16 - Who are the training camp sleepers?

Posted Jul 12, 2017

They're the names that typically fly under the radar at training camp. So who are the players worth keeping an eye on who could surprise at St. John Fisher?

Camp Countdown presented by M&T Bank will examine some of the more pressing issues facing the team on the field as they make their final preparations for the regular season. We also focus on a few different areas that impact the team off the field. We’ll address these subjects one at a time until training camp begins. Here now is the latest daily installment as we carefully probe for some of the answers the Buffalo Bills have to come up with between July 27th and the Sept. 10th opener at New Era Field against the New York Jets.

There is a different kind of opportunity on Buffalo’s roster this season. With a brand new head coach and staff, they’re not beholden to any player that has been on the 53-man roster in the past. Their new offensive and defensive schemes will also demand some different skill sets to what was preferred last season. All this could improve the chances of some of the Bills least known players. Here’s a look now at some of the names that could surprise with a strong training camp.

Jordan Johnson
The UB product was sidelined for a week of OTAs with a hamstring strain, but when he has gotten reps he’s demonstrated a natural feel for the cutback lane. That could prove to be a valuable asset in Rick Dennison’s offensive scheme. He’s deep on the depth chart, but has shown the ability to compete with the likes of Joe Banyard and Cedric O’Neal.

Jacob Lindsey
An undrafted rookie in 2016, Lindsey has lined up largely at middle linebacker in the spring practices. Capable of running a defense, the Harvard grad has also lined up outside on occasion. He’ll need to be able to demonstrate the ability to play more than one position and run and hit on special teams to have a shot at the 53-man roster.

Michael Ola
Added to the roster last season after injuries hit the offensive tackle, position, Ola has a chance to be the team’s fourth offensive tackle, especially knowing that Seantrel Henderson still has five games to serve on his 10-game league-imposed suspension.

Austin Rehkow
The undrafted rookie kicker/punter has punted and attempted field goals in the OTA practices and minicamp. He is also capable of kicking off. If he can prove he can do at least two of those three things at an NFL level he could give punter Colton Schmidt a run for his money.

Daikiel Shorts
Shorts at 6-1 and 202 pounds brings enough size and showed a knack for gaining enough separation to make plays. Some of the younger quarterbacks have come to rely on Shorts during the team periods to make plays in the passing game. If he can continue that measure of success when the pads go on in training camp, Shorts could at least land a practice squad role.

Jerel Worthy
He had trouble getting playing time last season, but with veterans like Corbin Bryant and Leger Douzable no longer on the roster, Worthy has the experience and position versatility to play a valuable role as a rotational defensive lineman.