Buffalo Fanatics: Discussing rookies and running backs at the start of Buffalo Bills training camp

Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle)
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle) /

The Buffalo Fanatics are back with Rated Rev on a Thursday night, joined by show producer Evan Harrington to break down Buffalo Bills training camp. Rev and Ev also take a deep dive into the Buffalo Bills rookies and how they have had a major impression around camp.

Buffalo Bills rookies showing out! (6:15)

Kaiir Elam: The Bills selected Elam with the 23rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Elam has big shoes to fill as Buffalo Bills All-Pro corner Tre White is still on the PUP list and there is still no timetable for White’s return.

Elam is getting into it early with Buffalo Bills All-Pro wide receiver Stefan Diggs. The 2 have been battling it out the first few days of camp and got a little heated in a few of their reps. With Elam holding Diggs and Stefan not liking that at all the 2 got into a heated conversation that sprung some of the other teammates to break it up.

The Bills also gave Elam boxing gloves to stop him from holding Diggs in practice.

This is the energy the Buffalo Bills need out of Kaiir Elam. Coming out of college he was known to be great in press-man coverage. Seeing it all happen live at camp is phenomenal as Elam has made plays on Diggs and against other Bills wide receivers as well. Elam looks like he is fully capable of filling the role of Tre White for a few weeks before his return.

Khalil Shakir: It feels like everyone in Bills Mafia is talking about Shakir. How can you not talk about a guy who has been lighting up camp as a fifth round rookie. With Jamison Crowder missing 4 of 5 training camp days, Shakir has had to step into a role he probably wouldn’t have had without Crowder being sidelined. The best saying is always “your best ability is your availability” which still stands true to this as Shakir is showing out tremendously at Bills training camp.

Shakir is showing a quick burst up the field with his YAC (yards after catch) ability. That’s huge as the Bills were dead last in yards after the catch from the wide receivers last season. Shakir should play a big factor in improving those numbers from the year before. Rev is so amazed at everything that Shakir can do on the field.

Khalil also showed good display during 11-on-11 work making 4 catches. Something that’s also key with Shakir is his ability to make catches outside his frame whether that’s in front of his frame or behind his frame. His ability to bring in passes so smoothly is very veteran like it’s scary to see as Shakir is only a rookie.

The Bills have 3 guys on the current roster that can be impactful players in the slot in the coming season. Shakir, McKenzie, and Crowder all 3 of those guys have all different skill sets at the slot position and overall Shakir is the most interesting player of the 3.

Buffalo Bills RB room (1:07:03)

This is the first time in a few seasons where the Bills are gonna have heavy competition within their running back room in training camp. With the likes of Devin Singletary, James Cook, Zack Moss, and Duke Johnson the Bills will have some tough decisions to make come preseason.

Devin Singletary: As of right now Motor is the running back 1 on the Buffalo Bills. Going into a contract year motor has a lot to prove. Motor had a phenomenal end to his season last year, being one of the main reasons why the Bills made the playoffs. Singletary doesn’t have the breakaway speed that Bills fans wish he had, but he can make you miss in a variety of ways. Motor has also improved majorly as a receiver. Posting 40 receptions last season.

James Cook: The rookie is here to bring the heat! Cook has been cooking all camp showing his versatility all over the field. James Cook was drafted in the 2nd round by the Bills to be a difference maker. You can see that early in camp. The way he runs his routes out of the slot as a running back is a scary sight for opposing defensive coordinators. The burst cook has out of the backfield is something we didn’t have with Singletary in years past. Cook is gonna be fighting for the RB1 spot throughout camp.

Zack Moss: Probably the most interesting running back in this room. Going into year 3 Moss is on the brink of making the roster. His first 2 seasons with the Bills were up and down as Moss had his good moments but also had his bad ones.

Last season Moss was dealing with a hamstring injury and a concussion. The hamstring injury really affected his ability to cut up the field. Injuries and a lack of production for Moss have been one of the reasons why he hasn’t been super successful in the NFL.

Moss has shown stretches of being a solid running back in the NFL. At the beginning of last season, Moss had a nice stretch of games where he was productive, especially in the redzone. Moss is also a really good blocking back which helps his case in making the roster.

Duke Johnson: The Bills brought in the veteran back on a two-year deal worth up to 8 million dollars. Johnson was brought in because the Bills couldn’t capitalize on bringing in J.D. Mckissic from Washington.

Johnson is in a spot where if Zack Moss performs well in camp he can be in a spot where he doesn’t make the roster. Duke is too similar to James Cook. When you have two guys in Duke and James that both receive the ball very well, why would you wanna keep 2 guys that do the same thing. That’s where Johnson’s roster spot becomes in jeopardy.