When football is played in helmets and shorts it really lacks the physical element, which is probably the signature element of football. So keeping that in mind and knowing more of the skill position players had a greater opportunity to shine, here are the top young performers from Buffalo’s spring workouts that could do a lot more for the club come the 2009 season.
Stevie Johnson – The second-year wideout made the most of his reps, which at times were more frequent than they’ll likely be at training camp with veterans ahead of him on the depth chart. But his route running was sharper than as a rookie and his hands were consistent. Johnson will have a role on this team in the fall despite the depth at the position.
Derek Fine/Derek Schouman – The reason I list them together is because they worked off each other throughout the spring workouts. Fine looked really good through the first half of the spring schedule while Schouman was on the shelf and then when he returned Schouman was the main target at the tight end position. It should be one of the more interesting position battles come training camp with one being the starter.
Reggie Corner – The second-year cornerback may have had the best spring of any player on the roster. Turning in plays day in and day out, Corner is in the midst of making that big leap in improvement from year one to year two that coaches look for in a player. Based on spring performance he’d be the favorite for the nickel corner role heading into camp.
Ellis Lankster – The consistency isn’t there yet in his game, but what rookie with all of 18 NFL practices under his belt in a new scheme is a consistent player? Lankster made plays on the ball often enough to open some eyes. If that continues in camp he could have a legit chance at the 53-man roster.
Aaron Maybin – Most of his reps came against the second team offense, but Maybin’s ability to bend the corner was apparent even in a non-contact setting as he flushed quarterbacks from the pocket several times during OTAs and minicamp.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Derek Fine, Derek Schouman, Ellis Lankster, Reggie Corner, Stevie Johnson
Posted in Inside the Bills