Buffalo Bills 53-Man Roster Prediction

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ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 26: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at New Era Field on August 26, 2018 in Orchard Park, New York. Cincinnati defeats Buffalo 26-13 in the preseason matchup. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Josh Allen

The deadline for the Buffalo Bills 53-Man roster is Saturday, September 1st at 4 P.M. They will need to use what they have seen from the pre-season to gauge who will and won’t make this team as well as where they stack up on the depth chart. From the offensive line to linebacker, the Bills have some serious questions to answer about who they are keeping and how they want to proceed at those position groups.

Buffalo Bills 53-Man Roster Prediction:

Quarterback

Nathan Peterman
A.J. McCarron                                                                                                           Josh Allen

Overview:

The Bills have had a rough time evaluating the quarterbacks this pre-season. Josh Allen had his chance to win the starting job in week three, but the offensive line hindered his ability to show his skills. Nathan Peterman continued to play extremely well but has still yet to play against starters. A.J. McCarron had his momentum derailed in week two with a lackluster performance also contributed to by the offensive line. McCarron also got injured in that game which led to him not seeing playing time in week three. The proper evaluating process is almost over for Buffalo and many questions still remain.

Prediction:

The Bills will have to use the little they have to piece together a starting quarterback for week one. The front-runner should be Nathan Peterman. Despite not playing much against starters, Peterman has been the most consistent of the three quarterbacks. Peterman’s numbers in the pre-season are actually very good. Josh Allen should be relegated to third string for the sole reason of not being named the starter. If Allen is not going to start week one, he should just be focused on watching and learning from Peterman and McCarron. McCarron will back-up Peterman for his good week one performance and his veteran status.

Running Back

LeSean McCoy
Chris Ivory
Marcus Murphy

Overview:

LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory are both seasoned veterans who are locks to make the final roster while Marcus Murphy makes the team with his fantastic pre-season play. Cadet fails to capitalize on his opportunities to impress compared to Murphy and fails to make the roster. Taiwan Jones also fails to make the roster after having minimal chances to impress.

Prediction:

LeSean McCoy is the clear starter here. He continues to produce at a high quality even entering his thirties. Chris Ivory will back up McCoy as a perfect change of pace back whose style is the polar opposite to McCoy’s. Murphy will fill out the depth chart as a nice plug and play back who can catch and block. Murphy can also handle return duties on both kickoff and punt.

Fullback

Patrick DiMarco

Overview:

The only thing to put here is that Pat DiMarco will be the Buffalo Bills starting Fullback in 2018.

Wide Receiver:

Kelvin Benjamin
Zay Jones
Jeremy Kerley
Ray-Ray McCloud
Brandon Reilly
Corey Coleman

Overview:

After Kelvin Benjamin, Jeremy Kerley, and Zay Jones the Bills’ receiving corps is wide open. Rookie Ray-Ray McCloud earns his spot for his chemistry with Josh Allen and his performance in the pre-season. Brandon Reilly almost made the roster last year and his big-play ability this pre-season finally earns him his spot despite his broken rib and lack of play in the late pre-season. Corey Coleman makes the roster due to his potential and youth. Coleman also has speed which is on another level from the other receivers.

Prediction:

Kelvin Benjamin is the clear wide receiver one with Kerley and Jones as two and three. They will probably alternate in and out of the slot. Ray-Ray McCloud will get plays with the offense during games as will Brandon Reilly and Corey Coleman. The Bills receiving group will surprise some this year if the quarterback and offensive line hold up their end. Otherwise, they will perform how many others have projected them to.

Tight End

Charles Clay
Nick O’Leary
Jason Croom

Overview:

Charles Clay and Nick O’Leary make the roster without much of a debate. Clay was the Bills’ leading receiver last season and is one of the NFL’s premier pass-catching tight ends. O’Leary continues to impress with his catching ability while not wearing gloves and his route running has been exceptional. Jason Croom has shown that he can also make waves in the receiving game and he has shown improvement in the blocking department.

Prediction:

Clay will be the starting tight end for Buffalo once again. O’Leary will be in often for sets involving multiple tight ends. These types of sets have become commonplace in today’s NFL and O’Leary will be beneficial in both run and pass situations. The same goes for Croom, but he will be in more when Clay or O’Leary need a rest or a three Tight End set. Another set popularized in the modern game, especially in run situations.

