At times last season, Buffalo Bills star quarterback Josh Allen, was forced to run for his life. The injuries and bad play from the offensive line were a huge piece in the Bills having a bad stretch of games during the regular season. That included playing down to some inferior opponents and a horrible 9-6 loss to the Urban Meyer-coached Jaguars. Thankfully, they got it together for the playoffs and have already upgraded for the upcoming season. So, let’s take a quick look at the presumed starting five up front.
Dion Dawkins LT
The Bills will continue having their franchise left tackle, Dion Dawkins, protecting Josh Allen’s blindside. Dawkins had a really tough start to the season last year after a hospital battle with covid. It forced him to come to training camp late; Dawkins lost some weight, and it took a while for him to get right. When he did though, he played great. Dawkins earned himself a Pro-Bowl start with his great play down the stretch. Dawkins allowed only two sacks last season. Per the Washington Post, Dawkins has allowed zero sacks in seven career playoff games. Bills fans should feel confident that Dawkins will keep Josh Allen clean.
Roger Saffold LG
Heading into the off-season, Buffalo Bills general manager, Brandon Beane, said his number one priority was protecting Josh Allen. He kept true to his word and wasted no time in signing Roger Saffold. Saffold was also a Pro Bowler last year. Paired with Dawkins, he gives the Bills a Pro Bowl left side of the offensive line. He was a second-team All-Pro for the Rams in 2017 under new Bills’ O-line coach, Aaron Kromer. According to PFF, Saffold gave up only two sacks last season and was a key piece in the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing offense (Titans). Saffold will be a very welcomed addition to the Bills’ O-line.
Mitch Morse C
Since joining the Bills back in 2019, Mitch Morse has remained one of the best pass-blocking centers in the NFL. He has had a hand in helping Josh Allen ascend to star status, as he did the same with Patrick Mahomes. He helps point out defenses pre-snap and direct the offensive line. After an excellent season last year and proving he can stay healthy, the Bills inked Morse to a 2-year, $19.5 million extension. Having their anchor who only allowed two sacks in 1,167 snaps last season must have the coaching staff and Josh Allen, ecstatic.
Ryan Bates RG
Ryan Bates was a pleasant surprise late last season when he was thrust into the starting left guard role. The Bills’ offense woke up and got back to who they were with Bates holding it down next to Dion Dawkins. After being primarily a third-stringer since joining the Bills, Bates was pivotal to the Bills’ success. He was a huge spark in a big second half of the season from running back, Devin Singletary. The Bills clearly think he is a pivotal piece on the O-line after they matched the Bears’ offer of 4-years, $17 million. Bates will likely be switching to right guard with Saffold now in the mix. He could be a big upgrade over last year’s right guard, Darryl Williams, who allowed four sacks, to Bates’ zero.
Spencer Brown RT
The Buffalo Bills added offensive tackle, Spencer Brown, in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft. He was pushed into the starting role faster than expected, due to injuries and underperformers. He held his own though and the monster 6’8” right tackle was a clear difference-maker when playing. Despite needing to improve in the pass protection department, Brown is a mauler in the run game and has that nasty edge you want in your O-line. Brown quickly became a fan favorite after jumping through a folding table Bills Mafia-style on draft night and drinking a fans beer after a Stefon Diggs touchdown. A full off-season of working with the staff and new highly touted O-line coach Aaron Kromer should excite all Bills fans for what Brown can be next season.
Joe Know’s Go Bills