Keeping track of undrafted free agent signings can be a confusing and hectic business, which is why we typically abstain from posting about any rumored signings until the morning following the NFL Draft. These 2014 undrafted free agents have not been confirmed as signed by the Buffalo Bills, and may not be for a few days, but there is sufficient evidence about this first batch of names that we'll roll with them for now.
Here, then, are the first six reported Bills undrafted free agent signings of the year - and they are all defenders.
Damien Jacobs, DT, Florida
Just became the newest member of the Buffalo Bills, God is great!— Damien Jacobs (@HallUFameDame) May 11, 2014
A rotational reserve on the Gators' defensive line for two years following a transfer from the junior college ranks, the 6'2", 296-pound interior defensive lineman adds depth to one of the Bills' strongest positions - even after last week's drug arrest for Marcell Dareus.
Jimmy Gaines, LB, Miami (FL)
Congrats to Jimmy Gaines on signing with his hometown team, the Buffalo Bills pic.twitter.com/giDosIz2cD— Hurricanes Football (@CanesFootball) May 11, 2014
A native of Getzville, NY and a Canisius High grad, Gaines was a three-year contributor for the Hurricanes, starting 27 games throughout his career, including all 13 at middle linebacker as a senior. He finished his career in Miami with 199 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. The 6'1", 232-pounder ran a 4.84-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, and will undoubtedly need to prove his worth as a special teams player to crack the back end of Buffalo's roster.
Darrin Kitchens, LB, Florida
Appearing in the lineup only occasionally for the Gators at linebacker - he only started six games throughout his college career - Kitchens was likely on the Bills' radar thanks to his special teams ability. If he's going to stick with the Bills, that's how the 6'2", 230-pound athlete with 4.59 speed will do it.
Darius Robinson, CB, Clemson
A three-year contributor for the Tigers, Robinson started six games each in 2011 and 2012 (a season ended early by a broken ankle) before becoming a full-time starter as a senior. He finished his career with six interceptions and 70 tackles, then ran a 4.54-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. The 5'10", 181-pounder adds depth to a Bills cornerback position that doesn't have much wiggle room atop the depth chart. Robinson is also the sixth former Clemson player currently on Buffalo's roster.
Deon Broomfield, S, Iowa State
Speechless. Headed to the Buffalo Bills!— Deon Broomfield (@iBroomy) May 10, 2014
The 6'0", 200-pound defensive back started every game for the Cyclones as a senior, finishing the season with 57 tackles and an interception. He has the size the Bills covet in the defensive backfield, and will look to make an impression as a special teams player.
Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt
A first-team All-SEC selection as a senior, Ladler was a four-year contributor and two-year starter for the Commodores. He finished his career with 291 tackles and nine interceptions, five of which came in his strong senior season. A deep-field safety by trade, the 6'0", 207-pound Ladler is not especially fluid or fast (4.62 in the 40), but is rangy and has other, more explosive athletic traits (36.5-inch vert and 10'7" broad jumps). He adds a nice CV to a Bills safety position that is competitive, but wide open, atop the depth chart.