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By Joe Buscaglia

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Bills top 20 talents: No. 14 - Nickell Robey

Just because a player has the size a team covets, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a better player than someone with the prototypical size. And by that logic, it brings us to number 14 on the countdown of the top 20 talents on the Buffalo Bills roster.

Using the trio of overall raw skill level, actual on-the-field performance and projection of what they might do in the future to rank players, it was hard to ignore the next person on the list despite his status as an undrafted free agent last year. His diminutive stature makes him a crowd favorite for some, but he certainly plays much bigger than he is.

CB Nickell Robey

Age: 22
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 165

Why he’s here:
- During the offseason workouts in 2013 the player everyone — including the coaching staff — took note of was the undrafted free agent Robey. His listed height might even be a bit generous, but Robey overcompensates for that with a blend of strength, an explosive lower half and instincts that gives the Bills no choice but to put him on the field. In the role as a nickel cornerback last year, Robey flourished once taking the job from Ron Brooks during training camp. His statistics (39 tackles, 3 sacks, 10 passes defended and one interception) don’t tell the entire story. If you watch the film, you’ll see Robey is usually always in the right position to make a play, making many quarterbacks look elsewhere for their targets. If he was just a bit taller and longer in the arms, a lot more people would be talking about his skills.

2014 outlook:
- It appeared as though once again in the offseason workouts, and under a new defensive coordinator mind you, Robey had to work his way up the depth chart. He didn’t start out as the first-team nickel which caught a few, including yours truly, by surprise. By the end of the mandatory minicamp though Robey was back in his natural position with the first-team defense as the nickel cornerback. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz raved about him and head coach Doug Marrone certainly knows what he’s capable of in both coverage and as an explosive blitzer from the edge. He’s not an outside cornerback, but up against slot receivers, Robey is a very good talent.

Bills Top 20 Talents
20) TE Scott Chandler
19) CB Leodis McKelvin
18) QB EJ Manuel
17) DE Manny Lawson
16) LB Brandon Spikes
15) WR Mike Williams
14) CB Nickell Robey
13) ??? - Thursday, July 10 - 6 pm

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of The AP

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People : Brandon SpikesDoug MarroneJim SchwartzLeodis McKelvinManny LawsonMike WilliamsRon BrooksScott Chandler

07/10/2014 7:44AM
Bills top 20 talents: No. 14 - Nickell Robey
Please enter your comments below.
07/10/2014 10:00AM
One of my favs, he has heart and smarts
Go Nickell, go!!!!
07/10/2014 10:47AM
HUGHHHHHH? (a little Home Improvement line) I wonder what Al thinks. I may have to talk to Wilson on this matter. I had Robey rated at #34.
07/10/2014 7:12PM
#14 Nickell Robey nicle back
Nickell Robey could make all-pro this year, he's gonna make some noise!!!
07/10/2014 8:11PM
Doesn't a player of the size teams covet necessarily have "prototypical" size (ie. represent the ideal player)? Aren't these categories in fact identical? This lede makes no sense. Does anybody read these stories before they're posted?
07/11/2014 7:31AM
I heard Joe B. state Robey had a better year last year than McKelvin. I like Robey but that is insane. Did he see McKelvin play last year-he had a VERY good year. Maybe Robey is more likeable because he is new and small but he made his share of mistakes.I like him but McKelvin is not getting his due- it wasn't all pass rush related- he was VERY good last year.
07/11/2014 12:56PM
Guaranteed Spikes & Williams
Will have a bigger impact on the team's results then Robey hands down...man the more this list is revealed the more worried I am about this team, lol...nervously...
07/14/2014 10:15AM
It dosen't matter we got talent.
As long as all these players make the team that what counts. I mean every body not going to make it. But the ones who got that edge about them selfs better make it. I bet their nobody crying about byrd anymore. We got a defense that is in place to be able to put points on the board. And when I say their are going to be bodies on the field. That just what our defense is going to do. I haven't seen so many coaches and players with chips on their shoulders. Since all of the bills in the 90 era. This won't be football but hardball because you just can see it. Every time a team throw the ball or run the ball. Somebody going to get smack and I mean smack hard. Bills show them what you got.
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