensive tackle for the Bulls, Sokoli successfully made the switch to interior offensive line with the Seattle Seahawks this summer. The 6-foot-5, 302-pounder was a sixth-round pick of the Seahawks this year. He is listed as the third-team left guard on their depth chart.

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