Three undrafted players from 2018 are making waves:
No very many people knew who Mike Love was when the Bills signed hin to a UDFA deal last off-season. However, in true McProcess fashion, he earned a spot on the practice squad and eventually made his way into the defensive end rotation by season end. Since the first day of camp, he has run exclusively as the number two left defensive end behind Trent Murphy. That changed a bit slightly today as Love and Lawson began to rotate with the second unit between right and left end. My reaction to this is that these two players are the clear 3rd and 4th defensive ends in the rotation and McDermott now wants to make them as versatile as possible. If Shaq’s move to the left side was about Love’s performance, it probably would have been Eli Harold getting the reps at the right end.
When Leslie Frazier was asked about his linebacker depth before the practice session the first name out of his mouth was Corey Thompson. He mentioned how well the former UDFA was doing and how he liked his versatility to play both WLB and SLB. Thompson hasn’t seen any reps up to this point at WLB; he has been Lorenzo Alexander’s primary replacement. He even took first-team reps when Zo was given a rest day. Meanwhile, on the weakside rookie Vosean Joseph wasn’t even mentioned by Frazier and remains on the third team. The primary backup at WLB thus far has been former safety Maurice Alexander, but he was barely mentioned by Frazier who focused mainly on Thompson and Julian Stanford. It’ll be interesting to see if Thompson starts getting more reps with the second unit at WLB. He appears, for now, to be the primary backup at both positions and a roster lock.
The biggest eye-opener of the day was Leslie Frazier’s comments recording the battle for the number two cornerback job, and second-year UDFA Levi Wallace. Frazier called Wallace the “incumbent starter” and stated, “somebody has to come and take it away from him”. He stressed that it is early, but comments like “He’s the starter, whether guys are gaining on him or not” really make you think Wallace has an edge.
My reaction to this is that Sean McDermott cannot be pleased. He has heaped a ton of praise on Kevin Johnson and preaches competition at almost every position. Frazier is definitely giving us insight into where he is leaning. Even if Wallace is given the job out of camp, it isn’t a guarantee he will last the season with it. We have seen in year’s past that McDermott is not afraid to pull the plug on a cornerback mid-season if he isn’t getting the job done. Wallace will be auditioning week in and week out to keep that starting role.
Other News and Notes
- Frank Gore continues to look ageless.
- The wide receiver’s struggle with drops in the rain.
- Knox and Croom continue to sit out.
- Mitch Morse was held out of practice once again, something to keep an eye on.
- Russell Bodine is working his way up the depth chart in Morse’s absence.
- Bodine and Long rotated at Center.
- Bodine, Feliciano, and Long rotated at Right Guard.
- Could the Bills be trying to keep Bodine as insurance for an oft-injured Morse???
- Ty Nsekhe mixed in with the first team at both tackle spots.
- Shaq Lawson saw time at RE, LE, and three-technique DT.
- Only EJ Gaines and Siran Neal took reps today directly behind Taron Johnson at nickel corner.
- Jaquan Johnson has worked his way into a second-team rotation with Dean Marlowe at free safety.
- Per multiple observers, Cory Carter has taken the lead on Corey Bojorquez in #PunterPalooza2019.