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Camp Countdown 2021 | Who are the training camp sleepers?

Jake Kumerow (15). Buffalo Bills minicamp. June 16, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert
Jake Kumerow (15). Buffalo Bills minicamp. June 16, 2021. Photo by Bill Wippert

It's a group of talent that often flies under the radar come training camp time. Bills fans are understandably drawn to the headlines featuring Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Tre'Davious White and other household names on Buffalo's roster. But who are the players who could surprise and earn a roster spot, or at the very least lengthen their time with the Bills on the practice squad?

Here's a look at some of those candidates.

OL Jack Anderson

Buffalo's seventh-round pick has a body of work that belies his draft position. A highly decorated interior lineman, Anderson has impressed through the spring showing the flexibility to play guard and center. A right guard throughout his college career at Texas Tech, if he can master the reverse footwork to play left guard, that versatility could earn him a reserve interior lineman spot.

WR Isaiah Hodgins

Despite taking the equivalent of a redshirt year in his rookie season of 2020 due to shoulder surgery, Hodgins did impress in his first training camp before shutting it down. Now back healthy, Hodgins is displaying the sure hands and separation ability that made an attractive value for the Bills in round six of the 2020 draft. Transferring his play in the spring to football in pads at training camp is the key going forward.

WR Jake Kumerow

Some fans got a good look at the Green Bay cast off when he showed up in the blowout win at Denver in Week 15 last season. With impressive size and straight line speed to go with it, Kumerow presents intriguing red zone and deep sideline options for Buffalo's passing game.

CB Cam Lewis

Some forget that the UB product had unseated Taron Johnson for the starting nickel corner role in Week 6 for the game against Kansas City, but suffered a wrist injury in the first quarter and was lost for the season. Blessed with the short area quickness needed to play inside, Lewis figures to again be stiff competition for Johnson at a very important position in Buffalo's defensive scheme.

DL Efe Obada

The UK product passes the eyeball test with great size and length. His arms, which measure almost 36 inches, gives him the ability to keep offensive linemen off his body coming off the edge. Powerful and strong, Obada has NFL game experience and offers the ability to move inside if necessary.

_WR Brandon Powell

Set to be part of the returner competition in training camp, Powell also offers the Bills with another slot receiver option to consider. Last season with the Falcons, Powell served as a slot receiver logging more than 72 percent of his snaps inside.

TE Tommy Sweeney

Sweeney made the 53-man roster as a rookie in 2019, but a foot injury and a myocarditis condition after contracting COVID cost him the entire 2020 campaign. With Lee Smith now in Atlanta, Sweeney could carve out a role for himself as a do-everything tight end.

S Josh Thomas

The undrafted rookie from 2020 was on Buffalo's practice squad all season and offers solid athleticism for the position. His aggressive and decisive play is an attractive quality that the coaches like. That must continue in training camp and the preseason for him to have a shot at the fourth safety spot.

S Tariq Thompson

The San Diego State product was an undrafted signee this spring. After logging 18 total takeaways and 35 pass breakups in his college career, his nose for the ball was on display this spring in OTAs as he scooped up a fumble and had an interception. If that opportunistic play persists in training camp he'll be right in the mix with Thomas.

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