Two Bills second-year players are part of a highly-touted list of NFL sophomores.
SB Nation put together their list of second-year players to watch in 2014 and EJ Manuel and Kiko Alonso both made the list. Here’s their assessment.
Quarterback: EJ Manuel, Bills
Last season wasn’t a banner year for rookie quarterbacks, especially compared to 2012 when Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson starred. Mike Glennon had the best rookie season, but he appears destined to back up Josh McCown this season. Although Geno Smith had his moments, he was inconsistent and is also battling for his starting job. Manuel was also up and down, playing well some weeks and awful others, while injuries hampered his progress. If he can stay healthy, and that’s a legitimate if, the Bills have surrounded him with a solid supporting cast. He doesn’t have to become a star to be the best sophomore quarterback.
Linebackers: WLB – Alec Ogletree, Rams; MLB – Kiko Alonso, Bills; SLB – Sio Moore, Raiders
Ogletree was all over the field last season. He led the team in tackles, defended 10 passes, forced six fumbles and notched 1.5 sacks. The converted safety has the speed to be a great coverage linebacker but proved to be more than stout against the run. Alonso’s tackle numbers were a bit inflated last season, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the top inside linebackers in the league. Moore is an excellent run defender who can also be effective rushing the passer.
Tags: EJ Manuel, Kiko Alonso
Posted in Inside the Bills