In under two months, the Buffalo Bills will get to work at St. John Fisher College for training camp and the 2016 season. And this year, with how the team ended things in 2015, is extremely important to not waste the talent that exists on the roster.
So, as offseason workouts continue at One Bills Drive, WKBW will preview the roster — and more specifically, the top talent that exists on the roster that can help the Bills to putting an end to the playoff drought. You’ll be introduced to the Bills’ ‘Top 20 Talents.’
It's a bit of a different 'most talented' list, because it also takes other factors into consideration. The countdown criteria:
- Overall skill level
- On-the-field performance
- Projection based on film study over the past several years
- Age, and improving/declining ability
With that written, on to the countdown:
No. 20 - S Corey Graham
Age: 30 (7/25/85)
Last year’s rank: 19
Why he’s here
- After a successful 2014 season at cornerback, the Bills switched Corey Graham to a full-time safety with a chance to win the full-time job. Graham’s success during training camp, combined with Duke Williams falling way behind on the depth chart, contributed to him winning the starting job outright and he played in all 16 games. There were times where his instincts — which is the strongest point to his game — took over and allowed him to make plays in both the run game and short passing attacks. However, in deep coverage, Graham was a liability at times and looked as though he just needs more seasoning. Graham will be 31 by the time the season gets underway, and one has to wonder if there might be a decline in his game rapidly approaching, which is why he factors in so low on the list.
- Now being coached by his professional mentor, Ed Reed, from his time in Baltimore, Graham’s ability and recognition skills have the chance to do quite well in 2016. He does not have the starting job locked up, however. The Bills have said it’s an open competition to find a starter next to Aaron Williams, and Graham will be competing with the likes of Robert Blanton, Colt Anderson, Duke Williams, and even Jonathan Meeks for the starting job. Graham’s cap hit is $4.775 million this season, and with a $5.375 million cap hit in 2017, he’ll likely need to win the job with ease and perform at an incredibly high level in 2016 to maintain safe passage onto next year’s roster.