Buffalo Bills: Top 10 Prospects

Jairus Byrd (AP/Don Heupel)

Over the next couple of months, Scout.com's Chris Steuber will identify the top 10 prospects on all 32 NFL teams starting with the AFC East; the Buffalo Bills leadoff the series. In this series, an NFL prospect is classified as a player entering their third year in the NFL or under 25 years of age. Find out who the Bills top 10 prospects are entering the 2010 season.

Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
FS
5-10
200
2
23

After starting the 2009 season out as a backup, Jairus Byrd emerged as a starter during Week 3 and immediately made his presence felt. Despite suffering a season-ending groin injury, Byrd finished his rookie season with 45 tackles and tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with nine. For his efforts, he made the Pro Bowl, but was unable to participate.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 2nd Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
5-11
196
R
22

It was surprise when the Bills selected C.J. Spiller with the 9th overall pick this past April, especially since they had a greater need for an OT. But, Spiller is a dynamic offensive weapon, who can cause the opposition fits with his multi-purpose abilities. Spiller won't be the featured back this season, but he will make an impact and get plenty of opportunities to showcase his elusiveness.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 1st Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
CB
5-10
184
3
24

Leodis McKelvin had a promising rookie season in 2008, playing in all 16 games, starting six, and recorded 32 tackles and two interceptions, one in which he returned for a touchdown. But, last season, McKelvin's sophomore campaign was cut short when he broke his leg during a Week 3 contest against the New Orleans Saints. McKelvin is expected to be back to full health this year and could have a breakout season.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 1st Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
OG
6-4
315
2
24

A first round pick by the Bills in 2009, Eric Wood, who primarily played at center during his collegiate career at Louisville, started the first 10 games of his rookie season at guard. But, in a Week 11 battle against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Wood sustained a devastating compound fracture to his tibia and fibula, which ended his rookie season. Wood said this offseason that he's healing nicely, and that there's an 80-percent chance he will be ready for training camp.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 1st Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
5-11
215
4
24

Entering his fourth year in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch qualifies as a prospect since he's only 24 years old. Blessed with tremendous talent, Lynch has made more headlines off the field than on the field, and this offseason he was rumored to be on his way out of Buffalo. It's possible that he will end up in another uniform before the 2010 season kicks off, but with his trade value decreasing, it may be beneficial for the Bills to hold onto Lynch, who has amassed 2,601 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 1st Round (2007).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
LB
6-4
250
2
22

Aaron Maybin played in all 16 games as a rookie last season, but was a situational defender. He didn't start a game and didn't record any sacks, but with the Bills switching to a 3-4 defense this season, Maybin will drop back and play OLB, which will make him more effective off the edge.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 1st Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
OG
6-2
305
2
23

The Bills addressed the interior of their offensive line during the 2009 draft with the selection of Eric Wood and Andy Levitre. Wood was more highly touted, but Levitre displayed his durability and toughness by competing at a high level and starting all 16 games. Outside of Jairus Byrd, Levitre was the Bills most outstanding rookie last year.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 2nd Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
TE
6-5
240
2
24

The Bills are expecting Shawn Nelson to take his game to the next level and become a valuable part of the passing game this season. Last year as a rookie, Nelson, who played in and started 12 games, displayed great promise as a pass catching threat and caught 17 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 4th Round (2009).
Brian Brohm
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
QB
6-3
223
3
24

Once regarded as a highly rated quarterback prospect, Brian Brohm has a chance to emerge as the Bills starting quarterback this season. Prior to joining the Bills, Brohm had a disappointing one and a half year stint with the Green Bay Packers and never showed the potential he entered the league with when he was drafted in the second round. Brohm is in a perfect situation to resurrect his career and become the quarterback many envisioned him being from the start.

Drafted by Green Bay in the 2nd Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
WR
6-5
220
3
24

James Hardy is a talented, big play wide receiver who showed upside as a rookie by catching nine passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. But, his rookie year was cut short after he suffered a torn ACL during a Week 15 contest against the New York Jets that kept him out of the lineup for a year. Hardy returned to the lineup during Week 16 last year and appeared to be back to full health. With Terrell Owens no longer with the Bills, Hardy will be counted on as a starter this season.

Drafted by Buffalo in the 2nd Round (2008).


For more on the Bills, check out Buffalo Football Report.


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.

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