Full Training Camp Roster Breakdown for the Buffalo Bills
Before you travel to watch Buffalo Bills training camp, or watch videos online shot by reporters who are lucky enough to walk the sidelines at St. John Fisher College, make sure you pore through this guide and try to memorize as many names and numbers as possible.
You don't want to be the guy—or gal—who asks, "who's number 15?"
(The Bills answer, Chris Hogan)
EJ Manuel (No. 3)
Manuel was selected 16th overall in April's draft to be the future franchise quarterback of the Buffalo Bills organization. After 13 years without the playoffs, fans in Western New York are eager for that future to be now. While Manuel is far from a finished product, he has a desirable set of physical and mental skills. He'll square off against Kevin Kolb for the starting job and the chance to be under center in the season opener at home against the New England Patriots.
Kevin Kolb (No. 4)
Kolb's time in Arizona with the Cardinals was significantly disappointing and injury-plagued, but he certainly didn't receive the offensive line help needed to flourish as a quarterback. Kolb was sacked 57 times in 15 games with the Cardinals—some of those sacks where on him—although he wasn't horrible in 2012 prior to his season-ending injury. With West Coast offense experience, Kolb should start camp with the leg up on Manuel.
Jeff Tuel (No. 8)
After Tarvaris Jackson was released, Tuel, an undrafted free agent out of Washington State, appeared to be a lock to at least make the Bills' practice squad. It's highly unlikely that he competes for the No. 2 job, and is a long-term developmental player.
C.J. Spiller (No. 28)
After an electric end to the 2011 season, Spiller exploded in 2012, racking up 1,703 yards from scrimmage. The way former head coach Chan Gailey neglected him (only 207 carries), was easily one of the most frustrating aspects of the underwhelming season for Bills fans. With fewer than 400 career touches under his belt, Spiller is primed for a monster year as the focal point of Buffalo's offense.
Fred Jackson (No. 22)
After a stellar and relatively underrated 2011 campaign, injuries limited Jackson's production and overall efficiency in 2012. His 3.9 yards-per-carry average was, by far, the lowest of his career and his season prematurely ended with an MCL sprain. Fully healthy, Jackson should be utilized as Spiller's complement, and a good one at that.
Tashard Choice (No. 20)
Choice filled in for Spiller when he went down against the Cleveland Browns early in the 2012 season, but the former Georgia Tech standout finished the year with only 47 carries. He's a dependable veteran; however, it's hard to say he's a lock to make the 53-man roster.
Zach Brown (No. 35)
Brown spent most of the 2012 season on the Bills practice squad. At 5'10'' and 220 pounds, the former University of Pittsburgh backup has good size. He's a longshot to make the roster, but with a strong showing in training camp, he could unseat Choice for the No. 3 role.
Frank Summers (No. 38)
The 5'9'', 248-pound Summers is listed as a fullback, and will have a hard time making the final roster.
Kendall Gaskins (No. 42)
Undrafted out of Richmond in 2013, Gaskins is a 6'1'', 238-pound steamroller of a running back.
Drew Smith (No. 40)
Another 2013 undrafted free agent, Smith has similar size to that of Gaskins and must make an impact on special teams to make the roster. He's a prime practice squad candidate.
Stevie Johnson (No. 13)
Johnson's about as unorthodox as they come on the field, but he's emerged as one of the NFL's most creative and effective route-runners. He heads into the 2013 campaign after three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. About as nimble as they come, Johnson could thrive if he spends more time in the slot this season.
Robert Woods (No. 10)
To some, Woods was the most NFL-ready receiver in the 2013 draft class. He dealt with an ankle injury during his 2012 season at USC, which ultimately was a regression from the 111-catch, 1,292-yard, 15-touchdown masterpiece of 2011. He has 4.52 speed, is well-versed in operating within a pro-style offense and has soft hands. He is the early favorite to be Buffalo's No. 2 wideout.
T.J. Graham (No. 11)
Graham's rookie season would appropriately be labeled as a disappointment, as the former N.C. State track and football star had only 31 receptions for 322 yards and one touchdown. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick's ineffectiveness working the ball down the field certainly didn't help the speedster. With a major injection of young receiving talent around him, Graham will have to develop quickly.
