The Buffalo Bills’ effort to add young talent to their roster didn’t end with their seven selections in the 2014 NFL draft. They continued to add rookies to the depth chart by signing nine undrafted free agents, which were officially announced by the team Tuesday.
Despite being passed over 256 times in this year’s draft, plenty of undrafted free agents around the league will not only make rosters but also contribute significantly in their rookie seasons. The Bills have had their share of success with undrafted free-agent signings, including Nickell Robey, a diminutive defensive back out of USC who ended up excelling as the team’s slot cornerback this past season.
While last year’s crop included a number of players who were expected to be right in the mix for roster spots, including Robey, this year’s class isn’t quite as promising. As we will touch upon in the following slides, most of Buffalo’s undrafted free-agent signings this year were well off-the-radar as draft prospects and will most likely prove to be little more than camp bodies.
This might actually be a good indicator of the strength and depth of the Bills roster, as the team might have been spurned by some more talented undrafted free agents who thought they would have a better chance to make other rosters.
Last year’s roster was ripe with opportunities for undrafted free agents to work their way up the depth chart. Buffalo has built a much more solid roster this season by retaining most of its key free agents, adding some talented veterans to the mix and drafting well.
One would like to see more impact potential in the Bills’ crop of undrafted free agents, especially considering they only had room for single-digit signings. It’s also surprising that Buffalo has not signed any rookies at defensive end, where the team has an evident need for depth, and at punter, where the team should be in the market for more competition for Brian Moorman and Jacob Dombrowski.
That said, the Bills have had a clear emphasis with where they have signed undrafted free agents thus far. All nine of them have been on defense, including three safeties, three linebackers, one cornerback and two defensive tackles.
In the following slides, we take a look at each of the team’s signings in alphabetical order and forecast what they could bring to the team or why they might not be good fits for the regular-season roster. Analysis from members of the Bills’ scouting department, courtesy of BuffaloBills.com, is also included.