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Friday, July 25, 2008
Bills position battles


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Here is a look at two of the biggest position battles at Buffalo Bills camp:

Greer

Left cornerback: Jabari Greer vs. Leodis McKelvin

McKelvin wasn't drafted No. 11 overall to watch from the sidelines, yet he's not a lock to unseat Jabari Greer, a veteran who always seems to shine on the practice field and will get an even bigger head start because the rookie is unsigned.

The Bills, still trying to find a replacement for Nate Clements, hope they've found one in McKelvin, making the Troy University stud the first DB taken in the draft. He's a lockdown corner, a hitter and a sensational return man. He'll need to develop better awareness to become a total player.

That's where Greer has an edge. Although he didn't become a starter until last year, he has been a steady player in his four NFL seasons. Greer might be the safer choice right now, but undrafted free agents can keep a blue-chipper off the field only so long.

Intensity Index: Hot

Reed

No. 2 wide receiver: Josh Reed vs. James Hardy

The Bills haven't possessed a formidable No. 2 receiver since Peerless Price was opposite Eric Moulds. Now they need a threat to complement Lee Evans, whose production dipped last year partly because there wasn't another go-to option.

Hardy was drafted to provide a much-needed big target. He's 6-foot-6, and that will look delicious to Trent Edwards after a year of throwing to three WRs who are 5-foot-10 or shorter. Fantasy alert: Hardy, the fourth receiver off the board at No. 41, could be a monster in the red zone.

But there's always a catch. Hardy doesn't have the greatest mitts, and drops could become an issue while trying to decipher NFL speed and schemes. If he can't shine in camp, Reed will be there to fill the role. He's entering his seventh season, and his 51 catches were only four behind Evans' team lead.

Intensity Index: Hot