Shortly after the NFL draft came to an end, the Buffalo Bills announced that they had signed 10 undrafted free agents to the roster.
Like every year, NFL teams rush to sign players that went undrafted once the draft comes to an end. For the Buffalo Bills, they added 10 undrafted free agents this season and they were mostly offensive players.
Signing undrafted free agents is a critical period for any NFL team. Of all the players that declare for the NFL draft, only 253 get selected on draft night. That leaves a lot of young talent still available for teams to get at a good price. Many times, teams can find valuable gems during this process.
Players like Kurt Warner, Warren Moon, Antonio Gates and James Harrison all joined the NFL as undrafted free agents. It’s a chance for teams to show interest in a player that might not get attention anywhere else. That’ll make any player loyal to your team and if they can perform well, they can become a staple for many years.
This year, the Buffalo Bills will see 10 undrafted free agents fight for their first chance at an NFL roster spot. Let’s take a closer look at each of these players. Who knows, maybe one of them turn out to be a gem.
DL, South Carolina
The Buffalo Bills will need more depth on the defensive line than they needed last season, due to the switch back to a 4-3 defense under Sean McDermott. In his two years at South Carolina, Lewis totaled 93 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 passes defensed. He can be a versatile depth player on the defensive line, but his inability to make big plays could keep him from a spot on the roster.
The Buffalo Bills have quite a steady offensive line that features Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito, Eric Wood, John Miller, rookie Dion Dawkins, as well as several good backup players in Ryan Groy, Jordan Mills and Vlad Ducasse. Still, the Bills are in need of some young depth because injuries are always a concern and Incognito is getting old. Pyke will have a good shot at a roster spot if he plays well this offseason.
The Buffalo Bills likely wanted to give Colton Schmidt some competition this offseason and preseason, but I don’t expect Rekhow to make the team by the time Week 1 rolls around. Schmidt just signed a two-year deal with the Bills that includes a $1.15 million cap hit in 2017 and $1.45 million cap hit in 2018. Rekhow does bring a bit of versatility, which McDermott likes. He is listed as a punter, but can also kick field goals and kick offs. Because of this, he could become a starter for some team in a couple years.
S, West Virginia
Jeremy Tyler will have a lot of competition to fight through if he wants to land a spot on the Bills’ roster, but McDermott has made it known that everyone will have a fair shot. As a senior, Tyler finished with 56 tackles, one tackle for loss, 2 interceptions and 13 games played. He joins teammate Daikiel Shorts in Buffalo as an undrafted free agent, who we’ll get to soon. Tyler is a competitor and loves to hit.
Brandon Reilly will join a wide receiver group that is going to look completely different in 2017 than the year before. Because of that, he will have a shot at a roster spot if he can show production in preseason and chemistry with Taylor or Peterman. He’s got a lot of experience, red-shirting in 2012 and appearing in 41 games from 2013-2016. In his college career, he totaled 70 receptions, 1,275 yards and 6 touchdowns in 4 years.
CB, West Georgia
Sayles will have a lot of depth to fight through and will be in a similar situation as Jeremy Tyler, listed above. I have a good feeling about Sayles right now, mainly because the team held a pre-draft visit with him. The Bills liked enough from him to sign him after he went undrafted. He started 46 of 47 games in his college career and totaled 12 interceptions in that time. He’s very skillful and can find a spot among many other cornerbacks looking to impress their new team.
WR, West Virginia
Shorts will have the same opportunity being given to Brandon Reilly, listed above. He is also joining teammate Jeremy Tyler, who also signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent. Shorts will have a good chance at proving his worth in the slot, which the Bills are expected to use a lot of this season. In his four years in college, he totaled 177 catches, 2,263 yards and 14 touchdowns. I think this guy will make the roster.
Yes, that says Buffalo. Jordan Johnson will have an opportunity to join his hometown team. Every year, there seems to be one Buffalo player that gets his shot, but none ever seem to stick around. With Mike Gillislee not returning as the Bills’ backup and Buffalo not drafting a RB, he will have a good chance to show what he can do. In his three years at Buffalo, he totaled 2,212 yards and 19 touchdowns. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2016 and also had 12 touchdowns in 2015. If he doesn’t make the roster, I think he could land on the practice squad.
One of two tight ends to be signed as undrafted free agents, Croom is a 6’5” tight end that struggled a season ago after playing at WR the previous three years. His versatility could be attractive to the Bills, but with a lot of players fighting for a spot at both positions, it’ll be a tough road. His 60 catches, 816 yards and 6 touchdowns aren’t eye-popping.
Towbridge is the other tight end getting a chance with the Buffalo Bills. He will probably have a better chance at a spot on the roster because of his ability to block. The downside is he doesn’t bring a whole lot of production through the air. His best season was in 2015 when he finished with 10 catches, 154 yards and 3 TD. He only had 21 catches, 283 yards and 3 TD in his college career.
Which of these undrafted free agents do you think has the best chance at cracking the Buffalo Bills‘ roster? Leave your thoughts below!