Left Tackle

Dion Dawkins
Marshall Newhouse

Overview:

The Bills will keep at least one backup at every position on the offensive line as their evaluation at each position will inevitably continue into the regular season. This will be the role of newly acquired Marshall Newhouse. Dion Dawkins will assume the starting role after impressing last season as a rookie.

Prediction:

Dawkins will start at Left Tackle for Buffalo and Newhouse will perform well enough to remain on the roster with talent and depth both lacking for Buffalo. This was prevalent in week three of the pre-season against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Left Guard

Vlad Ducasse
Wyatt Teller

Overview:

Vlad Ducasse joins the Bills for another season and his experience with the system gives him the best chance to start. Wyatt Teller was drafted by Buffalo late in the draft and has low expectations for this season. However, he has impressed so far in pre-season and there is a chance he can assume the starting job from Ducasse who is not a very reliable starter.

Prediction:

Ducasse will be the week one starter, but Teller will claim the starting job at some point during the season. The talent always rises to the top and Teller has shown extreme promise both in college and in the pre-season. Vlad Ducasse, on the other hand, has shown that he is not capable of playing starting guard.

Center

Ryan Groy
Russell Bodine

Overview:

The Bills’ made it clear last season that they had big plans for Ryan Groy at the center position after Eric Wood retires and his injuries sped up the process. The Bills signed Russell Bodine to fill the lack of center depth following Wood‘s departure.

Prediction:

Groy will start at center come week one. Bodine was given a chance during the Bills pre-season game against Cleveland and the offense was unable to get anything going. Groy has been the project of Sean McDermott and he will prevail in the battle for starting center. Despite this, McDermott has been benching Groy on and off for the majority of the pre-season. This is most likely tough love as Groy continues to get chances after his benchings.

Right Guard

John Miller

Overview:

The Bills have extremely little depth at right guard behind John Miller and none of them have impressed to this point. Miller is the only player who has the skills to make a fifty-three man roster.

Prediction:

Miller will be the only right guard unless they sign another and cut one of the bubble players towards the bottom of the final roster. They could also trade for a guard if they choose to. Miller will be the starter week one regardless of what Buffalo decides to do.

Right Tackle

Jordan Mills
Connor McDermott
Garrett De Beer

Overview:

Right tackle is the position where Buffalo has the best chance to keep three players. The reasoning not being a plethora of talent, but a lack of it. Jordan Mills is the clear-cut starter among the group, but that does not say much in comparison to other right tackles in the league.

Prediction:

Jordan Mills will start at right tackle for the Buffalo Bills. Conor McDermott will back him up and Garrett De Beer will be retained to see his development progress. Mills may see starting time the whole season due to the lack of talent on the offensive line, but he possesses the same things that Vlad Ducasse has that make him unfit to be a long-term option for starting offensive line.

Defensive End

Jerry Hughes
Trent Murphy
Shaq Lawson
Eddie Yarborough
Terrence Fede

Overview:

Jerry Hughes is still the best pass rusher on the roster and Buffalo will need him to play like it. The Bills signed Trent Murphy to add a much-needed pass rush threat off the edge. Murphy has had injury trouble so far, but he is still the second best pass rusher on the Bills. Shaq Lawson has been the center of trade rumors as of recent, but his play in the pre-season has his status on the team changing. Eddie Yarbrough was last season’s pre-season stud who earned himself a roster spot. Now he is a solid backup edge rusher for Buffalo who will make the roster for another year. Terrence Fede rounds up the ends with his performance in the pre-season so far.

Prediction:

Hughes and Murphy will start at each side. Lawson will see plenty of time reliving Trent Murphy who will not be 100% for a while. Yarborough will see playing time as well and Fede will be used for special teams.

