Friday morning, the Bills officially announced the signing of 12 undrafted free agents. One of them was wide receiver, Robert Foster.
After all three days of the draft had passed, the Alabama wideout understood that he would have to prove to the entire NFL that it made a mistake by passing on him early. Now under contract with the Bills, the mantra he plans to live by is, “take advantage.”
Foster is one of two members of the Crimson Tide to make his way to One Bills Drive on Thursday, along with college teammate CB Levi Wallace, another undrafted signee of the Bills. Wallace understands more than anyone the kind of player the Bills added in Foster.
“Rob is definitely one of the best receivers I’ve guarded,” said Wallace. “If he would have had more production last year, he would have easily been in one of the first two rounds as a receiver. He is one of the fastest receivers I’ve guarded, definitely a lot of talent. I know the Bills are lucky to have him. I feel like he can come in here and make a big impact.”
At 6-2, Foster was one of the bigger receivers at the rookie minicamp on Friday, and plans on using his size and speed to become a key member of the Bills offense.
“I think I’m a vertical threat. I hope that I can help the team with a vertical threat, and I know Sammy Watkins had left, but I’m just trying to take advantage of it and help the team at some point,” said Foster.
Check out behind-the-scenes photos of the Bills rookies.
Being a product of the University of Alabama, Foster comes to the Bills to meet a familiar face in Brian Daboll. Before signing on as Buffalo’s new offensive coordinator earlier this offseason, Daboll was the offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide.
Foster does realize the significance of having his former coach with him at One Bills Drive, but he doesn’t want that to have any impact on how he is perceived at the NFL level.
“I had somewhat of a relationship [with Daboll], but the past is the past,” said Foster. “Now I’m in the pros, and I’m going to approach it like that regardless of the relationship we had. It’s a business, and I got to come and do my job regardless of what it is.”
Sean McDermott mentioned that when it came to the decision to sign Foster, Daboll was a voice pushing Beane and company to consider the wide receiver.
“Dabs had a big influence in that, as well as our scouting department,” said McDermott. “The communication that ensued between Dabs and our scouting department, (Assistant GM) Joe Schoen and his staff as well. You don’t find that all the time because sometimes there is a line. Our staffs have worked extremely well together. Brandon’s staff, my staff. The firsthand knowledge that Brian had with Foster meant a lot in the process and we’re excited to have him in camp here.”
As excited as McDermott might be he’s also made it evident to the rookies that they must earn their spot. Foster got that message right away, but he’s not letting his status as an undrafted rookie negatively impact his efforts.
“They’re telling me that I’m going to have to work,” said Foster. “Everybody has a clean slate. So, whether you’re a first round draft pick, a seventh-round draft pick, a free agent, you still have a fresh slate. At the end of the day, I’m still competing for a job opportunity.”
And for Foster, he does not care what that opportunity is. He wants to prove to the Bills staff that no matter where on the roster they need help, he will be one of the first players to try and step into the role.
“Go to events, learn the system, buy into a program and take everything seriously,” said Foster. “I mean, my thing is to compete for (a spot on) the roster. If it takes me playing long snapper, punter or whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do it to take advantage of it.”
The Bills do lack depth at the wide receiver position, something Foster has taken note of.
Along with Wallace, he expects to make every moment count during minicamp to force the coaching staff to slot him on the roster come September. Until then, he remains grateful and will continue to work hard.
“We’re blessed by the opportunity,” he said. “We thank the Bills for giving us the opportunity and we’re going to embrace every bit of it.”