Young Players Getting First-Team Reps At Buffalo Bills OTAs

May 11, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills rookie linebacker Nigel Bradham (53) during mini camp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

As Week 2 of Buffalo Bills OTAs concluded on Friday, several more young prospects were getting first-team reps in place of resting veterans. This was especially true at linebacker, where veterans Nick Barnett and Kirk Morrison (who were non-participants) were replaced by Nigel Bradham and Arthur Moats, respectively.

Bradham, the first of the Bills' fourth-round picks this year out of Florida State, replaced Barnett on the weak side. The 6'2", 240-pound rookie has the athletic chops (4.64-second 40-yard dash, 37-inch vertical jump) to play in space at the NFL level, and he's getting that opportunity in Buffalo. This is particularly significant because, as we discussed earlier this week, the Bills need to be grooming a down-the-line replacement for the invaluable Barnett. Something to ponder.

Moats, meanwhile, filled in for Morrison on the strong side. The third-year pro, who has flip-flopped between 3-4 inside and outside linebacker in his first two seasons, seems to have finally found a home as a 4-3 strong-side linebacker, where he brings some rush ability to the table.

Two more players got first-team reps on Friday, as well: Shawne Merriman and Alex Carrington.

Merriman's work isn't surprising; he's been a second-teamer to this point, and free agent signee Mark Anderson has been sidelined of late for undisclosed reasons. Carrington, meanwhile, has benefitted from the rehab of fellow third-year pro Torell Troup, as well as the slowed pace of Kyle Williams. Carrington has also been getting second-team reps in OTAs, and he's likely to open training camp near the top of the pecking order, as well.

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