1. Tre’Davious White named third-best corner in NFL
In just two NFL seasons, Tre’Davious White has already established himself as one of the NFL’s best. The USA TODAY NFL Wire marked White as the third-best outside cornerback in the NFL. Here’s what Doug Farrar wrote about the LSU product.
Most young cornerbacks find themselves in a vicious learning curve when transitioning from college to the NFL—receivers are better and smarter, route concepts are far more complex, and coverages are more variable. White has proven the exception to the rule. He allowed a 48.1% catch rate and an opponent passer rating of 64.9 in his rookie season of 2017, and given equivalent opportunities in 2018, White showed that he doesn’t know what a sophomore slump looks like—he allowed 30 catches on 52 targets for just 357 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and an opponent passer rating of 75.6.
Whether he’s playing bail or press coverage down the boundary or following a receiver through a crossing route or deciphering his assignment on a route combination, White has an impressive combination of savvy and aggressiveness that belies his relatively short time at the NFL level.
The only two players ahead of White are Chicago’s Kyle Fuller and New England’s Stephon Gillmore. White anchors a secondary that allowed the least passing yards per game last season at 179.2. The group as a whole might be the best in the NFL with safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde plus Levi Wallace opposite White at corner.
Although he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl yet, White is just 24 and has already proved himself as a shutdown corner in the NFL.
2. What did The Ringer say the Bills pulled off in free agency?
Four NFL teams will enter 2019 with a second-year quarterback, the Bills, the Jets, Browns and Ravens. Each team added talent around their sophomore quarterback this spring and The Ringer analyzed what it means for all.
The Bills managed to pull off a tricky feat in free agency: They were aggressive without being reckless. Josh Allen had his struggles as a rookie, but the Wyoming product was also playing with one of the worst supporting casts in the NFL. Buffalo desperately needed upgrades to both its receiving corps and offensive line, and it’s gotten both this offseason without committing much long-term guaranteed money in the process.
Allen was pressured on 43.3 percent of his dropbacks last season. Only Houston’s Deshaun Watson was pressured more. Allen struggled under pressure and the Bills took steps to remedy the situation with the additions of Mitch Morse, Ty Nsekhe, Quinton Spain, Spencer Long and more this offseason to remake the offensive line completely.
The Bills also addressed the offense by playing to Allen’s strengths. They grabbed John Brown whose vertical speed will pair well with Allen’s ability to throw deep and Cole Beasley who somehow always finds his way open underneath.
Allen was also last year’s leading rusher. The Bills added Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and Devin Singletary to add more options after a down year from LeSean McCoy. With the new offensive line and a plethora of options in the run game, Allen shouldn’t be scrambling for every first down this season.
3. EJ Manuel joins the ACC Network
EJ Manuel is the newest former Buffalo Bill to join the brand new ACC Network that launches on August 22. Manuel, a former quarterback for Florida State, will appear on Fridays and Saturdays in the fall to contribute to studio coverage with analysis of the conference’s football season. Manuel will be teaming up once again with former Bills center and Louisville graduate Eric Wood.
Manuel was a first-round draft pick by the Bills in 2013 and spent five seasons in the NFL, four in Buffalo and one in Oakland. Manuel was one of the best to ever do it at Florida State. From 2009-12 he led the Seminoles to a 25-6 record, and the fourth-most wins in program history. He was the second quarterback in FBS history to win four straight bowl games.
Manuel is Florida State’s all-time leader in completion percentage (66.9) and ranks top-five in program history for passing yards (7,736), total offense (8,563), completions (600) and attempts (897) despite only spending two seasons as the full-time starter.