Karlos Williams: My Karlos Williams hype train rages onward. Williams ran the ball extremely well on Friday, including a 1-yard touchdown on a Tyrod Taylor led drive in the second quarter. A stat line of 14 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown does not initially impress, but watching the running style of Williams tells a different story. Williams has a knack for gaining the extra yards after contact and is extremely difficult to bring down at first contact. Williams, deservingly, got some first team reps in relief of Lesean McCoy and showed nicely. Look for Williams to continue getting snaps in after McCoy as long as Fred Jackson is sidelined.
Seantrel Henderson: As the leader in the clubhouse in the right tackle race, Henderson received all of the first team reps and certainly made the most of them. Both as a pass protector and a run blocker, Seantrel greatly impressed in the two series he played. The right side of the offensive line got great push in the time in which Henderson and guard John Miller were on the field. Granted, it’s a small sample size he still performed admirably and is now the clear favorite to start the season at right tackle.
Randell Johnson: Johnson only played 12 snaps on defense, but he looked fantastic in his brief showing. Johnson is a tremendously athletic player, with great size and burst off the ball to match. We knew that Johnson has all the metrics and ability needed to be an effective edge player, but instincts were his primary issue in college. Johnson was playing the SAM linebacker spot, backing up Manny Lawson, and showed great flashes and improvement. Going forward, Johnson should provide valuable depth as a linebacker who can effectively rush the passer and set the edge.
Honarable Mention: John Miller, Bryce Brown, Deonte Thompson, AJ Tarpley
Ronald Darby: I would not say that Darby played exceptionally poorly, at all. The rookie was faced with a tough situation, as Rex Ryan essentially admitted they threw him to the wolves intentionally as a learning experience. Darby has the physical tools to stick with most receivers, and he showed that clearly on Friday. Darby’s problem is locating the ball and sometimes he doesn’t turn his head until it is too late. This is something that Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin both struggled with in the early part of their career, and DB coach Donnie Henderson works with Darby on this daily. Darby often found himself in perfect position to but was unable to prevent the catch.
Nick O’Leary: Friday was O’Leary’s first chance to make an impact on the team and really solidify his spot on the 53 man roster. He failed to make a positive impression, especially as a pass catcher. O’Leary was targeted twice, and had a very bad drop on one attempt. Pro Football Focus graded O’Leary out at -1.8 and -1.5 in the passing game, good for 3rd worse on the offense. If O’Leary wants to push for a good chunk of playing time he’ll need to become more of a presence on the field than has been the case so far this preseason and training camp.
Chris Hogan: The theme of camp for Hogan, unfortunately, has been drops. That’s something that continued on the Bills first drive of the game when Matt Cassel delivered a pass, granted it was slightly behind, that was dropped and stopped the Bills drive. Hogan had been such a reliable route runner and receiver last year so these drops and inconsistencies seem a little off. Hogan was also given a poor PFF grade of -1.7 in the receiving game, ranking worst on the team. Hogan is slowly losing his grip on what was thought to be a solidified roster spot.