AFC East: Johnny Adams

Grading the Bills' 53: Cornerbacks

September, 12, 2013
Now that the Buffalo Bills have set their 53-man roster, we'll break it down, position by position:


Personnel: Stephon Gilmore (injured), Leodis McKelvin, Nickell Robey, Justin Rogers, Ron Brooks (injured), Brandon Burton, Johnny Adams (practice squad: Brandon Smith)

Talent: C-minus. The strength of this position is at the top, where Gilmore had begun to flash premier cornerback skills before suffering his wrist injury in the preseason. Behind him, the Bills have an undersized group that includes McKelvin (5-foot-10), Rogers (5-foot-11), and Robey (5-foot-8). The problem for the Bills is that they have players who, on most teams, would be used in lesser roles than they have in Buffalo. As a starter, for example, Rogers does not have the physical skills to match up well against some of the better receivers he will face this season.

Depth: D-plus. Robey deserves credit for making the Bills' 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent and looked generally solid in his debut Sunday. But for the Bills to thrust a player like him into a major role (he was the fifth defensive back on the field, an increasingly important position in the NFL) speaks to their other options at the position. The greatest lack of depth here is at No. 2 and No. 3, not as much at the bottom of the depth chart. Look for the Bills to draft a cornerback next season, and for Rogers, Brooks, and others to battle for that last spot.

Reliability: D. There's some experience here, especially with McKelvin, but it remains one of the younger positions on the Bills' roster. Four of the top five options are currently injured or were injured at some point during training camp, and the remaining player, Robey, is a rookie. It's a combination of injury history and lack of experience that earns the position this grade. When the game is on the line, nobody really knows how these players will fare.

Bills add CB Smith to practice squad

September, 11, 2013
With injuries continuing to deplete their secondary, the Buffalo Bills added cornerback Brandon Smith to their practice squad Tuesday, the team announced.

Smith fills the open spot left by rookie cornerback Johnny Adams, who was signed to the 53-man roster on Tuesday.

Between their active roster and practice squad, the Bills now have seven cornerbacks on their roster. Top cornerback Stephon Gilmore is out for several more weeks with a fractured wrist, while Ron Brooks is out for "some time," head coach Doug Marrone said, with a fractured foot.

The Bills are also carrying six safeties on their 53-man roster, but their top safety, Jairus Byrd, did not play in Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots because of sore feet.

Smith, who went undrafted in 2011 out of Arizona State, was in training camp with season with the Green Bay Packers. The 26-year-old has not appeared in a regular-season game.

Here's an updated look at the Bills' practice squad, which stands at the eight-player limit:

QB Thad Lewis
RB Ronnie Wingo
WR Tommy Streeter
T Edawn Coughman
G/T Mark Asper
DL Izaan Cross
OLB Jamie Blatnick
CB Brandon Smith