Marquise Goodwin (No. 88)
Goodwin clocked a 4.27 in the 40-yard dash at the combine which made him the fastest-timed player in the 2013 draft class. He was an Olympic track star and efficient pass-catcher at University of Texas, although he didn't get the ball often. He should be used on jet sweeps, reverses and bubble screens, and there's a good chance he runs many "go" routes in 2013.
Da'Rick Rogers (No. 17)
Arguably the most physically talented receiver on Buffalo's roster, the 6'2'' 217-pound Rogers was a First-Team All-SEC performer before off-field issues ended his career at the University of Tennessee. He played at Division II Tennessee Tech in 2012 and was dominant, but his character issues dropped him from potentially Round 2 to the ranks of the undrafteds. If he matures and stays out of trouble, Rogers could contribute early in his NFL career. There's a little Brandon Marshall to his game.
Brad Smith (No. 16)
Smith hasn't been the do-everything dynamo Buffalo hoped he would be when they signed him prior to the 2011 season, but he's a serviceable special teams player, and there's no questioning his versatility. It'll be interesting to see if he can stand out among the slew of young receiving talent around him in training camp.
Brandon Kaufman (No. 14)
At 6'5'' and 214 pounds, Kaufman is a downfield and red-zone specialist who won't blow by many cornerbacks, but he doesn't have much problem outjumping them for the football. He's a longshot to make the 53-man roster. Then again, he could sneak in as the No. 6 receiver if his competitors falter.
DeMarco Sampson (No. 19)
Sampson is a 6'2'' 204-pound wideout who last played for the Arizona Cardinals in 2011. He has three career catches for 36 yards.
Kevin Elliott (No. 18)
Elliot is Florida A&M product who's 6'3'' and weighs 215 pounds. He caught 10 passes for 108 yards for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012.
Marcus Easley (No. 81)
The 6'2'' 217-pound Easley has dealt with a handful of unfortunate events since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. First, doctors misdiagnosed an injury he suffered to his knee in his rookie season, and he was improperly placed on season-ending IR, though it wasn't needed. The next year, doctors discovered a career-threatening heart ailment that ended his season before it started. He underwhelmed in 2012 but showed promise on special teams.
Chris Hogan (No. 15)
Hogan spent the 2012 preseason with the Miami Dolphins but didn't make the final roster. Then, the Bills signed him to their practice squad. He was active for the final two games last year; however, he didn't record any statistics. He's 6'1'' and 215 pounds.
Dorin Dickerson (No. 82)
Dickerson is more of tight end than a traditional wideout but is currently listed as a wide receiver. He appeared in 11 games for the Bills in 2012 and caught nine passes for 117 yards.
Scott Chandler (No. 84)
Chandler doesn't run past many linebackers or safeties, but he has emerged as an above-average chain-mover with strong hands with the Bills. At 6'7'', he's a huge target in the red zone and has caught 12 touchdowns over the past two years in Buffalo. However, he's coming off an ACL tear he suffered late in the 2012 campaign.
Lee Smith (No. 85)
Used primarily as the blocking tight end in Buffalo, Smith was drafted by the New England Patriots but the Bills snagged him off their practice squad in 2011. The 6'6'' 265-pound tight end caught two touchdowns for Buffalo last year and should make the final roster.
Chris Gragg (No. 89)
Had it not been for multiple knee injuries at Arkansas, Chris Gragg likely would have been picked somewhere between Round 3 and Round 5 in the the 2013 draft. He was the fastest timed tight end at the combine (4.50 in the 40-yard dash). Gragg projects to the increasingly popular H-back position.
Mickey Shuler (No. 87)
The 26-year-old Shuler has two career grabs, both of which came as a member of the Minnesota Vikings in 2011.
Mike Caussin (No. 80)
Caussin missed the entire 2012 season while recovering form a torn ACL. The former undrafted free agent caught five passes for Buffalo in 2011.
