As the Buffalo Bills prepare to kick off their rookie mini-camp this week, it seemed like an appropriate time to address the rapidly increasing list of new Buffalo Bills players that seem to be added to the team on a daily basis.
As you hear more and more about who is doing what, and you aren't sure who that new player is, you can use this article as a reference for learning a bit more about each of the new Bills that will be evaluated during mini-camp and training camp. A number of these players will be part of the special teams units, and will be adding depth to the returning starters, or challenging them for their jobs.
So, in alphabetical order, let's meet all the new Bills that have been added since the offseason began. We will start with the 24 new rookies—players either drafted or those that were signed after the draft concluded.
Player, Jersey Number, College, Position, How Acquired, Height and Weight
Allen, Sean (75) East Carolina University, Center, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'3" 305
Batten, Danny (57) South Dakota State, Inside Linebacker, sixth round draft choice, 6'3" 246
Bell, Joique (35) Wayne State, Running Back, signed as undrafted free agent, 5'11" 220
Brown, Levi (10) Troy University, Quarterback, seventh round draft choice, 6'4" 229
Calloway, Kyle (60) Iowa University, Tackle, seventh round draft choice, 6'7" 323
Carrington, Alex (92) Arkansas State, Defensive End, third round draft choice, 6'5" 285
Coleman, Antonio (59) Auburn University, Linebacker, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'1" 248
Croner, Will (79) Howard University, Defensive End, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'2" 279
Destin, John (41) Tulsa University, Defensive Back, signed as undrafted free agent, 5'11" 191
Easley, Marcus (81) University of Connecticut, Wide Receiver, fourth round draft choice, 6'3" 210
Guerra, Jorge (62) Texas A&M-Kingsville, Guard, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'3" 300
Harris, Dominique (36) Temple University, Defensive Back, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'2" 213
Howard, Codaro, (68) Georgia Tech, Offensive Lineman, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'4" 314.
Johnson, Brett (46) University of California, Free Safety, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'1" 194
Jones, Donald (19) Youngstown State, Wide Receiver, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'0" 214
Moats, Arthur (53) James Madison, Linebacker, sixth round draft choice, 6'0" 246
Mutcher, Kyle (72) Weber State, Center, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'3" 289
Nelson, David (86) Florida University, Wide Receiver, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'5" 217
Roosevelt, Naaman (18) University of Buffalo, Wide Receiver, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'0" 189
Spiller, C.J. (21) Clemson University, Running Back, Bills number one draft choice, 5'11" 196
Troup, Torrell (96) University of Central Florida, Nose Tackle, Bills second round draft choice, 6'3" 314
Virgil, Stephan (42) Virginia Tech, Defensive Back, signed as undrafted free agent, 5'11" 189
Wang, Ed (71) Virginia Tech, Tackle, Bills fifth round draft choice, 6'5" 314
Wright, Mike (49) Utah University, Linebacker, signed as undrafted free agent, 6'1" 241
Some of these guys will be on the Bills roster, some will be special team unit members, others will find their way on to the Bills practice squad, while others will be warm bodies for training camp competition.
Here is the rundown of the players the Bills acquired in the offseason prior to the draft.
Player, Jersey Number, College, Position, How Acquired, Height and Weight
Davis, Andra (54) Florida University, Linebacker, signed as free agent, 6'1" 251
Edwards, Dwan (98) Oregon State, Defensive End, signed as free agent, 6'3" 290
Favorite, Marlon (64) LSU, Defensive Tackle, signed as free agent, 6'1" 317
Ferguson, Rodney (44) New Mexico, Running Back, signed as free agent, 6'0" 234
Green, Cornell (74) Central Florida University, Tackle, signed as free agent, 6'6" 315
Jackson, Chad (17) Florida University, Wide Receiver, signed as free agent, 6'1" 215
Matthews, Michael (82) Georgia Tech, Tight End, signed as free agent, 6'4" 270
Mendenhall, Walter (39) Illinois State, Running Back, signed as free agent, 6'0" 227
This group contains three key veteran free agent pickups in Andra Davis, Dwan Edwards and Cornell Green. The others are trying to resurrect their NFL career and hoping to make the Bills roster.
Marlon Favorite is only one year removed from LSU so would be a candidate for practice squad if he fails to make roster. Michael Matthews appears to be the only Georgia Tech player that would have had any connection to Chan Gailey during his tenure there, as the Bills failed to draft or sign any Yellow Jackets.
Editor's Note - no sooner than I wrote the article on May 4th, did the Bills announce the signing of offensive lineman Codaro Howard, who played at Georgia Tech. Howard was starting in 2007 at Tech, which coincidentally was Chan Gailey's final year as the head coach at Tech.
Will The Bills Season Be Renamed as "The Jake Locker Sweepstakes"?
The Bills are being tabbed by the likes of the Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay as the preseason favorite to have the number one draft choice in the 2011 draft. That also means the Bills would have the worst record in the NFL.
On the surface, I suppose that is always possible, and looking at the flaws on offense (without picking up a veteran QB in the offseason) and not drafting or trading for a top offensive tackle, there are plenty of reasons why the experts think the Bills will have a bummer of a season.
So, is it time for the Bills to start labeling the 2010 season as the Jake Locker Sweepstakes Season? I don't think you would want the Bills to be scouring the country for talent, hire an entirely new coaching staff and bring in the veterans they did to turn around and fold their tent so they could have the number one pick.
The road schedule for the Bills this year is ridiculously hard. I would not be surprised if the Bills only managed one or two road wins based on the places they have to play and the teams that they are facing. The home schedule is another matter, but a number of those teams are greatly improved—Detroit and Cleveland come to mind. Plus Big Ben will be back with the Steelers when they come to town.
Not to mention the AFC East is loaded and the AFC and NFC Central Divisions are not a walk in the park.
Aaron Schobel - When Will He Provide The Bills With A Decision?
I think most Bills fans assumed that Aaron Schobel would have given the Bills some sort of a decision on what he wanted to do prior to the draft, so the team could proceed accordingly. However, he failed to give any answer yet and has kept the Bills hanging in the process.
Buddy Nix continues to say that they are keeping the door open for him, and I suspect that is fine on the surface. But since this is a rebuilding project that Nix admits will take two to three years to accomplish, wouldn't it have been better to trade Schobel to one of the Texas teams that have a legitimate chance to be in the playoffs and used the draft pick(s) you acquired to improve the team?
I don't know how much longer Schobel will play, but it seems that Buddy might have missed the boat on the chance to cash in that chip. Speaking of cashing in chips, all potential Bills veterans that had any trade value whatsoever, Roscoe Parrish, Donte Whitner and Marshawn Lynch, are all still part of the team.
You can read in to that statement however you want to. Was Nix asking for too much for these guys? Was he afraid to pull the trigger? How is it that so many other teams were able to pull off deals and the Bills pulled off none?
Surely this offseason provided the correct setting for trades due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. Is it possible that the Bills were trying to set up their team to be financially leaner and meaner on the books, and then make some bold moves in the 2011 off-season?
Time will tell, but I have now voiced my concerns. Feel free to share any other observations you wish over the material we covered here.