Buffalo Bills 53-man Roster Projection
by Brian Umbaugh, @NFLRosters
In the NFL, the rookies are getting their first taste of life in the NFL and the players who will eventually be on the roster bubble try to make the grade. It’s about time to set the stage for a plethora of camp battles and try to determine which of the 90 or so rostered players might be playing on Sundays this fall.
Buffalo has quite a few roster spots up for grabs, as they are trying to flesh out their depth charts in the areas of RB, WR, DL, LB, and DB. Let’s address each area and see how things shake out.
Tyrod Taylor, E.J. Manuel, Cardale Jones (R)
While Jones will give Manuel a run for the #2 spot, he will most likely be a healthy scratch during a redshirt season, ready to take over the backup duties in 2017. Manuel and Taylor are both UFA’s next offseason; Manuel is expected to be gone, but the Bills will probably get a long-term deal done with Taylor.
Running Backs (5)
LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, Jonathan Williams (R), Mike Gillislee, Jerome Felton (FB)
Outside Looking In: Daniel Herron, James Wilder, Jr., Dri Archer, Glenn Gronkowski (FB)
McCoy and the Williams boys are fairly set, but Gillislee might also find a spot on the roster if he can show something.
Tight Ends (3)
Charles Clay, Jim Dray, Blake Annen
Outside Looking In: Nick O’Leary, Chris Gragg
Blake Annen has outplayed O’Leary and Gragg in camp, apparently. If he can continue to do so, he may make the roster along with new blocking TE Dray.
Wide Receivers (5)
Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Greg Salas, Leonard Hankerson, Marcus Easley (may end up on PUP)
Outside Looking In: Kolby Listenbee (R), Dezmin Lewis, Marquise Goodwin, Jarrett Boykin, Walt Powell, Greg Little, Gary Chambers, Davonte Allen
After Watkins, the veterans on the depth chart are just guys. That bodes well for any new guys that can flash a little game in camp — guys like Listenbee, Lewis, and possibly Boykin. If Easley ends up reserved somehow while returning from his injured knee, Listenbee or Dezmin Lewis may have a role.
Offensive Line (9)
Cordy Glenn, LT; Richie Incognito, LG; Eric Wood, C; John Miller, RG; Jordan Mills, RT
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT; Seantrel Henderson, OT; Ryan Groy, OG; Fernando Velasco, OG/OC
Outside Looking In: Cyril Richardson, OG; Robert Kugler, OC; Keith Lumpkin, OT; Marquis Lucas, OT; Jamison Lalk, OG
There will be a training camp battle for RT between Mills and Kouandjio, as Mills is average, but Kouandjio can’t beat him out. Henderson is still looking to come back from Crohn’s disease, and may be reserved for the season. If he is moved off the roster, there is a spot for the underachieving Richardson.
Defensive Line (6)
Kyle Williams, Adolphus Washington (R), Marcell Dareus, Corbin Bryant, Jerel Worthy, Justin Zimmer
Outside Looking In: Lavar Edwards, Claudell Lewis, Cedric Reed, T.J. Barnes
A few projects lie at the bottom of the DL depth chart, so the coaching staff has to be waiting for a few to stand out. Zimmer has a lot of potential and may make the roster.
Shaq Lawson (R), Reggie Ragland (R), Preston Brown, Jerry Hughes, Manny Lawson, Zach Brown, Randell Johnson, Lorenzo Alexander
Outside Looking In: I.K. Enemkpali, Kevin Reddick, Max Valles, Jamari Lattimore, Eric Striker, Bryson Albright
As the Bills transition to a true 3-4, Hughes and Shaq Lawson should be the starters, with the other Lawson filling in until Shaq can get his knee straight. Ragland and P. Brown should start in the middle. The LB chart also holds a few special teams stars that could make the roster. Enemkpali doesn’t really fit the Bills, but he might have a spot until Shaq returns.
Defensive Backs (10)
Ronald Darby, Aaron Williams, Corey Graham, Stephon Gilmore, Sterling Moore, Corey White, Nickell Robey, Kevon Seymour, Robert Blanton, Duke Williams
Outside Looking In: Colt Anderson, Jonathan Meeks, Jonathan Dowling, Javier Arenas, Phillip Thomas, Mario Butler, Sammy Seamster
Anderson has a decent shot to make the team due to his special teams abilities, but Blanton can also play ST. The rest of the guys are just guys, and probably won’t seriously challenge for roster spots without injuries to others.
Dan Carpenter, PK; Jordan Gay, KO; Colton Schmidt, P; Garrison Sanborn, LS
Outside Looking In: Marshall Morgan, K; Reid Ferguson, LS
As you can see, the bubble is pretty big. I like about seven other guys to make the roster, as well. While I haven’t checked the practice squad availability of those players, some of them might latch on, waiting for their opportunity.
Have an opinion? Send me a tweet at @NFLRosters! Thanks for reading!