- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
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(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they potentially fit in 2014.)
Name: Jacquies Smith
Position: Defensive end
2013 stats: None; spent most of season on practice squad.
Chance of making 53-man roster: 35 percent
Why he should make it: If there's one player on defense who we could see unexpectedly sneaking onto the 53-man roster, it's Smith. The Bills aren't that deep at defensive end following a scheme change this offseason. They'll need pass-rushers outside of Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes. The top backup should be Manny Lawson but there are still questions about how he'll be able to get to quarterbacks off the edge. When Williams and Lawson were out during OTAs, Smith saw action with the first team. If he can hold off Jarius Wynn, a late free-agent addition this offseason, Smith can earn the job as the fourth defensive end.
Why he shouldn't make it: Smith hasn't played in a regular-season NFL game, so he's still entirely unproven. He had a strong showing this spring, but so did Kourtnei Brown early in training camp last year when Williams was out with a foot injury. Brown wound up getting hurt and is now out of the NFL. Smith was productive as a pass-rusher in college but Brown's rise and fall is a reminder of the hit-or-miss nature of long-shot prospects. It may just not work out.
Closest competition: Lawson, Wynn, Ikponmwosa Igbinosun