The Buffalo Bills announced Tuesday that they signed seven undrafted free agents and agreed to terms with two more, who are expected to sign their contracts by Friday before the start of Rookie Minicamp.
DE Bryan Johnson – West Texas A&M
Agreed to terms with:
DB Derek Brim - Buffalo
DT Colby Way - Buffalo
Below is a thumbnail sketch on each of the undrafteds straight from the Bills college scouting department.
S Derek Brim – 6-0, 199 - Buffalo
Brim, a Buffalo native, played in all 13 games during his senior campaign for the University at Buffalo. The Canisius High School alum had 58 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in 2013 while manning the Bulls defensive backfield.
“He’s a converted wide receiver who had a really good senior season and got better as the year progressed,” said Bills Coordinator of College Scouting Doug Majeski. “Solid tackler and had good movement in his workout at his pro day. He ran well with good jumping numbers.”
S Deon Broomfield – 6-0, 206 – Iowa State
Broomfield (pictured above) started all 12 games for the Cyclones in 2013, racking up 57 tackles, six pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. The Iowa State product finished his collegiate career starting 18 games while recording 133 tackles, 16 pass breakups, three interceptions and four forced fumbles.
“A solid athlete who is always around the ball,” said Bills area scout Shawn Heinlen. “Broomfield is just a feisty guy that is not afraid to mix it up even though he’s not the biggest. He gets his hands on a number of balls. He’s a tough, productive football player.”
LB James Gaines – 6-3, 240 - Miami
Gaines is a WNY native (Getzville, NY), who started 27 of 41 career games played at Miami and he finished his career with 199 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. The linebacker is a Buffalo native and graduate of Canisius High School.
“A local kid so it’s good that he gets a chance to get back near home and try to carve out a career for himself,” said Bills area scout C.J. Leak. “Everybody at his school raved about his character and work ethic. He played at middle and outside linebacker for them. What he lacks in size and speed he makes up for in quickness and shows the ability to slip backs. He has some special teams experience as well.”
DT Damien Jacobs – 6-3, 290 - Florida
Jacobs played in 23 games with four starts at Florida after transferring in from East Mississippi Community College. The defensive lineman recorded 34 tackles, six tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and one pass breakup in his two seasons as a Gator.
“He came in as more of a rotational guy for Florida, but had more of a starting role this year when Dominique Easley went down with a knee injury,” said Leak. “Not a massive body, but a bigger sized kid with growth potential. He’s very competitive with good length and the ability to get upfield. More of a two-gapper to hold off blocks. The coaches down there loved the way he worked and his whole makeup in general.”
LB Bryan Johnson – 6-4, 250 – West Texas A&M
Johnson played in 28 games with 10 starts while at West Texas A&M and he tallied 89 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, eight QB hurries, two fumbles forced and two fumbles recovered. Johnson played at Nassau Community College (NY) before West Texas A&M and led the Lions to a 19-2 record while being named a two-time All-Conference selection.
“He’s a little bit older. Good size to him. He’s not the fastest guy, but he plays fast,” said Heinlen. “This guy finds the ball and he attacks everything. He’s a tough throwback type linebacker. He wants to finds the ball carrier and go hit him. They brought him off the edge some in their hybrid defense, but he was mostly an outside backer for them. He’s probably more of a strong side backer.”
LB Darrin Kitchens – 6-2, 230 – Florida
Played in 45 games with six starts at Florida and recorded 59 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. The linebacker earned the team’s Fergie Ferguson Leadership Award and won the Gene Elleson Community Service Award.
“Darrin is an awesome kid. Hard working and very cerebral player,” said Leak. “He puts the time in in the film room and studies his craft. Made a name for himself as a special teams guy. Good athlete that has straight line speed. He started some games after some injuries and took advantage of it. He has great toughness and likes to step up and bang in the box even though he’s not the biggest guy. He’ll probably line up outside, but has the frame to put on 10-15 pounds.”
S Kenny Ladler – 6-1, 207 - Vanderbilt
Ladler started 39-of-50 games at Vanderbilt and finished his collegiate career with 291 tackles (202 solo), 11 stops for a loss and nine interceptions. The Stone Mountain, GA native became the first defensive back in school and Southeastern Conference history to lead a team in tackles in two consecutive years (90 in 2012 and 91 in 2013).
“The one thing that jumped out on film about him was he has a nose for the football. He led them in tackles, had five interceptions and I think five forced fumbles, so he was making big plays on the back end,” said Bills area scout Tom Roth. “He’s got average speed, but very good explosiveness. A very good tackler who can play deep third or in the box.”
CB Darius Robinson – 5-10, 175 – Clemson
Robinson compiled 70 tackles, six interceptions and five pass break-ups in 38 games (25 starts) in his Clemson tenure. The cornerback started all 13 games in 2013 and posted a career-high 37 tackles with three interceptions.
“He has enough size and speed where he can compete. He’s an intelligent guy who started a lot of games. The coaches loved his work ethic and leadership at his position,” said Leak. “Definitely going against a guy like Sammy (Watkins) and Martavis Bryant and having familiarity with them every day in practice made him better.”
DL Colby Way – 6-4, 293 - Buffalo
Way made 145 tackles (76 solo) with 26 stops for a loss and 15.0 sacks in his Buffalo career. The defensive lineman started all 11 games he appeared in during the 2013 campaign and was a third-team All-Mid-American Conference selection.
“His strong points were his awareness and his effort. He has the ability to take on blocks at the point and he has good instincts to find the ball,” said Majeski. “He’s a little bit of a tweener. His versatility because of his awareness and football intelligence gives him an opportunity to play a couple of different spots.”