Here's the Bills news of note for Aug. 14th.
**1 – Eddie Yarbrough impressing during camp
After an impressive performance in the first preseason game, coach Sean McDermott said Eddie Yarbrough's play shouldn't have surprised anyone. The second-year defensive end has made a name for himself so far at Bills' camp, as he continuously makes plays throughout practice. With Shaq Lawson nursing a groin injury, Yarbrough earned a starting nod on Thursday, and showed Bills fans exactly why. On the John Murphy Show, Yarbrough said he's isn't settling.
"As Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus say, it's not a destination, it's a journey," said Yarbrough. "It's not a game of what you did last week, it's a game of what have you done for me lately. You can't really dwell on the past, you have to keep moving forward and keep trying to get better every day."
After redshirting his freshman year at Wyoming, Yarbrough quickly established himself as a key contributor on the Cowboys defense. He played in all 12 games his last three years at Wyoming, and had his most productive season his senior year, totaling seven sacks, and 62 total tackles. Yarbrough caught the attention of NFL scouts.
Yarbrough's first chance in the NFL came with the Denver Broncos. The pass rusher said that his time there was paramount in his development. Although he was released on the final cut down day, Yarbrough said that playing with DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller was a great learning experience.
Now playing with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus, Yarbrough said he's only continued to perfect his craft. After impressing in camp, the second-year defensive end flashed during the first preseason game, with a sack and three tackles. ProFootball Focus gave him the highest grade of any Bill for the game on Thursday.
If Yarbrough can continue his impressive training camp, he could not only make the team, but be a key player for Bills' defense this season.
2 – Bills among league best in under-25 talent
Scott Kacsmar, of ESPN, ranked each team in the NFL based upon their under-25 talent. In 2016, the Bills were ranked 10th in the NFL. This year the Bills have moved up to seventh. He stated that the Bills draft this year helped boost their position in the ranking.
First-round corner Tre'Davious White should slip right into a starting role to replaceStephon Gilmore.Zay Jonesset an NCAA record with 399 career receptions, and should find some production in Buffalo for the departedRobert Woods. Second-round pickDion Dawkins* *looks like a Week 1 starter at right tackle.
Although White, Jones, and Dawkins certainly contribute to the Bills under-25 talent, it doesn't end there. Kacsmar also mentioned that cornerback Kevon Seymour was very impressive in his limited playing time last year. He also mentioned that right guard John Miller has been a big factor in the Bills league leading rushing attack.
Additionally, middle linebacker Preston Brown was also complimented, as he has taken control of the Bills defense during training camp. Second-year players Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland were also mentioned. Although neither player truly contributed last year, they have the potential to be important players for the Bills this season.
As the Bills push into the 2017 season, these players will likely be key contributors. Even if they aren't the Bills most important players now, they will soon be in the future.**
3 – Zay Jones Bills "Next Big Thing"
Bleacher Report attempted to predict each team's "next big thing." These are players that aren't superstars yet, but certainly have the potential to be in the near future. According to writer Brent Sobleski, the Bills star in the making is Zay Jones.
*The 6'2", 200-pound target left college football as the FBS career leader in receptions with 399. Jones set the single-season record as a senior with 158 catches. He is a reliable target with the ability to play outside or in the slot. *
With the acquisition of Jordan Matthews, and the signing of Anquan Boldin, Jones will likely find most of his snaps on the outside during his rookie season. Although Jones has been playing inside during training camp, the productive slot receiver Matthews will likely push Jones to the outside.
As offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has stated throughout the offseason, Jones has the athleticism to play on the inside or outside. With his height, and speed, Jones will be able to thrive wherever he is on the field. Now being one of the top targets on the team, Jones should see a high volume of targets this season.
At East Carolina, Jones turned his targets into massive production. If he gets the same amount of opportunities in the Bills offense, he could be one of the best rookie wide receivers in the NFL this season.