We're here at Buffalo Rumblings to keep you posted on the Buffalo Bills' happenings from the top of the roster all the way to the bottom. While Brian is currently highlighting the most competitive training camp battles to keep an eye on focusing on the starting lineup and top reserves, I'll be running down through each position group, matching players against each other that could fill out the bottom of the roster.
|Da'Rick Rogers||UDFA (Tennessee Tech)||22||6'3"||217||4.50|
|Kevin Elliott||Street free agent (Jacksonville)||24||6'2"||212||4.53|
The Bills revamped their wide receiver group this off-season by opting against tendering David Nelson and Donald Jones, while most notably adding rookies Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and Rogers.
While the top four receiving spots are seemingly locked in with (in any order) Stevie Johnson, Woods, Goodwin and T.J. Graham, there are two intriguing options that offer the "big bodied" receiver that former GM Buddy Nix wanted that are seemingly "open when they're covered." Those two players are Rogers, an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee Tech, and second-year wideout Kevin Elliott.
Rogers is the hotter name of the two, a star during his collegiate career with the Tennessee Volunteers and Tennessee Tech, where he recorded 139 receptions for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns in three seasons. However, as talented as Rogers is, he was dismissed from Tennessee following a series of failed drug tests, incidents with members of the coaching staff, and numerous run-ins with the law.
Rogers was seen by many as a day two pick in the 2013 NFL Draft - Nix even noted that the Bills had a first-round grade on him - but his baggage was apparently so heavy that he was passed on in each of the seven rounds. Still, Rogers brings a fascinating combination of speed, strength and physicality to his game that the Bills have been in search of for quite some time.
Elliott, meanwhile, is another big, strong receiver that the Bills acquired towards the end of the 2012 season. With a 6'2", 212-pound frame, Elliott has the size and strength that allows him to out-muscle opposing cornerbacks.
"I'm a very physical receiver that's not really common," Elliott told BuffaloBills.com. "I have a defensive side to me. I like going up and getting the ball and making big plays. And I don't really mind blocking. That's one of the aspects of my game that people don't really know."
Elliott recorded 173 receptions for 2,472 yards and 20 touchdowns during his college career with Florida A&M before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent last season. With the Jaguars, Elliott was buried on the depth chart behind fellow rookies Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, but managed to grab 10 passes for 108 yards during his 221 offensive snaps (two receptions for 24 yards against the Bills last year).
Elliott's hands proved to be an issue, as he was released by the Jaguars after dropping five passes last season. Nevertheless, his skill set projects well to the NFL - and if he can show an improvement in that department, he has a good chance at holding down a spot on the final 53-man roster. While Rogers is the favorite to earn a roster spot in the court of public opinion, Elliott brings special teams experience and ability, an aspect of the game that Rogers is less familiar with.
What say you, Rumblers? Do you think Rogers or Elliott have a legitimate chance of earning significant playing time in 2013?