Buffalo’s final 2011 draft selection, DT Michael Jasper, signed earlier in the day.
This leaves four Buffalo draft picks unsigned: 1st-round DL Marcell Dareus, 2nd-round CB Aaron Williams, 3rd-round LB Kelvin Sheppard, and 5th-round RB Johnny White.
Even though they were late-round selections, the Bills have high hopes for Hairston, C. White, and Rogers.
Hairston (assuming the Bills don’t bring in a marquee free agent) is expected to compete for the starting right tackle job. “Chris is a big, big man physically,” Buffalo offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris said. “We had great reports from his college coach down at Clemson. He has some very good skills. He’s got good feet. I can see future development and growth with him. Now coming in to learn the system once he can learn the terminology he gives himself a chance to play.”
Chris White just saw his chances for playing time increase with the departure of Paul Posluszny. Buffalo’s associate head coach/inside linebackers coach Dave Wannstedt liked what he saw on film from White at the Senior Bowl: “Probably of all the linebackers that we evaluated he probably made the least amount of mistakes of anyone that I watched,” Wannstedt said. “I was very impressed with him. This guy does it all good. Where he will stack up physically against the other guys I don’t know. We’ll wait and see. The other coaches had him at the Senior Bowl and they just raved about his intangibles.”
Justin Rogers played for a (admittedly very good) FCS program at Richmond, but the coaching staff thinks he’ll transition well to the NFL game. Bills secondary coach George Catavolos believes Rogers could surprise in training camp: “Justin Rogers is a very good technician. He’s done an excellent job with his coverage skills. For a 180-pounder he won’t shy away from anybody. I do think this young man has the make-up intelligence-wise and the physical skills that could be very beneficial for us this season.”
We can expect to hear that the rest of Buffalo’s rookies are signed sometime on Friday. There’s not much incentive to hold out anymore with the new collective bargaining agreement, so the team should be able to get these guys signed to contracts soon.