As the preseason continues to unfold there are some players to keep a closer eye on. Below we list five such players, some of whom have quietly put together a solid body of work in training camp and could emerge with strong performances in the preseason games that remain.
1 – OLB Chris Ellis – The converted outside linebacker has made dramatic improvements in his first go round at the position in Buffalo's new 3-4 scheme. Though he's further ahead with respect to the pass rush responsibilities of his position, he's progressed nicely with his pass drops and is pushing veteran starter Chris Kelsay. A solid performance against Indy would only help his cause.
2 – WR Chad Jackson – The former second-round draft choice has done his level best to resuscitate his career this offseason. He's turned in big plays on offense in the practice setting and been a factor on special teams. His improved focus has helped him become a more consistent player. If he can carry that into the preseason games he'll greatly enhance his odds of making the final 53.
3 – WR Donald Jones – One of three talented undrafted rookies at the position, Jones has not made the giant eye-catching plays in the passing game, but has shown a consistent ability to gain separation and uses his body well (6'0" 214) to shield defenders. A good outing Thursday night could go a long way for him.
4 – TE Jonathan Stupar – The tight end has quietly gone about his business and sits atop the depth chart at his position. Though he's not a flashy player, Stupar has proven he's capable of executing every facet required of the tight end position. Provided he can maintain the level of consistency he's put on display thus far, he's a lock to make the roster.
5 – ILB Donovan Woods – Signed to the roster a day into camp, Woods has made plays on the defensive side of the ball in camp practices. Already equipped with a good working knowledge of 3-4 defensive systems, Woods was the leading tackler in the team's preseason opener (6 tackles, 1 TFL). If that kind of performance continues he's likely to land a roster spot.