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Stephon Gilmore impresses Buffalo Bills' Stevie Johnson

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- It hasn't taken Stephon Gilmore very long to impress his Buffalo Bills teammates.

Whether it's the soft-spoken, level-headed approach the rookie cornerback takes off the field, or the aggressiveness and speed he's shown in going stride-for-stride with a receiver in coverage, the first-round draft pick has begun drawing raves three days into training camp.

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"I don't know how to say it, but he's up there with some of the DBs in the league who've been playing for a couple of years, and he hasn't even played one play," receiver Stevie Johnson said Saturday. "Really, I don't want to speak too highly, but it's hard to not speak highly of somebody that can play as well as he has from rookie minicamp all the way up until now."

Johnson is not alone in touting the South Carolina product, who was drafted No. 10 overall in April's NFL Draft.

"He's earned our respect already," receiver David Nelson said. "Every time you go against him, you've got to be ready. You know you're going to get everything he has, and it's going to be that way when the ball's snapped until the whistle."

Or just ask Derek Hagan. During practice Friday, Hagan found himself wide open on an underneath route ready to make an easy catch, only to have Gilmore close in and break up the play from behind.

"He's definitely going to be one hell of a player for this team," Hagan said. "As long as he keeps working and keeps his head on straight, the sky's the limit."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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