Defensive Tackle

Kyle Williams
Star Lotulelei
Harrison Phillips
Adolphus Washington

Overview:

Kyle Williams is on his retirement tour. It took a while for him to decide to return and after suffering an injury in week two of the pre-season, this season is most likely his last. He will start alongside Star Lotulelei who is arguably Buffalo’s biggest free agent signing this off-season. The Bills needed a boost to their run defense and Star will help in the department. Rookie Harrison Phillips has quickly become a fan favorite due to his personality and his talent on the field. He will sub in often for the elder Williams. Adolphus Washington will stay to continue his development and attempt to show improvement. The leash is short on Washington and he could easily be cut if a free agent is signed or a trade is made.

Prediction:

Williams and Star will start in the middle and Phillips will get plenty of snaps throughout the season. Washington is in control of his own destiny in terms of getting reps in games. He needs to continue to show he is disciplined and he needs to show flashes in practice and pre-season.

Linebacker

Lorenzo Alexander
Tremaine Edmunds
Matt Milano
Tanner Vallejo
Julian Stanford
Ramon Humber

Overview:

Lorenzo Alexander remains with Buffalo as one of their best pass rushing talents. He also has shown he can play outside linebacker in a four-three system. Rookie Tremaine Edmunds has already emerged as a commanding threat on the defense and has been thrown into a large role early. Matt Milano surprised many last season as a rookie and has become the starter for the Bills at outside linebacker. He has been losing reps recently, however, he should be able to retain the starting job come week one. Tanner Vallejo is another linebacker who was a rookie last season and he too will stay with the Bills this season. Most of the backup linebackers will earn their spot through special teams, but with Milano losing reps someone has to step up. That person may be Vallejo. Same goes for Stanford and Humber. Humber lost the starting job to Milano last year and has been on a downward slide ever since. Humber may be the 53rd man on this roster and a major threat to be cut.

Prediction:

Alexander and Milano get the outside jobs. Rookie Tremaine Edmunds will take command over the middle and should impress early. He has a solid shot at being in consideration for defensive rookie of the year. Vallejo and Humber have the best shots of getting reps in games due to experience with the franchise. Otherwise, both of them and Stanford will have jobs to do in the special teams side of the game.

Cornerback

Tre’davious White
Vontae Davis
Phillip Gaines
Taron Johnson
Lafayette Pitts

Overview:

Tre’davious White was one of the best rookies in the NFL last season. White was in the running for defensive rookie of the year but was runner-up to Marshon Lattimore. Vontae Davis is an aging veteran who has shown his age this pre-season. Davis let up a long touchdown to sophomore player John Ross in week three of the pre-season. Ross set the NFL combine record for fastest forty-yard dash. This is the problem the Bills could face often with Davis as their second string cornerback. His speed cannot match-up with that of the new aged receivers. Phillip Gaines has played decently well during the pre-season and so has rookie Taron Johnson. Lafayette Pitts earns the fifth corner spot and the Bills will have a solid group at corner. Davis will be key to watch as if he continues to get burned he could find himself sliding down the depth chart or in a situation to be released.

Prediction:

Tre’ White is the clear number one cornerback on this roster. Vontae Davis will start the season as the second corner, but his speed will probably result in him sliding to the fourth corner. If that happens Phillip Gaines will become the number two while Taron Johnson plays slot corner. Lafayette Pitts will see minimal time.

Safety

Jordan Poyer
Micah Hyde
Rafael Bush
Siran Neal

Overview:

Last season Buffalo had arguably the best safety duo in the NFL. Micah Hyde made the Pro Bowl and Jordan Poyer posted better stats than other safeties who did make the Pro Bowl. The two combined for 177 tackles and ten interceptions. Rafael Bush is a free agent signee who brings a veteran presence to the position group. Siran Neal is a rookie this season who will be looking to make an impact on special teams and on his limited chances.

Prediction:

Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer will resume their domination over the top. They are both going to put up solid numbers and at least one will make the Pro Bowl this season. Rafael Bush and Siran Neal will both be used in special teams and will get plays on defense on their own. This is one of the most solid position group on the Bills’ roster.

Kicker/Punter/Long Snapper

Steven Hauschka
Colton Schmidt
Reid Ferguson

Overview:

Not much to say here. Steven Hauschka will be the kicker after continuing to impress. Especially from long distance. Colton Schmidt will win the punter from Jon Ryan. Reid Ferguson will be retained for his long-snapping ability.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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