Cordy Glenn (No. 77)
Glenn is firmly entrenched as the Bills' left tackle. He had a good-not-great rookie season on the edge and should be more comfortable there in his sophomore campaign. He's a gifted blocker—more so against the run than the pass—and with some fine-tuning from head coach Doug Marrone, he could become a sound blindside protector.
Chris Hairston (No. 75)
Hairston has played left tackle for the Bills in the past, but he projects to the right tackle position. He'll fight with Erik Pears for the starting job and should win it with age, athleticism and run-blocking strength on his side. He had offseason surgery on his foot.
Erik Pears (No. 79)
In 2011, Pears was Buffalo's most underrated offensive lineman, someone who excelled as a pass-blocker. He regressed significantly in 2012, and that may have been due to an offseason groin injury and a hip injury that lingered all season. He should compete with Hairston for the starting right tackle spot.
Zebrie Sanders (No. 72)
The 6'6'' 320-pound Sanders dealt with injuries in his rookie season and was forced to have hip surgery in September. While he's somewhat raw, he has all the physical attributes to emerge as the team's swing tackle, or he may get kicked inside to guard.
Hutch Eckerson (No. 64)
Chris Scott (No. 73)
Scott was picked in the fifth round of the 2010 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers and played in two games for Mike Tomlin's team in 2011. He has been on the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Tennessee Titans practice squads.
Thomas Welch (No. 66)
Welch has appeared in 11 games during his four-year career, three of which came in 2012 for the Bills.
Kraig Urbik (No. 60)
Urbik shouldn't have any problem locking down the starting right guard job after an impressive 2012 campaign. He labored through a nagging high ankle sprain, yet the 6'5'' 327-pounder was one of the team's better offensive linemen. He has missed three games in each of the last two seasons.
Doug Legursky (No. 59)
Legursky was signed as a free agent this offseason to help fill the void left by the departed Andy Levitre. He struggled at times during his stay in Pittsburgh with the Steelers, yet he brings 50 games of NFL experience to the interior of the offensive line.
Keith Williams (No. 68)
Williams is 6'5'' and 330-pound product from Nebraska who appeared in two games for Buffalo in 2012.
Zack Chibane (No. 62)
The 6'5'' 298-pound Chibane played for Doug Marrone and Nate Hackett at Syracuse University. He went undrafted.
Sam Young (No. 71)
Young was picked in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Dallas Cowboys but has been with the Bills since 2011. The Notre Dame product appeared in 12 games and started four games for Buffalo last year.
David Snow (No. 61)
Snow played his college ball at the University of Texas and saw action in five games last year for the Bills.
Eric Wood (No. 70)
Wood has emerged as an outspoken leader on the Bills, and when he's healthy, he's a top center. However, he has yet to play 16 games in a regular season and has experienced multiple severe leg injuries. He's locked in as the starting center, no questions asked.
Ryan Turnley (No. 63)
Turnley went undrafted out of the University of Pittsburgh and will compete to be Wood's backup.
Colin Brown (No. 74)
Brown is actually oversized to be a center at 6'7'' and 326 pounds. He played in 11 games for Buffalo in 2011 and one last year.
Mario Williams (No. 94)
Williams will be the key pass-rushing piece to Mike Pettine's blitz-happy defensive scheme, and although he totaled 10.5 sacks in 2012, he'll have to be better to shake off some of his doubters. In all likelihood, Williams will line up in a variety of places along Buffalo's front seven and will be tasked to get after the quarterback on most downs.
Mark Anderson (No. 93)
Anderson's size, lankiness and overall skill set projects best to a defensive end position, but he could take some snaps as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He missed 12 games in 2012.
Jamie Blatnick (No. 58)
Blatnick went undrafted in 2012 after a solid career at Oklahoma State and started his NFL career on the Denver Broncos practice squad.
Izaan Cross (No. 76)
Cross is a 6'4'' 280-pound defensive lineman from Georgia Tech who went undrafted this year.
Kyle Williams (No. 95)
Williams is the unquestioned heart and soul of the Bills' defense. He plays with an extremely high motor and is an exceptional athlete, a combination that has allowed him to become one of the league's best interior defensive linemen.
