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Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts: Rookie Report

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How each Bills rookie performed last Thursday against the Colts

The Buffalo Bills earned a preseason victory against the Indianapolis Colts in their first preseason game of 2019 on Thursday night. How did the Bills’ eight 2019 NFL Draft picks—including defensive tackle Ed Oliver—perform? Pretty well for the most part. Read about each rookie’s performance below.


DT Ed Oliver

Oliver got the start over Jordan Phillips during the game and battled elite guard Quenton Nelson for most of his snaps. He was generally handled by Nelson in his few pass-rushing attempts, but showed up against the run. His ability to stand his ground against double teams and work his way down the line was amazing for a player who’s around 280 lbs. A positive showing for the ninth-overall pick.

OT/OG Cody Ford

Ford was the starter at right guard next to Ty Nsekhe before switching over to right tackle with the second-teamers. At guard he had a few early missed blocks and got pushed back a few times in the passing game. He was much better in the run game, but the Bills called very few of those. When he moved to right tackle, he was sloppy but didn’t seem to give up much pressure thanks to his quick feet and ability to recover.

RB Devin Singletary

The rookie from Florida Atlantic received the bulk of the carries during the first half, and looked elusive, patient and tough to bring down. Although he only finished with nine carries for 27 yards, they were a hard-fought 27 yards and he did also chip in three catches for 21 more yards. Those catches are very noteworthy, as Singletary only caught six passes during his senior season and his ability there was questioned during the draft.

TE Dawson Knox

Knox was inactive as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury sustained during training camp.

LB Vosean Joseph

Joseph saw extended time in the second half with the third-string. His reputation for tackles held up, as he made some notably vicious stops, including on special teams. His highlight of the night came late in the fourth quarter when he shot through the middle of the line and brought down the runner for no gain.

S Jaquan Johnson

Leading the team in tackles, while also coming down with a tackle-for-loss and a pass defensed, Johnson was a solid tackler all night. Where he made his mark was in preventing several runners from getting to the edge of the defense. He showed some good communication with running mate Dean Marlowe in coverage as well.

DE Darryl Johnson

Johnson was the breakout defensive star of the night, frequently bringing the heat off the edge, mostly in the first half. Coming down with a sack, a tackle-for-loss, a tipped pass and several pressures, the rookie was just a general nuisance for the Colts’ backup tackles. His first-step quickness was as-advertised, but what really helped him out was his long arms in being able to keep tackles off him and even cause an incompletion by knocking Jacoby Brissett’s arms.

TE Tommy Sweeney

Sweeney saw time with the starters as well as the second team, was targeted twice on seam passes but was not able to come down with either of them. Josh Allen placed the ball a hair too far on one of them, but the rookie should have made the catch on a second one from Matt Barkley.

UDFA Notes:

  • Not-a-real-rookie and UK import Christian Wade took his first carry 65 yards to the house.
  • Wide receiver David Sills V was targeted by Tyree Jackson on a crossing pattern but the ball was a bit behind him and was dropped.
  • Tyree Jackson mostly looked a bit lost, but he did flash some nice touch on a few longer passes.