It’s that time of the pre-season where fans are putting out their 53 man roster predictions, some have a few surprises & others are just the regular players that people think are locks. Mine may surprise you a little bit, but I won’t go overboard with the predictions. Without further wait, here is my 2018 Buffalo Bills 53 man roster prediction:
QB: Nathan Peterman, Josh Allen, AJ Mccarron.
McCarron isn’t a lock to make the roster. Buffalo put a clause in his contract where they could release him worry free. Josh Allen played how you would expect a rookie to. He showed you he could be a franchise QB with the right development, but just needs to sit for a year. Nate Peterman has surprisingly played the best out of all 3 QBs. Shocking, huh? Nate showed he could get the ball downfield & throw it accurately and on time. I think Peterman will get the week 1 start
RB: LeSean McCoy, Marcus Murphy, Chris Ivory.
McCoy is McCoy, there’s nothing bad to say about him. He’s the starter without a doubt. Murphy is one of Buffalo’s pre-season surprises. None of their backup RBs have outplayed him. If he can be the heir to McCoy, Beane will look like a king. Ivory has shown flashes of his days with the Jets, but not as consistently as you would like. I think Buffalo is set at RB.
FB: Patrick DiMarco.
DiMarco is one of the best FullBacks in the league. Buffalo has a great blocker for McCoy for years to come.
WR: Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Jeremy Kerley, Corey Coleman, Brandon Reilly, Ray-Ray McCloud.
KB is no doubt Buffalo’s starting receiver. He played very well against the Panthers week 1, scoring a TD in the first quarter. Jones will have a chip on his shoulder this year after having a bad rookie season in 2017. He will look to get back to his college career where he was one of the best pass catchers in recent memory. Reilly spent most of last season on their practice squad before being called up late in the season. Reilly was reliable during the pre-season the past 2 seasons. Buffalo drafted McCloud knowing they got a speedster. Ray-Ray should be their starting returner and a reliable pass catcher every once and a while.
TE: Charles Clay, Jason Croom, Nick O’Leary.
Clay is arguably their 2nd best receiver. Clay had a good 2017 season as he was one of their top receivers. Croomm was another surprising player over these first 3 weeks. He was a player Peterman & Allen both relied on heavily on a weekly basis. It will be hard to release him for that reason.
OL: Dion Dawkins, Vlad Duccasse, Ryan Groy, Russell Bodine, Jordan Mills, Jordan Miller, Wyatt Teller, Marshall Newhouse.
Dawkins is arguably their best OL after they lost Wood, Incognito, and Glenn during the off-season. Groy was a reliable Center when he had to fill in for Wood, so I’m not too worried about him starting. Bodine will be the backup to Groy. Mills is inconsistent, you don’t know what you’re going to get from him on a weekly basis. Teller is one of my favorite rookies. If he can develop him right, he will be a good OL.
DL: Trent Murphy, Shaq Lawson, Kyle Williams, Star Lotulelei, Jerry Hughes, Eddie Yarbrough, Harrison Phillips, Adolphus Washington.
Murphy can be a dominant pass-rusher, but he couldn’t stay healthy during camp. Lawson has to take advantage of his reps with Murphy injured, and so far he’s gotten the job done. Williams is our core Defensive Lineman, but will most likely miss the first 2 weeks of the season due to a leg injury. Phillips will have to fill in for Williams as the starting NT. Lotulelei is a dominant run stuffer. He can clog holes & create tackles for the other lineman. He doesn’t add to the stat sheet but can change the game-plan for the opposing team
LB: Tremaine Edmunds, Lorenzo Alexander, Matt Milano, Tanner Vallejo, Ramon Humber, Julian Stanford.
Edmunds can be a great LB in a few years. He has the size and strength to be a top Line Backer in the league. Alexander will get to the QB consistently, he has the size to get past almost any lineman. Stanford will make the roster as a special teamer.
CB: Tre White, Vontae Davis, Philip Gaines, Taron Johnson, Lafayette Pitts.
White was one of the best defensive rookies in 2017. He has an eye for the ball that no defensive coach can teach. If he can keep it up in 2018 it’ll be a fun year for him. Davis will look to rejuvenate his career in Buffalo & help teach the young corners.
Safety: Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Rafael Bush, Siran Neal, Dean Marlowe
Poyer & Hyde are one of the best Safety duos in the league & will look to have the same success in 2018. Bush showed he can be a very good backup Safety for Buffalo. Neal is a hard hitting Safety that Buffalo will hope to develop in the next couple years. Safety is the deepest position on the Bills roster.
ST: Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Reid Ferguson
Ryan should make the team over Schmidt. He has a much better leg than Schmidt & is very consistent. I don’t see Buffalo brining in Ryan to just release him a couple weeks later.
CB Levi Wallace, DE Mike Love, RB Keith Ford, WR Robert Foster, WR Cam Phillips, WR Austin Proehl, WR Malachi Dupre, LB Deon Lacey.
Levi Wallace has a lot of potential & with a year on the practice squad, he could turn out to be a decent CB. I was torn on adding him or Pitts as the last CB on the depth chart. Love played pretty well during pre-season, but could it be enough to land him on the practice squad? Foster & Phillips showed potential during camp, but couldn’t get it done on the field, Phillips never got the ball thrown to him. Lacey showed good versatility & could read the field well. Ford showed flashes during games, but not enough to land him a roster spot.
Surprise cuts: Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, Colton Schmidt.
Holmes is kind of the odd man out in the WR room. Buffalo already has their big receivers in Benjamin & Reilly. Streater has been very quiet during games & has been outplayed by Reilly.