Generally speaking, the best path for an unheralded player to make an NFL roster is as a special teams contributor. That goes double for undrafted rookies, who almost never see the field as a core contributor.
Today’s entrant in our Buffalo Bills 90-in-90 series is no exception to the rule, but he might actually be able to crack the final roster with that method.
Name: Marcus Sayles
College: West Georgia
Draft: UDFA (2017)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Sayles is on a standard three-year UDFA deal. He’s set to make $465k this season with $90k raises in each of the next two seasons. There is no dead cap hit if the Bills release him.
2016 Recap: Sayles started 10 games for the 7-4 Wolves, recording a Gulf South Conference-high five interceptions. He closed out his collegiate career with two picks in a 69-0 dismantling of West Florida. He also notched an 81-yard pick six in a loss to West Alabama.
Positional Outlook: The top three spots on the depth chart are more or less settled, and there are a few veterans vying for the backup spots. Unless Sayles blows up in the preseason, or someone suffers an injury, he’s probably not going to see any time with the defense this season.
2017 Offseason: So far in 2017, the most notable thing Sayles has done is visit with the Bills prior to the draft. Like most of the team so far, Sayles had been at OTAs.
Practice Squad Eligible? Yes
2017 Season Outlook: If Sayles is going to see the field in 2017, it’s likely going to be as a special-teamer. Fortunately, Sayles has plenty of experience in that role, and he’s been pretty good at it over the years. Sayles blocked 13 kicks at West Georgia, including seven in 2015. If he’s able to make it to the preseason, and he can show his special teams skills there, he could make the 53 this year.