May 29, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills corner back Stephon Gilmore (27) during organized team activities at the Ralph Wilson Field House. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
Long-time Buffalo Rumblings reader "Gabe" - who may or may not have an account here (I'm honestly not sure), but who has been reading our Buffalo Bills content since the wee early days - sent me a question that he thought would be a good fit in our ongoing series of posts featuring reader-submitted questions.
Gabe's inquiry: which of the Bills' 22 projected offensive and defensive starters is under the most pressure entering the 2012 season?
To me, the question has only one answer, and it's an obvious one that I think most here would agree with: the player under the most pressure this year is Ryan Fitzpatrick. But in the spirit of having a discussion that's not rehashed and boring, I've got a different answer after the jump (though the post's accompanying photo has likely spoiled the surprise).
Next in line after Fitzpatrick, in my opinion, is rookie cornerback and No. 10 overall pick in this past April's NFL Draft, Stephon Gilmore.
Make no mistake about it: Gilmore is being asked to headline the team's group of cornerbacks right away. Not only is he the cornerback with the best shot at being a full-time starter on the team, but he also seems destined to draw an opposing team's top receiver more often than not - particularly if veteran Terrence McGee continues to struggle to stay on the field.
Cornerback is an extraordinarily difficult position to play for experienced players; there's something of an art form to the job, and an awful lot of nuance to pick up on. We know that Gilmore has the athletic chops for the position, but we've also seen excellent athletes fail at this position (and we may even have one such example buried behind Gilmore on Buffalo's depth chart). It's a huge, prominent role for any rookie to be taking on, and whether or not the pass rush gets significantly better is almost irrelevant: Gilmore needs to be up to the job, and very quickly.
But that's just my opinion. What's yours? Who edges out Gilmore (or heck, even Fitzpatrick) in this debate?