Monday, August 12, 2013
A look at Bills rookies in preseason opener
By Mike Rodak
Led by quarterback EJ Manuel, the Buffalo Bills' win over the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday's preseason opener was powered in large part by the team's rookie class.
In fact, 32 of the team's 44 points -- a preseason franchise record -- were scored by rookies.
Here's a look at how Buffalo's draft choices, plus some undrafted free agents, performed:
Quarterback EJ Manuel (first round) -- Started and played the full first half, going 16-of-21 passing for 107 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Was credited with a fumble on a botched handoff in the first quarter.
Wide receiver Robert Woods (second round) -- Started and was targeted five times, all in the first half. Finished with four receptions for 32 yards, but muffed a punt return on the opening drive.
Linebacker Kiko Alonso (second round) -- Started and made a key pass breakup in the end zone, swatting the ball away from Colts tight end Coby Fleener to prevent a touchdown.
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (third round) -- Returned the Colts' first kickoff 53 yards in the first quarter, then took another kick 107 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Was flagged for unnecessary roughness on Woods' muffed punt on the opening possession.
Safety Duke Williams (fourth round) -- Had three tackles in his preseason debut.
Safety Jonathan Meeks (fifth round) -- Had one tackle and one pass defensed, but was unable to corral a would-be interception.
Kicker Dustin Hopkins (sixth round) -- Was 2-for-2 on field goals, but had a kickoff in the second quarter go out of bounds, setting the Colts up from their own 40-yard line.
Tight end Chris Gragg (seventh round) -- Was targeted four times, making two catches for 12 yards.
Quarterback Jeff Tuel (undrafted) -- Played the entire second half, completing 19 of 23 passes for 212 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Had a strip-sack fumble early in the fourth quarter that was returned by the Colts 72 yards for a touchdown.
Wide receiver Brandon Kaufman (undrafted) -- Lanky receiver had a 29-yard catch on the final play of the third quarter, and added a 5-yard touchdown grab late in the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers (undrafted) -- Was targeted just once in the game, but his 6-yard touchdown reception capped an 80-yard drive to begin the third quarter.
Cornerback Jumal Rolle (undrafted) -- A Division II prospect from Catawba College, Rolle returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Cornerback Kip Edwards (undrafted) -- Recorded two quarterback hits, including a 9-yard sack of Chandler Harnish in the third quarter.