This afternoon, the Bills announced 19 signings of undrafted rookie free agents. Here they are, along with a brief introduction to each of them. While most of these guys are simply camp bodies, you never know…a few of them will probably make the team or practice squad. Last season saw several UDFAs make the team and contribute, including WRs Donald Jones, David Nelson, and Naaman Roosevelt, LB Antonio Coleman, and OG Cordaro Howard. So it’s worth taking a quick look at these NFL hopefuls:
Sidney Glover (S, West Virginia) – A three-year starter for the Mountaineers who posted 60+ tackles in each of his final two seasons. Pretty decent against the run. Not decent at all against the pass.
Reid Forrest (P, Washington State) – Got lots of practice by punting for some awful Cougars teams in recent years. Averaged over 45 yards a punt as a senior. Would need a miracle or an injury to unseat Brian Moorman.
Vai Taua (RB, Nevada) – A tough, decisive back who will plow through holes to pick up yards. Good in pass protection and has decent hands. No open field moves and not big.
Daniel Aiken (LS, Virginia) – A lot of people considered Aiken to be the best long-snapping prospect coming out of college, and some even thought he’d be drafted. Interesting that Buffalo, a team with a very good young long-snapper in Garrison Sanborn, is the team to bring him in.
Chris Hazley (K, Virginia Tech) – The All-ACC selection missed a field goal in the season opener and didn’t miss again in 2010, setting a school record for consecutive field goals made. (He did miss three extra points.) Has 50+ range. Not sure if he’s going to legitimately challenge Rian Lindell or just give Lindell an occasional break in drills.
Isaiah Thompson (OL, Houston) – Impressively, Thompson managed to become an all-conference guard his senior season after spending his first three seasons in college playing defense. Big, strong dude who’s is understandably pretty raw but well worth taking a shot on in camp. Don’t be surprised to see this guy at least on the practice squad.
Doyle Miller (CB, Nevada) – Played a lot for a very good Nevada team in 2010, making 55 tackles and recording two interceptions. Not very highly regarded. Probably not athletic enough to compete with NFL receivers.
Rajiric Coleman (S, Utah State) - A junior college transfer, Coleman is very athletic and covers a lot of ground. However, he really struggles with his angles and is not a good tackler. Athletic enough to take a look in camp at, for sure.
Kamar Aiken (WR, Central Florida) – Good hands and good size. Caught nine touchdowns his final collegiate season. Technically pretty sound. Not a great athlete, and has a huge uphill climb to make the roster given Buffalo’s terrific depth at receiver.
Rob Eddins (DE/OLB, Ball State) – A bit of a DE/OLB tweener who will likely be placed at linebacker with Buffalo. Made six sacks as a senior…but 4.5 of them were all in one game. Smart with a great motor. Not great burst and has trouble shedding blocks.
Brandon Hicks (ILB, Florida)- Not a regular starter with Florida, but had some production. Had 117 total tackles in his career with nine sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. Quick, but not super strong and has some trouble getting off blocks. Can rush the passer a bit.
Brad Jefferson (ILB, Georgia Tech) – Has experience as a 3-4 inside linebacker. Smallish, but very strong and a ferocious hitter. Not good range and would strictly be a 1st-and-2nd-down run defender. However, the Bills could use guys that can defend the run, so he’ll have a shot. Played for Chan Gailey at Tech.
T.J. Langley (DE, Arkansas Tech)
I couldn’t find much on this small-school prospect, but he’s a big dude (6-5, 290) who played defensive tackle in college but will try to make the Bills as a run-stopping 3-4 defensive end.
Loyce Means (CB, Houston)
Never really a full-time starter at Houston, but led the team with three interceptions in 2010. Not all that big, but quick and fast enough. Was Defensive Player of the Game at inaugural Eastham Energy All-Star game scoring three touchdowns off an interception, blocked kick and fumble recovery. Can play special teams.
Michael Switzer (G, Ball State)
A four-year starter, Switzer made 51 starts in his career with the Cardinals most of which came at left guard. Made 3rd-Team All-MAC in 2010. Intelligent and can play a few positions, but really not at an NFL level athletically. Will need some good fortune to stick long.
Emmanuel Moody (RB, Florida) – Moody was highly touted coming out of high school and ended up at USC, where he was Pac-10 freshman of the year. However, we was eventually lost in the shuffle of talented backs at Southern Cal and ended up transferring to Florida, where he spent two unspectacular seasons. He’ll be a long shot to make the roster with three talented backs already here.
Dominic Cook (CB, University of Buffalo) – Our friends over at Buffalo Sports Daily broke this one. I’ll quote from there: “Cook spent the first three seasons of his UB career at cornerback before converting to safety for his senior season. His play was stellar last year—- earning first-team All-MAC honors, largely on the strength of six interceptions (sixth in the nation) while forcing three fumbles.”
Zach Pianalto (TE, North Carolina) – Pianalto is not exactly an elite athlete, but he’s got decent hands and could maybe become a receiving threat. Durability is a big issue for him, however. In fact, that’s the main reason he wasn’t drafted. However, given Buffalo’s weak depth at tight end, if I had to pick one undrafted rookie to make the roster I would pick Pianalto.
Joshua Nesbitt (QB/RB/WR/S/??, Georgia Tech) - We talked a bit about Nesbitt last night. Nesbitt was a very productive college player, running the triple option at Tech with great success. However, it’s not clear if he really has an NFL position. He worked out as a running back in pre-draft workouts, but reports are he might try and play safety. It will be interesting to see what is tried with him. He does have an “in” with the Bills, as Bills head coach Chan Gailey was the man who recruited Nesbitt to Tech.