Buffalo Bills 2017 training camp is here. Before the team hits the field for its first official practice of the season Thursday evening, here are some training camp battles, along with their predicted winners, worth keeping an eye on:
No. 2 quarterback - Cardale Jones, T.J. Yates, Nathan Peterman
Cardale Jones should begin camp as the favorite to win here, but he’s got serious competition in veteran backup T.J. Yates, along with under-the-radar rookie Nathan Peterman, who the Bills both acquired this offseason.
Jones has an edge on his competitors, albeit even if it is just a small one, having been on the roster in 2016. If he can get a handle on his cannon of an arm, and show more increased maturity now that he’s entering his second professional season, then Jones should win out. If they want to go with experience, Yates is the choice.
Predicted Winner: Cardale Jones
No. 3 wide receiver - Andre Holmes, Philly Brown, Brandon Tate, Rod Streater
Sammy Watkins is entrenched at the top of the depth chart, and second-round pick rookie Zay Jones should be slotted right behind him. With so much turnover in the Bills wide receiving corps from 2016, the No. 3 receiver job is wide open.
Holmes made an early impression on the coaching staff this offseason, and that combined his impressive height at 6’5”, has apparently separated him from the pack heading into camp. Although, it wouldn’t be a surprising at all to see Brown emerge as the winner given the amount of games that he’s played in over his three-year career, as well as his familiarity with head coach Sean McDermott from their days with the Carolina Panthers.
Predicted Winner: Andre Holmes
No. 2 tight end - Nick O'Leary, Logan Thomas
Nick O'Leary’s lead here should be quite substantial, but the continued transformation of former QB Logan Thomas into a tight end is intriguing. Thomas is obviously athletic, and, well, O'Leary has failed to make a real impact in his first two seasons in the league.
Predicted Winner: Nick O'Leary
No. 1 right guard - John Miller, Vlad Ducasse
John Miller improved last season in what his second professional campaign. But with that said, he’ll have to continue to perform well with veteran Vlad Ducasse behind him, who has an abundance of starts on his resume.
Predicted Winner: John Miller
No. 3 Defensive tackle - Jerel Worthy, Adolphus Washington,
Second-year man Washington should be tabbed for the job, but his legal situation stemming from his arrest last month, potentially puts even his position on the 53-man roster in jeopardy.
Predicted Winner: Adolphus Washington
No. 1 inside linebacker - Preston Brown, Reggie Ragland
Brown filled in admirably for what most likely would have been Ragland starting at the position, had he not hurt incurred a season-ending knee injury during last year’s camp. The key in this battle will be Ragland’s health. If fully mended, the job should be the second-year man Ragland’s to lose. But either way, the Alabama product should be starting sooner rather than later.
Predicted Winner: Reggie Ragland
No. 3 Cornerback - Leonard Johnson, Shareece Wright, Kevon Seymour
2016 sixth-round pick, Seymour, saw a lot of action last season, even starting some games. But it’s Johnson who made the biggest impression of this bunch in spring. That along with his familiarity with McDermott gives puts him on the inside track for the job at the start of camp.
Predicted Winner: Leonard Johnson
Bills training camp runs from July 27 through August 15. Stick with Buffalo Rumblings for all of the latest updates from camp.