5th round pick Harris signs

With just a couple of days before the opening of training camp, the Bills signed fifth-round pick Nic Harris to a multi-year deal Wednesday. Harris is the third of Buffalo's eight draft picks to sign with the club joining sixth-round pick Cary Harris and seventh-round selection Ellis Lankster.

Though Harris was certainly happy to get his rookie contract completed, it's not something that has put him in a relaxed state entering camp.

"There was a little bit of a sigh," Harris told Buffalobills.com. "But at the end of the day I'm just ready for training camp and I've got to get through it."

Harris will spend his rookie season transitioning from safety to linebacker, but performed well in the spring practices.

"Nic's got good movement skills and he does learn our stuff very quickly," said linebackers coach Matt Sheldon. "It's a compliment to his college coaching staff. He had solid coaching in college and played multiple positions. He's played down in the linebacking position in college and that helps him a great deal."

The fifth-round pick also hinted that in time he may be more than just a linebacker.

"I played safety in college and I think by the end of it I'll be back there a little bit," Harris said.

The Oklahoma product is known for having a high football IQ and appeared to be quick on the uptake with his assignments in Buffalo's scheme.

Harris will be competing chiefly with Alvin Bowen and Ellison as the two younger players are expected to push the veteran for his starting role.

He lined up mainly with the second unit on the strong side behind projected starter Keith Ellison in the spring, and at times was even sprinkled in with the starters.

Harris however, didn't make much of the spring snaps that he did receive with the first unit.

"That aspect of coming out and working with the ones is so minute in the whole scheme of things," he said. "Ultimately I just want to make it to the starting line and have everything I need to know to make the plays."

As beneficial as the OTAs and minicamp were to Harris and the other rookies, he knows that training camp will be an entirely different experience.

"Coming in you really don't know how training camp is going to be, how practice is going to be run," said Harris. "You have this foundation of expecting what you need to expect, but it'll be a little more intense. I'm extremely excited about it. I'm just going to go in and go to work every day and just make sure I make the 53-man roster and have a great season."

The Bills now have five of their eight draft choices left to be signed before training camp practices begin on Saturday, including top picks Aaron Maybin and Eric Wood.

Buffalo's official roster count is now at 78, meaning the Bills can sign two more draft picks without having to make room on the roster by waiving another player. The league's offseason roster maximum is 80 players, but draft picks do not count toward that total until they are signed to a contract.

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