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SS Howell among Bills free-agent rookies

Stanford strong safety Delano Howell was among the more highly regarded undrafted rookies who have agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills announced a list of 10 rookie free-agent acquisitions. They include Richmond quarterback Aaron Corp, who played the past two years at the Virginia school after transferring from the University of Southern California.

Howell was a first-team All-Pac 12 Conference pick at strong safety in 2011 despite missing three games with a hand injury. He made seven interceptions and was a three-year starter for the Cardinal, starting 33 games overall. Howell, 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, ran a 4.65-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but improved the time to about 4.55 seconds at Stanford's pro day in March. He won the team’s the Jack Huston Award, given to the player who best exemplifies aggressiveness, exceptional performance and unheralded efforts. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper had Howell rated 11th among all safeties in the draft. "He plays faster than he times, and he has very good instincts," Kiper said.

Corp, 6-4 and 213, was beaten out at Southern Cal by Matt Barkley and then transferred to the Football Championship Series level. He started all 11 games last fall, completing 63.7 percent of his passes. He passed for 244 yards a game and had 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Richmond won its first three games, then finished the season with eight straight losses. Corp set an FCS single game completion percentage record by hitting 31 of 34 passes (91.2 percent) in a 31-28 loss to Towson.

Here's a roundup of the others who agreed to terms. (They are expected to sign contracts before the Bills' rookie minicamp on May 11):

P Shawn Powell, Florida State. 6-3 1-2, 245. A three-year starter and Florida State’s all-time punting leader. He led the NCAA with a 47.0-yard gross average in 2011. Of his 57 punts last season, 24 went for 50 or more yards. He had 23 punts inside the 20 and 14 inside the 10.

RB Chris Douglas, Missouri State. 5-9, 207. Ran 4.47. Rushed for 1,051 yards as a junior and 559 yards as a senior for a 2-9 team. He averaged 6.9 yards a carry his junior year.

C-G David Snow, Texas. 6-3, 294. Appeared in 52 games and made 32 starts in his Longhorns career. He started all 13 games at left guard as a senior and 12 games at center as a junior. He graduated with a degree in corporate communications. He was a second-team Associated Press All-Big 12 pick.

G Paul Madsen, Colorado State. 6-4, 312. Started 30 games in his career. Second-team All-Mountain West Conference as a senior. He’s 26. He delayed the start of his college career because he went on a two-year Morman mission. One of his older brothers, Mark Madsen, played nine years in the NBA, with the Lakers and Timberwolves.

S Nick Sukay, Penn State. 6-1, 209. He played in the first nine games of the season before suffering a torn pectoral muscle against Illinois. He missed the last four. He had started 19 straight games up until his injury and had three interceptions before the injury. He still made second-team All Big 10 in 2011.

CB Chris Hill, Virginia Tech. 5-11, 177. Played in 52 games over four years and started seven, five his senior year. He was a standout special-teamer for the Hokies.

LB Garrick Williams, Texas A&M, 6-2, 234. Started 33 games in his career. Started out as an outside linebacker but shifted inside as a junior with the team’s shift to a 3-4 scheme. Probably projects as an inside linebacker in a 4-3 defense.

SS Ian Wild, Mercyhurst. 6-0, 220. He’s a linebacker from Division III Mercyhurst who projects as a strong safety in training camp.

---Mark Gaughan

 

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