Monday, April 29, 2013

Bills ship Sheppard, ink Rogers among roster moves


The Buffalo Bills' 222nd pick in last weekend's NFL Draft was far from their last roster move.

General manager Buddy Nix and his crew have been busy the past 48 hours, snatching up more than a dozen undrafted prospects and cutting four off the roster. That's not counting a little switcheroo at linebacker. (photo: Tennessee Journalist, Flickr)

Buffalo struck a trade with the Indianapolis Colts Monday, sending Kelvin Sheppard off for 24-year-old Jerry Hughes.

If you haven't noticed already, there seems to be a pattern forming with those being brought in to play in Mike Pettine's hybrid defense. Hughes went from defensive end to outside linebacker with the Colts, able to move all around the defensive backfield and succeed in both coverage and blitz packages.

Nix said via Monday that he thinks Hughes "can fit at the rush end and at SAM linebacker," which fulfills the Bills' desire for versatile bodies in the front seven.

In terms of the undrafted crowd, the Bills got their money's worth after all the picks had been made, highlighted by wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, fullback Kendall Gaskins and yet another linebacker in Keith Pough.

Rogers, as we've mentioned before, has some of the best overall skills out of any of the wide receivers in this year's class, though his off-the-field issues kept the phone from ringing over the weekend. 

"My immaturity was costing me. That just gave me more hunger," Rogers told Tim Graham of the Buffalo News Monday

If Rogers can stay out of trouble he has a real shot of making the squad, as the Bills could certainly use another strong body on the outside to pair up with Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods.

The team could certainly use a playmaker at fullback as well, and Gaskins showed he could be that guy while with Richmond. He rushed for more than 1,700 yards and tallied 34 rushing touchdowns, and at 225 pounds he could be a bruiser along with Fred Jackson in the running game.

Lastly is Pough, who is another SAM hopeful for Pettine's system. He's a tackle machine and has a knack for getting into the opponent's backfield and disrupting plays. If Pettine is hoarding linebackers, Pough will likely stick around, as he's shown that he has big-play potential.

Buffalo's cuts on Monday included quarterback Aaron Corp, tight end Joe Sawyer, tackle Adam Grant and kicker Chris Koepplin.

For a full listing of Buffalo's 16 additions, along with some insight from the team's drafting coordinator Doug Majeski, check out Chris Brown's story here.

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