2014 Buffalo Bills Training Camp Sleepers: DT Stefan Charles

This upcoming 2014 NFL season is an extremely important one for the Buffalo Bills. Following Ralph Wilson’s death, questions surrounding the team’s future have been non-stop. The Bills’ roster finally has come together with enough talent to make quite a few analysts believe that the team could finally get over the hump into the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

While the talent and potential of the players on the roster exists, a large number of unheralded sophomore and third-year players will be taking on large roles for the team

In the coming days, I’ll be taking a look at a few young players that could see a bigger role than most expect with the 2014 Buffalo Bills.

DT Stefan Charles

Stefan Charles was the No. 10 pick in the 2013 CFL Draft, but after going undrafted in the NFL Draft, he was signed to the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad. Charles, who stands 6’5” and weighs in at 320 pounds, played three collegiate seasons with the Regina Rams. In his 22 games with the Rams, he racked up 50 tackles, 19.5 of which were for losses and 9.5 sacks.

Stefan Charles was a CIS superstar, but is now looking to make an impact in the NFL.
  Stefan Charles Combine Measurables
Height Weight 10 Yard 40 (Official) 3-Cone S. Shuttle Bench Vert Broad
6’5″ 328 1.78 5.28 8.06 4.77 18 37″ 8’9″

 

On October 11, 2013, Charles was signed to the 53-man roster of the Buffalo Bills from the Titans practice squad. The Bills’ coaching staff quickly saw the raw talent that Charles possessed, as the 26-year old rookie saw his first action that week, making two tackles in the five defensive snaps he played.

Charles showed that he was physically on-par with his NFL counterparts, and finished the season with 12 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in his 82 defensive snaps.

With Marcell Dareus facing a possible suspension due to multiple off-the-field incidents, there’s a strong possibility that Charles could inherit a significant role on the Bills’ defensive line. Dareus has two years remaining on his rookie contract, as the team picked up the fifth-year option, but considering the headache he’s been to the organization as of late, Charles has “sleeper” written all over him.

Charles is a big, powerful athlete that wins with his explosion and strength off of the snap. His long arms allow him to gain a physical advantage over offensive lineman and he has the lower body strength to drive them backwards.

Against the run, Charles is not only capable of eating space, but also can shed blocks and blow up plays in the backfield.

  One issue that Charles needs to work on is staying low, in order to get under offensive linemen. Playing in the CIS, he was able to rely on sheer strength and athleticism to blow up plays, but in the NFL he’ll be facing the best of the best.

Alan Branch will be Charles’ primary competition in training camp, but Branch is more of a one-or-two down run stopper at this point in his career, while Charles is an intriguing athlete that probably has a higher ceiling.

Keep an eye out for the big man wearing #96 when you’re at St. John Fisher College this summer and you might be pleasantly surprised!

Sleeper No. 1: RB Bryce Brown

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