Though the Bills have struggled at times, the Bills roster is arguably the most talented that it has been in recent years. A solid draft and some nice free agent signings have done well to bolster our depth and fill holes. While some players have yet to show their full potential (RB C.J. Spiller and S Da’Norris Searcy have had some good moments, but struggled at times) others have stepped up.
3. QB E.J. Manuel
There’s a lot of pressure being a starting rookie QB in the NFL. Manuel maintains a calm atmosphere in the pocket and while he’s struggled to get drives going, or make a bad throw, he has had a few notable moments. READ THIS AWESOME ARTICLE by TRUFFLE PIG to see how Manuel stacks up to last year’s rookie QBs (and my comment on his stacking up to Geno Smith too). Manuel still has a ways to go, but has a respectable 80.2 QB rating at this point.
2. WR Robert Woods
The Bills drafted a receiver high in the second round to complement Stevie Johnson and Woods has been accelerating into that role. Woods is second on the team with 201 receiving yards on 11 catches (18.3 avg) and 2 TDs. Like the guy above, Woods is still developing, but has shown good speed and hands on the field.
1. RB Fred Jackson
The savvy vet still is showing he has the right stuff to make an impact every Sunday. He currently leads the Bills with 256 rushing yards on 48 carries (5.3 avg) and 2 TDs while also catching 13 passes for 113 yards. Jackson seems to make things happen, plowing through a defender or dragging a few with him.
Honorable Mentions: LT Cordy Glenn, WR Stevie Johnson & TE Scott Chandler
3. DE Mario Williams
I already know some people will criticize this selection, but let’s look at the facts. Before #94 came to Buffalo, the Bills leading sackers were DTs Williams and Dareus with 5.5 apiece in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Williams already has 5.5 sacks (third in the league) and has posted 11 tackles in 4 games. He has also been playing through an injury over the last two weeks.
2. CB Leodis McKelvin
McKelvin went from being a questionable starter to a shutdown corner. If it hadn’t been for an injury that sidelined him the last two weeks, McKelvin would have made the decision a bit harder in terms of ranking. In a little more than 2 games of action, McKelvin made 13 tackles and a team leading 7 passes broken up.
1. LB Kiko Alonso
The Bills landed a solid linebacker in the draft in Alonso. A guy who slipped down the board due to some behavior issues, Alonso has only shown good leadership and speed, making plays all over the field. In four games, Alonso leads the team with 32 tackles, 1 sack, 4 passes defended and a league leading 4 interceptions (tied).
Honorable Mentions: DB Aaron Williams, DT Marcell Dareus, S Jim Leonhard