Buffalo Bills Training Camp: Rookies impressing early


Buffalo Bills Training Camp: Rookies impressing early

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Despite the lack of draft picks the Buffalo Bills had in the 2015 NFL Draft, there was a premium on each selection. They could not make big mistakes with them, because of the lack thereof.

So far, so good, as day three at St. John Fisher College wrapped up earlier Sunday afternoon. As mentioned in the first edition of “Training Camp Thoughts,” guard John Miller (Louisville) and cornerback Ronald Darby (Florida State) have excelled in the first weekend of camp.

It’s quite the switch from going against the Atlantic Coast Conference to going against one of the best, some may say THE best, defensive line in the National Football League.

Needless to say, Miller has held his own in the short span of time he’s been in the public eye, keeping the likes of Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel upright behind him. This defensive line is just starting to whip into shape, however, so it will be interesting to see how he does when they are in prime form as the season approaches.

Jul 31, 2015; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby (28) in practice during training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Darby’s biggest flaw, according to many scouts, was the inability to make plays on the ball while it is in flight to the receiver. With the majority of his work against Robert Woods while Leodis McKelvin heals from injury, the former Seminole has held his own against the rising star receiver. Darby came down with a jump ball on the first day of practice, and has switched his direction and swatted passes a few times in the attempts after.

Darby’s flaw did come into the public eye Saturday, however. Woods went up for an underthrown ball from Cassel. Instead of reading the receivers eyes and turning to find the ball, Darby kept running at Woods, who made a beautiful adjustment to haul in the pass. The rookie corner has proven the skill is there, but the consistency of making plays on the football needs to be improved.

Two more former Seminoles, Karlos Williams and Nick O’Leary, are both doing pretty well for their early going as well. Williams is competing for a spot with Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon for the third running back position and is showing some promise.

A bigger, more physical back than some people might have thought, Williams is finding holes well and showing a little bit of burst. His problem lies in reading the defense quicker, and gaining five-six yards on runs instead of plowing ahead for two-three.

O’Leary’s fault coming in was blocking, but that certainly looks to be a focal point of his training camp. There are a lot of running plays from the backup offense/defense drills, and this is helping O’Leary a lot when it comes to finding his man and engaging. Once he engages, he looks to block well.

As the season approaches, I really don’t see a scenario in which all four of these draft picks don’t make the squad. The only thing that could be feasible is that O’Leary gets cut because of Charles Clay and MarQueis Gray already being on squad already. Other than that, expect each of these four selections to be making noise on the roster well past August.

Next: Is Michael Vick worth the gamble?

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