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Ready or not, Ronald Darby is the leader of Buffalo Bills cornerbacks

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In a defensive backfield bereft of leaders, Buffalo’s third year corner needs to step up

When the Buffalo Bills drafted Ronald Darby in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, they were hopeful that he would establish himself as the top dog in the Buffalo secondary before long. They probably weren’t anticipating that he would come into that role following a complete turnover of the coaching staff and front office, and the free agency departure of their former number one cornerback.

At 23 years old, and entering his third NFL season, Darby is the longest-tenured defensive back on Buffalo’s roster. The only other returnees from the start of last season are 2016 sixth round pick Kevon Seymour and veteran safety Colt Anderson, who spent almost the entire year on an injury list.

Who’s new to this roster?

Defensive Backs

Position Name Background
Position Name Background
S Micah Hyde Signed 5 year, $30.5 million deal
S Jordan Poyer Signed 4 year, $13 million deal
S Trae Elston 2016 UDFA, claimed off waivers in April
S Shamiel Gary 2014 UDFA, signed from practice squad in December
CB Charles James 2013 UDFA, claimed off waivers in May
CB Leonard Johnson Signed 1 year, $855 thousand deal
CB Greg Maybin 2017 UDFA, signed one year rookie deal in June
S Joe Powell 2016 UDFA, joined Buffalo practice squad in October, signed from practice squad in January
S B.T. Sanders 2017 UDFA, signed three year rookie deal in May
CB Marcus Sayles 2017 UDFA, signed three year rookie deal in April
CB Bradley Sylve 2016 UDFA, signed one year deal in April
CB Tre'Davious White 2017 first round draft choice, signed four year rookie deal in May
CB Shareece Wright Signed one year, $775 thousand deal

That’s not a pretty list, but in year one of the Sean McDermott regime, it will have to suffice. Luckily, Darby isn’t going it alone. He has a fresh, technically advanced cornerback joining him in LSU product Tre’davious White. White has already made several standout plays during the offseason minicamps. Seymour has earned praise from two consecutive coaching staffs, and Hyde was good enough to earn that lucrative contract in the first place.

Thus far in practice, Darby has played closer to the caliber that nearly earned him a Defensive Rookie of the Year award than the sophomore slump he experience last year, with Bills reporter Chris Brown remarking on his playmaking. The Bills are counting on him to keep it up into the regular season.