With the draft over, the Bills have been working to scoop up undrafted players. Undrafted rookies are always real long shots to make the team, but it’s certainly possible. In fact, several undrafted rookies have made the 53-man roster under Chan Gailey: WRs David Nelson and Donald Jones as well as LB Antonio Coleman made the team in 2010, while LB Robert Eddins survived cuts last season before an injury ended his season early.
Today the team announced the signings of 10 undrafted players:
QB Aaron Corp, Richmond – Corp was a very highly recruited prep prospect, landing with Southern Cal and actually beating out Matt Barkley for the Trojans’ starting job in 2009 before breaking his leg. Barkley seized the opportunity and rose to stardom (and possible #1 overall pick status in the 2013 Draft). Corp ended up transferring to FCS school Richmond, and didn’t impress like a guy with his pedigree should have. Had a really bad senior year, looking skittish and throwing off his back foot often. He has NFL size and an NFL arm though, and maybe with a couple years holding the clipboard he could turn into something. He’s likely just a “camp arm,” but could conceivably challenge Tyler Thigpen for the #2 QB job or for a practice squad spot.
RB Chris Douglas, Missouri State – Another FCS guy, Douglas’s college career certainly doesn’t jump off the page – he never won the starting job at small-time Missouri State. He did average 6.9 yards a carry in 2010, however. Douglas isn’t big, but he is powerful and quick through the hole. He can also catch the ball pretty well. He’ll likely get a ton of carries in the boring fourth quarters of preseason games this August.
CB Cris Hill, Virginia Tech – A highly recruited high schooler, for whatever reason Hill couldn’t crack the lineup at Virginia Tech until his senior season. He did manage six pass breakups and interception in 2011. Hill can run, but he’ll have a lot of work to do to prove he can play at the NFL level.
SS Delano Howell, Stanford – Howell, a former running back, moved to safety for his final three seasons for the Cardinal. Very productive, racking up seven career INTs and leading the team in tackles in 2010. Smart and tough – probably mentally ready for the NFL now. His problem is physical – he’s a borderline NFL athlete, at best. Could sneak onto this roster though, thanks to his smarts and special teams value.
OT Paul Madsen, Colorado State – A rugged dude who played his entire senior season with a sprained MCL and high ankle sprain. Despite the pain, he played very well in 2011, allowing just two sacks and dominating in the run game. If he can get healthy, I think he could be an NFL player. A bit up against it in the numbers game for Buffalo though, as the team drafted three offensive linemen and returns four starters plus Chris Hairston.
P Shaun Powell, Florida State – A consensus All-American, Powell averaged 47 yards a kick in 2011. Very big (6’4, 248) with a huge leg. He’ll try to unseat Brian Moorman or at least impress enough to get a look elsewhere.
G/C David Snow, Texas – Snow’s best feature is his versatility – he played both center and guard for the Longhorns. Not impressive physically, but smart and tough. Has enough quickness to get by, but could be overmatched at the NFL level.
SS Nick Sukay, Penn State – Sukay’s a big safety who loves to come down in run support and hit someone. He had a nice college career despite missing some time due to injury. Finished his career with eight interceptions. Plays well in the box, but will have to show he can cover NFL receivers.
S/LS Ian Wild, Mercyhurst – That’s not a typo. Wild really is a safety/long snapper. He played everywhere on defense except line for Division II Mercyhurst. A high-effort guy who will kill himself in an attempt to make this team. Similar type of guy to Jon Corto, who has hung around Buffalo’s roster for years on effort and special teams ability.
LB Garrick Williams, Texas A&M – Williams has all the physical an NFL linebacker needs – size, speed, strength, etc. But he had a very up-and-down college career. Makes a lot of questionable decisions on the field and takes bad angles. Could be worth developing, though.
Mostly long shots here, but again, it always seems like at least one undrafted guy impresses and makes the team. Eddins came out of nowhere last preseason and just forced the coaches to notice him by hitting the QB every preseason game. It will be interesting to see if anyone from this group steps up in a similar way.