He'll be vital in Mike Pettine's system, playing in multiple spots across the defensive line.
Marcell Dareus (No. 99)
Dareus didn't improve upon a solid rookie year a season ago, but he has a tremendous blend of size (6'3'' 340 pounds) and natural athleticism. He could explode as a pass-rushing defensive lineman in the new, more complex defense.
Alex Carrington (No. 92)
Carrington is the most underrated player on Buffalo's roster. At 6'5'' and 300 pounds, the former third-round pick has enough bulk to win inside and possesses a good amount of athleticism and sheer power to be a dominant run defender. He blocked four kicks during the regular season and flashed big-play ability when he spelled Dareus and Williams.
Alan Branch (No. 90)
Branch is a space-eating nose tackle who has enjoyed a solid albeit unspectacular NFL career. He's a 6'6'' 325-pound mammoth with relatively decent quickness. He started all 16 games for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012.
Torell Troup (No. 98)
Troup was picked in Round 2 of the 2010 draft but has experienced nagging back injuries for most of his time in Buffalo. He projects to the nose tackle spot, a position in which he thrived during his time at University of Central Florida.
Aaron Tipoti (No. 67)
The 6'2'' 311-pound California product went undrafted this year.
Corbin Bryant (No. 97)
Bryant spent the later stages of the 2012 season on the Bills practice squad after a stint in Pittsburgh with the Steelers. He has appeared in one game in his career.
Jay Ross (No. 69)
A rookie last year, Ross played his college football at East Carolina and played in one game a season ago for the Bills.
Jerry Hughes (No. 55)
Hughes was a picked in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 and has played defensive end and outside linebacker. He had a career-high four sacks while starting six games in 2012.
Manny Lawson (No. 91)
Lawson was the college teammate of Mario Williams at N.C. State and after starting his career in San Francisco, he most recently played outside linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals. He exudes athleticism at 6'5'' and 240 pounds, and his game is predicated on versatility more than anything else.
Bryan Scott (No. 43)
A linebacker in a safety's body, Scott is a hybrid of the two positions. He's the elder statesman on the defense as well, having turned 32 this year. He filled the stat sheet in 2012 with 66 tackles, eight defended passes, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Scott's certainly an underrated player.
Arthur Moats (No. 52)
Moats has played a different position every year—or at least it seems that way—but he's a pass-rusher at heart. It'll be intriguing to watch how Mike Pettine decides to use him in 2013.
Keith Pough (No. 49)
Pough was a tackling machine at Division II Howard, but poor workout numbers led to him not being drafted. He projects to an outside linebacker role in the 4-3 alignment.
Kourtnei Brown (No. 56)
Brown went undrafted in 2012 before being signed by the San Francisco 49ers. He spent time on the Washington Redskins practice squad last season.
Chris White (No. 51)
White has been used primarily as a special teams player in his first two seasons and has racked up 19 tackles during that span.
Nigel Bradham (No. 53)
Bradham was picked in the fourth round of the 2012 draft after a stellar career at Florida State. He drips athleticism and has desired sideline-to-sideline speed to go along with his thumping frame. He should be an integral facet of Mike Pettine's defensive scheme but needs to be more decisive in his reactionary movements and must play more fundamentally sound.
Kiko Alonso (No. 50)
Alonso was drafted to be Bradham's inside linebacker mate in 3-4 alignments and should be the middle linebacker whenever the Bills line up in a 4-3 set. His skill set is similar to Bradham's although he's not as physical at the point of attack and is more fluid and aware in coverage.
Marcus Dowtin (No. 54)
Dowtin has ties to Mike Pettine, as he played for the New York Jets in 2012, appearing in three games. He's a 6'2'' 226-pound North Alabama product who could play outside as well.
Brian Smith (No. 53)
Smith played in two games for the Cleveland Browns in 2011 and was picked up by the Bills late in 2012.
