Photo by Richmond Athletics
Now that the draft is over, the Buffalo Bills signed 10 undrafted rookies in late April to compete at the rookie minicamp next weekend and hopefully in training camp this summer. Let’s take a look at these 10 players individually to see if any have a chance to make the final roster in September.
1. Aaron Corp, QB, Richmond. The starter for the USC Trojans in 2009, an injury opened the door for backup Matt Barkley to step in and become the rumored 1st overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. Not able to recapture his starting job, Corp transferred to Richmond and had an above average year in 2011, throwing for 2,687 yards and 17 TD’s in 11 games. At 6’3″ 205 lbs., He has the size and arm strength to compete for a position as the 3rd QB on the roster. Good developmental quarterback. Chance of making roster – 35%
2. Chris Douglas, RB, Missouri State. A junior college transfer to Missouri State, His 2010 season was fantastic with 1,051 yards and 11TD’s and led the nation with 6.9 YPC. An All Missouri Valley Conference honorable mention selection at the start of the 2011 season, his senior year was average at best with only 511 yards. With probable Pro Bowl candidate Fred Jackson, 1st round pick, C.J. Spiller, Gailey favorite Tashard Choice, and 2nd year player, Johnny White already on the roster, it will be a “Mount Everest” type hill to climb for Douglas to make this roster. Chance of making roster – 0%
3. Cris Hill, CB, Virginia Tech. Only an occasional starter for Virginia Tech, Nix saw something with his good size 5’11”, 180 lb. frame and 4.46 speed that convinced him to bring Hill in for a look. I’ve seen tape of this kid and like his fluid motion and closing ability. I think he has a chance to stick within a pass happy AFC East. Chance of making roster – 25%
4. Delano Howell, SS, Stanford. A three year starter for the Cardinals, Howell was a solid player in college who was 1st team ALL PAC10 in his senior season. His experience alone helps his cause, but in my opinion, he doesn’t have the fluid hips to come into the box and cover TE’s like the Bills need in this tough division. Nix didn’t draft a safety in this year’s draft and for that reason and the before mentioned experience, his chances improve. Chance of making roster – 20%
5. Paul Madsen, OL, Colorado State. Also a three year starter for the Rams, his experience (30 starts) at both tackle positions are exactly what Nix is looking for with “versatile” type offensive lineman. Scouts love his “tackle” feet and the Bills will start him there. If only we didn’t already draft Glenn and Sanders, Madsen will fight with Sam Young for the 5th tackle job. I like Madsen. Chance of making roster – 35%
6. Nick Sukay, SS, Penn State. A much more traditional strong safety, has prototypical size at 6’1” and 215 lbs. He fits much better as a run support safety more so as a cover safety. Living in the Nittany Lions weekly viewing area, Penn State’s above average defense helped Sukay look better than he really was. Chance of making roster – 10%
7. Ian Gold, S/LS, Mercyhurst College. A decorated player that took snaps at every position on the defense other than the defensive line, was the captain of the defense his senior year. Gold’s career 90 tackles, 7 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles were a testament to his work ethic. His smaller size at 6’0” and 208 lbs., this was the only position he could attempt to audition for. His road will be toughest. Chance of making roster – 0%
8. Garrick Williams, ILB, Texas A&M. Williams had made starts at both inside and outside linebacker during his career with the Aggies. His body of work was a bit inconsistent due to several injuries, but once on the field, he showed good skills against both the run and pass. With the lack of talent and depth at this position, Nix and Gailey will give Williams every chance to succeed. Chance of making the roster – 20%
9. David Snow, OL, Texas. Experience, experience, experience. A common and important view for Buddy Nix and crew. 32 career starts for perennial powerhouse Texas at guard and center. Snow was brought in especially for his center skills. There is no way Nix will put Gailey in the position again to have to put Levitre at the pivot again. The Bills need an experienced backup center. Chance of making roster – 25%
10. Shawn Powell, P, Florida State. The 1st consensus All American punter in Florida State history, his punting skills have improved to the point that he could push any team’s starter and have a productive NFL career. His 47 yard average his senior year and his 23 punts inside the 20 yard line is comparable to most NFL punters. I like the fact the Bills have brought him in to compete against Moorman who may have lost a step over the last two years. Chance of making roster – 20%
Nix has done a tremendous job over the last three years rebuilding the Buffalo Bills into a possible playoff contender. He and the coaching staff see talent in the above players and wouldn’t have brought any of them to camp if they didn’t think they had the talent to compete in the NFL. I wish all these players the best of luck and if any are lucky enough to live their dream of making an NFL roster, they deserve to be there.
Give it to me straight Bills fans… Do any of these players have a chance?