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Bills Beat Blog



By Joe Buscaglia
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Bills rookie minicamp observations: Sunday

The Buffalo Bills got their second looks at the young players making up the 2014 rookie minicamp. Headlined by first-round pick and wide receiver Sammy Watkins, 28 players were on the field trying to make their first impressions on both the front office and the coaching staff.

The practice was based mostly around positional and individual drills, largely because the team lacked the necessary amount of players to actually line up in general formations. The day featured one-on-one's of the four wide receivers in attendance against the plethora of defensive backs trying to get a shot with the Bills.

With a lot of players attempting to catch the eye of the decision makers around One Bills Drive, some stood out for good reasons while others struggled. Here are some quick takeaways from the Sunday session:

Draft Picks
WR Sammy Watkins
- The talent is very obvious in a practice setting like a rookie minicamp. The ease in his movements and his ability to accelerate to full speed after coming to a stop is a rare asset to have. In the way he moves and the way he catches the ball, he just makes it look easy against the level of competition he was facing.

CB Ross Cockrell
- Cockrell is a very intelligent player that was constantly engaging with defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson. The fourth-round selection was right on the same page with Henderson when the latter was attempting to let him know where he went wrong. Unfortunately for Cockrell, he had more than a fair share of lapses throughout the day. He wasn't crisp in his foot planting during a backpedaling drill which led to further instruction from Henderson. He's a long-limbed cornerback which is what the NFL is looking for, but one that will most certainly be Henderson's project this season.

LB Randell Johnson
- For a seventh-round selection, Johnson stands out next to all the linebackers on the field. A 6-foot-4, 245-pound athlete, Johnson also has impressive arm length and movement skills for a player his size. He's intriguing for all of those factors, and perhaps he might warrant a look at rushing the passer as well. They'll need to find his niche, but there isn't any question that Johnson looks the part.

Undrafted Free Agents
LB Darrin Kitchens
- On the opposite side of things from Johnson is Kitchens, who signed with the Bills after a college career at Florida. For a smaller player (6-foot-2, 229-pounds), he struggled in overall movement skills which is exactly what a player of his stature can't have if he's going to make it. From an athletic perspective, which is all this practice was, he was the least impressive of the linebackers.

S Deon Broomfield
- The cornerback had a solid day in the various drills the defensive backs went through. His plant-and-drive following his backpedal was good, and stuck with his man in the short number of one-on-one's against the wide receivers. With a crowded safety room in Buffalo as it is, it's going to make it tough for Broomfield to make some room for himself. However, he had a nice day on Sunday.

Second Year Participants
S Jajuan Harley
- One of six second-year players in attendance at rookie minicamp, Harley had the best day among all of them. Granted, it's tough for both the offensive and defensive linemen to stand out in a practice that features no hitting. Harley, though, displayed ample fluidity for his solid size (6-foot-1, 213-pounds). During one-on-one's, he read a short route well, jumped it, and followed it up with a rep where he stayed stride-for-stride with a wideout on a deep ball.

Tryout Players
QB Kenny Guiton
- The only quarterback in attendance at the rookie minicamp, Guiton was the only man to throw passes to the wide receivers in both RVA and during one-on-one's. What stood out most was his inaccuracy on undefended throws that he should have no problem hitting. Wide receivers often had to over-extend to get to the ball, or slow up their movements for a pass thrown behind them. He's good for an arm in this setting, but if Sunday was any indication, he won't be wearing a Bills helmet as a quarterback past Monday's final session of the rookie minicamp.

WR Ivan McCartney
- McCartney joined Guiton as a struggling tryout member of the rookie minicamp. His breakdowns are sloppy and are easy to read for defensive backs. He's got good height, but he's also a very thin player that will likely struggle with the physicality at the NFL level. The former West Virginia product failed to shine in his many opportunities on Sunday.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of the AP​
 


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Topics : Sports
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Locations : BuffaloFloridaWest Virginia
People : Darrin KitchensDeon BroomfieldDonnie HendersonIvan McCartneyKenny GuitonRandell JohnsonRoss CockrellSammy Watkins




 
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