Stephon Gilmore (No. 24)
Gilmore has the all-around set of skills to be the next elite lockdown, man-to-man cornerback in the NFL. He struggled with penalties and general inconsistencies in his rookie season, but he has the speed and athleticism to stick to the hip of most teams' No. 1 receiver. Expect him to be Mike Pettine's Darrelle Revis in Buffalo.
Leodis McKelvin (No. 21)
McKelvin has dealt with his fair share of ridicule from Bills fans due to the fact that he has not exactly lived up to his first-round draft status.
He's a rangy athlete who can do just about everything asked of a cornerback, but his ball skills are severely lacking. McKelvin is also an elite punt returner.
Ron Brooks (No. 33)
Brooks played with Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne at LSU and was a fourth-round selection in 2012. He broke a bone in his foot prior to the season a year ago but returned midway through the season. He was victimized early in his NFL career but looked more comfortable down the stretch.
Justin Rogers (No. 26)
A former seventh-round pick from Richmond, Rogers has struggled mightily as Buffalo's slot corner. He flashed some kick return ability in 2011.
Crezdon Butler (No. 29)
The 6'0'' 190-pound Butler has been a member of four NFL teams, and the Bills brought him in last November.
Kip Edwards (No. 39)
Edwards played collegiately at Missouri and went undrafted this year.
Dominique Ellis (No. 47)
Elllis went undrafted in 2012 and had a short stint with the Kansas City Chiefs before signing with the Bills.
T.J. Heath (No. 44)
Heath is 6'0'' and 188 pounds. Most recently, he was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals but appeared in five games for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011.
Nickell Robey (No. 37)
Robey went undrafted out of USC this year. He's 5'7'' and 170 pounds.
Jumal Rolle (No. 41)
Rolle is another member of the Bills' 2013 class of undrafted free agents.
Jordan Dangerfield (No. 46)
This 22-year-old played at Towson and went undrafted in 2013.
Jairus Byrd (No. 31)
Byrd is an All-Pro safety who's as impactful in coverage as he is against the run and has proven to be a turnover machine in the NFL.
Over the past four years, he's tallied 18 interceptions, a higher total than everyone else currently on the Buffalo roster combined.
Unfortunately for the Buffalo organization that decided to franchise tag him this offseason, he's holding out after the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on a multi-year deal before July 15. He'll be forced to play under the one-year franchise tag contract in 2013, or he can drag his holdout into the regular season.
Da'Norris Searcy (No. 25)
Searcy is a former fourth-round pick who has contributed during his first two NFL season, but he hasn't be especially productive. He has snagged one interception and has 73 total tackles.
Duke Williams (No. 27)
Williams was a hard-hitting safety at Nevada and was chosen by the Bills in Round 4 of this year's draft. He ran a 4.52 in the 40 at the combine and has good size at 6'0'' and 190 pounds.
Aaron Williams (No. 23)
The much-maligned cornerback has taken his talents to the safety grouping. He was a second-round pick in 2011 but has had huge problems locating the football in the NFL. He played safety in college at the University of Texas.
Jonathan Meeks (No. 36)
Meeks wasn't a standout at Clemson, but he wasn't a defensive liability either. He was Buffalo's fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft. He stands 6'0'' and weighs 210 pounds.
Mana Silva (No. 30)
Silva played his college ball at Hawaii and played in seven games for Buffalo in 2012. He previously was a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Rian Lindell (No. 9)
Lindell has been with the Bills since 2003 and went 21-for-24 on field goals in 2012. Howevever, his leg isn't what it once was.
Dustin Hopkins (No. 5)
Hopkins was the Bills Round 6 selection in this year's draft after he enjoyed an illustrious career at Florida State. He's known for his strong leg and above-average accuracy.
Shawn Powell (No. 6)
Powell won the starting job when Brian Moorman was released in 2012 and played collegiately at Florida State.
Brian Stahovich (No. 2)
Stahovich, a 6'0'' punter, went undrafted in 2012 and was released by the Indianapolis Colts before the start of regular season last year.
Garrison Sanborn (No. 65)
Another former Seminole, Sanborn has been long snapping for the Bills since 2009.