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Bills Beat Blog



By Joe Buscaglia
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Bills rookie minicamp observations: Monday

The Buffalo Bills can put a checkmark next to one more phase of the offseason. On Monday, the team wrapped up their three-day rookie minicamp that featured 28 players trying to get some more on-field work in with the coaching staff.

The third and final practice was much like the first two, featuring more individual and positional type of drills than any sort of scrimmaging activities. Without a full complement of every position, it makes it hard to have a typical practice.

However, the practice was still useful to see how players moved and for getting experience in working with their respective positional coaches. Just as we did on Sunday, here are a few observations on some of the players on the field:

Draft Picks
WR Sammy Watkins
- It was another exemplary day for Watkins, who by all accounts, was the most talented player on the field by leaps and bounds. Once again he made being a wide receiver in this type of practice setting look easy, roping in every pass thrown to him that was within his catching radius -- including consecutive one-handed grabs where it looked as though stickum was on his palm. According to head coach Doug Marrone, Watkins got to the facilities before 7 am to start working out, and he did some additional work after the practice. It's only his third day on the job, and habits need to be formed over a course of a couple of months, but Watkins is off to a very good start.

OT Cyrus Kouandjio
- The towering offensive lineman is best suited for the right side and you could absolutely tell that in his movement abilities during offensive line drills on Monday. He's not laboring by any means, he just isn't sudden -- a trait that Cordy Glenn does possess. Kouandjio likes to be in control, and when he gets his hands on the defender, it's hard for them to get away. The impressive thing about the second-round pick on Monday happened at the end of practice. Once Marrone got through his message to the players, he asked Kouandjio to lead the breakdown of the huddle. With evidence of his strong words from last week, clearly the rookie is Marrone's type of guy.

OT Seantrel Henderson
- It's hard not to notice Henderson on the field thanks to his nearly 6-foot-8 build, and on Monday he showed well in what little the offensive linemen could be judged on during practice. Henderson displayed good usage of his hands and a solid leg drive when the players had to build up from a lower stance and drive into the defender. He's got much to prove in real practice settings, but it was a nice start.

Undrafted Free Agents
S Kenny Ladler
- Perhaps the undrafted free agent with the most accolades for the Bills in 2014 is Ladler, the former Vanderbilt safety. He was named to the All-SEC first-team by coaches, accrued 91 tackles and got an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He has much to prove for his NFL future, but Ladler looked smooth in his ability to turn and drive to the ball on Monday. The safety group is a very, very crowded one for the Bills with all the young players they have on their roster as it is. Ladler and Deon Broomfield will each have to have an overwhelming training camp to be under consideration for the roster.

CB Darius Robinson
- In his time at college, Robinson saw his fair share of Sammy Watkins during practices at Clemson. All that experience didn't help him on Monday, however, as Watkins beat Robinson during a one-on-one that made the cornerback resort to getting to physical with Watkins as he was getting out of his break. In the setting of a rookie minicamp, play like that is highly discouraged. And if it's against the first-round selection, a player in which the team traded a future first-round pick to get, it's an offense that will not be given the benefit of the doubt. He's not in danger of getting cut, it just wasn't a smart play to make in that setting.

Second-year players
CB Michael Carter
- One of the final players to be signed after the 2014 NFL Draft and it's subsequent undrafted free agent rookie signing period winded down, Carter has a lot to prove. He was draft-eligible in 2013 and didn't hook on anywhere for the regular season after his college career ended at Minnesota. On both Sunday and Monday, defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson was constantly chirping in Carter's ear about technique refinement throughout the various drills.

G Randy Colling
- A native to the western New York area, Colling's journey is a story that will likely be written as OTA's and training camp get here. A longshot to make the team, the guard will need to work hard on his technique and hand placement to try and increase his odds. At 6-foot-5 and 320-pounds, Colling certainly has the size Marrone wants out of his offensive linemen. However, the guard from nearby Arcade needs to show a vast amount of improvement in order to have a chance against the likes of Cyril Richardson, Doug Legursky, J.J. 'Unga and others to be a reserve lineman.

Tryout Players
QB Kenny Guiton
- Another day serving as the team's only quarterback during the rookie minicamp, and another one that Guiton likely wants back in a big way. He wasn't always helped out by a duo of undrafted receivers (Ivan McCartney and Fred Lee) who double caught and dropped passes that hit them in stride, but the inaccuracy remained his constant just as it was on both Saturday and Sunday. It may have only been a three-day stretch, but that's all the Bills have to go by in person and working with their coaches. Based on that, Jeff Tuel and Dennis Dixon are far superior. A signing isn't likely.

WR Caleb Holley
- No matter the coaching staff, once they get to their second and third years you start to see a trend in the types of players that they favor and look for. At the bottom of the wide receiver position, the common trait that links many of those players is having elite size. From Cordell Roberson, to Chris Summers and to Ramses Barden, there are many examples of players 6-foot-3 and taller. When Marrone made mention that one tryout player caught his eye, Holley may have been that player. At 6-foot-4 and 200-pounds, Holley has room to grow. He also outplayed both the other tryout wide receivers in Ivan McCartney and Fred Lee over the past three days. If they do indeed make a move to sign one of the four tryout players, Holley is the logical choice.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of the AP​
 


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Topics : Sports
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Locations : MinnesotaNew YorkWestern New York
People : Caleb HolleyChris SummersCyril RichardsonCyrus KouandjioDarius RobinsonDennis DixonDeon BroomfieldDonnie HendersonDoug LegurskyDoug MarroneFred LeeIvan McCartneyJeff TuelKenny GuitonKenny LadlerMichael CarterRandy CollingSammy Watkins




 


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