Immediately following the 2012 NFL Draft, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane made an appearance on One Bills Live to talk about the class. In the interview, he essentially admitted that the team traded down in the 2021 draft due to the perceived difficulty in attracting undrafted free agents. The Bills just aren’t desirable to many players because of how deep their roster is. However, the team has now managed to sign and hang on to at least five free agents who will be struggling with that exact scenario. Which of the five undrafted free agents stand the best chance though? Below, I have broken them down into three tiers.
TE Quintin Morris
CB Olaijah Griffin
Morris has both the talent and the opportunity to make a push in this year’s training camp. A late comer to the position as a former wide receiver, he offers more pass catching ability than players like Tommy Sweeney or Nate Becker. It depends how offensive coordinator Brian Daboll wants to use him of course, but Daboll could prefer that type of receiving talent in his spread out version of the offense.
The knock on Griffin coming into the draft—his light frame at 175 lbs—is similar to complaints lobbed at Levi Wallace coming out of college. Regardless of size, Griffin has the fight and pedigree equal to many of the corners drafted in front of him, as well as a clear path to the roster in a cage-match competition with Cam Lewis, Dane Jackson and Rachad Wildgoose Jr.
S Tariq Thompson
CB Nick McCloud
Similar to Griffin, Thompson has plenty of opportunity and not much competition in the form of fellow safeties Jaquan Johnson, Josh Thomas and fellow rookie Damar Hamlin. All three players aren’t exactly known for their athleticism, and whomever wins the competition may come down to who can contribute the most on special teams.
Unlike Griffin, McCloud doesn’t come with the same college hype and is much less versatile as a primarily man-coverage corner.
OL Syrus Tuitele
Tuitele seems to be able to offer some versatility up front, but there is no way he makes the roster over solid veterans like Ike Boettger, or even more highly drafted players like 2021 classmates Tommy Doyle and Spencer Brown. His best hope will be the practice squad.