UNC Football: Tar Heels who made 2023 NFL Rosters

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Javonte Williams #33 of the Denver Broncos gets tackled by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles #45 of the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 19: Javonte Williams #33 of the Denver Broncos gets tackled by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles #45 of the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The UNC football program had several players competing in the 2023 NFL Preseason, fighting for a roster spot. Who made a 2023 NFL roster?

The UNC football program has several players who made the cut for NFL rosters for the 2023 NFL season. We will follow these former Tar Heels and their performances on Sunday during the entire NFL season. Players are listed by the team they play for in alphabetical order.

Javonte Williams (Broncos) – Javonte Williams is entering his third season in the NFL and expecting a bounce-back season after suffering a season-ending ACL injury during week four of the 2022 season. He may be limited for the Broncos early in the season but is expected to pick up where he left off in 2022 soon.

Kyler McMichael (Cards) – Kyler McMichael is entering his second season in the NFL after going undrafted in the 2022 draft.  He spent the 2022 season on practice squads for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills. In 2023 during the offseason, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals and earned a roster spot during the preseason. He will begin the season on injured reserve due to an undisclosed injury.

Sam Howell (Commanders) – Sam Howell will enter his second season in the NFL. After being a backup quarterback for most of the 2022 season for the Washington Commanders and starting for them in week 18, Howell has earned the designation of “QB1” for the Commanders in 2023. Howell was arguably the best quarterback to play for the Tar Heels (before Drake Maye took the field).

Dyami Brown (Commanders) – Dyami Brown entered the NFL season one year prior to Sam Howell, but the duo hooked up often during their time in Chapel Hill and may find each other again in Washington. Brown is listed as the backup to Pro Bowl wide receiver Terry McLaurin. However, McLaurin suffered a toe injury during the preseason and could miss some time, allowing an opportunity for Brown to make an impact.

Josh Downs (Colts) – Rookie Josh Downs is projected to be the backup wide receiver to start the season for the Indianapolis Colts, but don’t be surprised to see him get some targets early and during the season. With his athletic ability, Downs has also been getting action as the punt returner and on special teams. He is listed as the backup punt returner on the Colts’ depth chart.

Asim Richards (Cowboys) – Another former Tar Heel who is entering his rookie season, Asim Richards. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Dallas Cowboys and saw plenty of action during the NFL preseason. Richards is listed as the backup left guard for the Cowboys but has the versatility to move around the offensive line and play where he is needed.

Mack Hollins (Falcons) – Former UNC football wide receiver Mack Hollins is entering his seventh season in the NFL. Hollins is with his fourth NFL team during his tenure in the league. In March, he signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons after having a career season for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022. He is projected to be one of the starters at wide receiver for the Falcons.

Michael Carter (Jets) – In the same class as Javonte Williams and part of arguably the best running back duo that UNC football has ever had, Carter is also entering his third season in the NFL. He played in 16 games for the Jets in 2022 and rushed for 402 yards while also racking up 288 receiving yards. He also started 10 games after starting Jets running back Breece Hall went down with an ACL injury. In 2023, Carter is projected as the third-string running back behind Breece Hall and all-pro running back Dalvin Cook.

Chazz Surratt (Jets) – The former UNC football quarterback turned linebacker, Chazz Surratt, may have finally found a home in the NFL with the New York Jets. Featured during a portion of the HBO series Hard Knocks, along with his former Tar Heel teammate Michael Carter, Surratt had an interception during the NFL preseason and made the cut for the Jets roster at linebacker. He is listed as the backup middle linebacker on the depth chart.

Joshua Ezeudu (Giants) – Entering his second season, Joshua Ezeudu was a third-round pick for the New York Giants in 2022. Ezeudu is currently listed as the backup right guard entering the 2023 season.

Marcus McKethan (Giants) – Marcus McKethan was also drafted by the New York Giants during the 2022 NFL draft. McKethan was a fifth-round draft pick and will also enter the 2023 season as a backup offensive lineman for the Giants. He is listed as the third-string right tackle heading into this season.

Antoine Green (Lions) – The other Tar Heel rookie wide receiver from the 2023 NFL draft, Antoine Green, was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round. During the preseason, Green caught a 70-yard touchdown pass against the Carolina Panthers. The Lions have a talented wide receiver room, Green is listed in the second-string behind Marvin Jones Jr. It is unsure how often we will see Green during his rookie season.

James Hurst (Saints) – The longest-tenured UNC football player in the NFL, James Hurst, is entering his 10th season in the league. He was originally an undrafted free agent before being signed by the Baltimore Ravens. He started all 16 games from 2014-2017 for Baltimore. In 2020, he signed with the New Orleans Saints for one year before signing a three-year contract extension in 2021. He is projected as the backup left guard for the 2023 season.

Mitchell Trubisky (Steelers) – After losing the starting job in Pittsburgh to Kenny Pickett in 2022, Mitchell Trubisky signed a two-year contract extension in March 2023, likely to become Pickett’s backup. Trubisky’s NFL career hasn’t lived up to his second-overall pick expectations, but he is certainly a reliable backup for the Steelers if Pickett doesn’t pan out.

Cole Holcomb (Steelers) – After spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Washington Commanders, Cole Holcomb left to sign a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2023 offseason. Holcomb was on pace for a career season in 2022 before suffering a season-ending injury. Holcomb is projected to be a starter at linebacker for the Steelers in 2023.

Charlie Heck (Texans) – Charlie Heck was drafted in the fourth round by the Houston Texans in the 2020 NFL Draft. After starting three games for the Texans in 2022, Heck will begin the 2023 season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list due to undisclosed reasons. If/when he returns, he will be a backup offensive lineman.

MJ Stewart (Texans) – MJ Stewart is entering sixth season in the NFL after being a second-round pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018. He is on his third team in six seasons, signing with the Houston Texans in the spring of 2022. In March 2023, Stewart signed a two-year contract with the Texans to extend his stay in Houston. He is listed as the backup strong safety behind Jimmie Ward.

Ty Chandler (Vikings) – He may have only played for UNC football for one season, but he’s still a Tar Heel to us. Ty Chandler was drafted in the fifth round by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2022 NFL Draft. He missed most of his rookie season on injured reserve with a thumb injury. During the 2023 offseason, the Vikings released All-Pro running back Dalvin Cook, and Chandler moved up the depth chart as a result. He is projected to be the backup running back to Alexander Mattison as the 2023 season begins.

The 2023 NFL Season begins on Thursday, September 7th, when the Chiefs and Lions kick off the season. Make sure to catch all of your favorite former UNC football players this NFL season!

Next. UNC Football: Tar Heels in the NFL Preseason Week 2 Update. dark

Follow us @KeepingItHeel on X (formerly Twitter) and like our fan page on Facebook for continued coverage of UNC football news, updates, and recruiting.