May 11, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills first round draft pick cornerback Stephon Gilmore (27) catches an interception during rookie mini camp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Stephon Gilmore Impresses at Bills Rookie Minicamp

The Bills wrapped up their annual rookie minicamp this weekend, giving Buffalo’s rookies a chance to get their feet wet in an NFL environment. Now I know we’re all dying to know how Buffalo’s draft class is going to perform, but the sad truth is you can’t learn much about a player in a three-day minicamp.

However, one man clearly has impressed so far, and that man is (thankfully) Buffalo’s top rookie: first-round draft choice Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore stood out all weekend, recording three interceptions and many pass breakups. Granted, he was going against tryout/undrafted quarterbacks and receivers who might not be in the NFL anytime soon, but it is certainly nice to hear that Gilmore made a good impression.

Chan Gailey isn’t exactly one to give much away about a player’s practice performance, but it was clear he was happy with Gilmore’s initial NFL showing:

“He did a great job during the weekend. He is a big, long corner that can run and has a great feel for the game. He did a very good job during the weekend.”

Gailey went on to note that Gilmore seems to have a lot of confidence in his abilities, which can only help the rookie in his first NFL campaign:

“You know, confidence is something that’s vital especially at the cornerback position. It’s vital at some other spots, but it’s really vital at the cornerback position. And he played well and did well in this camp. Now, when he goes against the other guys, he’s going to lose some. How does he handle getting beat? He didn’t get beat a lot out here, so how does he handle that? He’s going to go through some emotions so that maturity and that confidence will help him, I think. He’s played in a tough league [the SEC], he knows what it’s about.”

And that’s true enough: Gilmore is going to get beat on occasion at the NFL level. How will he respond? That’s what makes or breaks an NFL cornerback.

In other rookie camp news, Gailey was high on praise for fifth-round pick Zerbie Sanders as well:

“[Sanders] did a good job. We left him at right tackle the whole weekend and I thought he did a good job of picking up things. He got better. His stance got better. His sets got better. I thought he did a nice job. He’s got a ways to go just like they all do but he did a fine job during the weekend.”

Not much to sink your teeth into for the weekend, but fear not, football fans. Real football will be here before you know it.

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