Free agency is over, the NFL Draft is done, and that means it’s time for a Buffalo Bills roster projection. While the team will inevitably have to deal with injuries and small-scale roster moves between now and the start of the regular season, the overall team should look something like this when Week 1 rolls around.
Buffalo Bills 53-Man Roster Projection: Youth, Veteran Balance
In: Josh Allen, Mitchell Trubisky
Allen and Trubisky are locks, which means that the Jake Fromm experiment is officially over. Allen played like a legitimate MVP candidate last year and should remain Buffalo’s franchise quarterback. Trubisky obviously never played up to his pre-draft billing, but he’s one of the better backups in the league and is capable of filling in for a few games if injuries strike. With that in mind, it really doesn’t make sense to carry a developmental Day 3 prospect like Fromm on the active roster. It shouldn’t be too hard to get him to the practice squad and call him up in an emergency situation.
Running Back (4)
In: Zack Moss, Devin Singletary, Matt Breida, Taiwan Jones
After talking about upgrading the running back position throughout the buildup to the NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills decided to stick with essentially the same group they had last year. Zack Moss and Devin Singletary are both solid at their respective jobs, even if they lack All-Pro talent. Matt Breida should be a welcome change-of-pace back with the speed to make a big play every time he gets into the open field. Taiwan Jones will spend the vast majority of the season on special teams and shouldn’t see significant snaps at running back unless something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Wide Receiver (7)
In: Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, Emmanuel Sanders, Isaiah McKenzie, Marquez Stevenson, Isaiah Hodgins
Seven receivers is a lot, but it’s hard to find anyone to cut. Diggs, Beasley, and Davis are locks, and Sanders is a very safe bet to make the roster. This leaves McKenzie, Hodgins, and Stevenson fighting for depth, and all three make it in this Bills roster projection. Stevenson should handle return duties, Hodgins is a solid receiver that would have a role on lesser depth charts, and McKenzie offers a lot as a gadget player.
Tight End (3)
In: Dawson Knox, Jacob Holliser, Reggie Gilliam
Everything that could go wrong for Tommy Sweeney in 2020, did go wrong. The 2019 seventh-round pick started the season on the PUP list before contracting COVID-19 in late November, which eventually turned into myocarditis. General manager Brandon Beane says he should be back to full strength for the start of 2021, but I need to see it before giving him a spot on the roster.
Offensive Line (9)
In: Dion Dawkins, Daryl Williams, Spencer Brown, Tommy Doyle, Jon Feliciano, Mitch Morse, Cody Ford, Ike Boettger, Forrest Lamp
This projection could go one of a million different ways, as Buffalo renovated their offensive line over the past few months. Most of the starting positions are in place, but picking out the depth is a much harder job. Forrest Lamp is currently the 53rd man on the roster, and I wouldn’t argue with anyone that wanted to swap him out for any of the other interior linemen.
Defensive Line (9)
In: Carlos Basham, Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver, Greg Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa, Vernon Butler, Mario Addison, Jerry Hughes, Harrison Phillips
Most of the familiar faces return in 2021, with rookies Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham joining in on the fun. As mentioned in our draft profiles, Rousseau is a physical freak with the raw potential to turn into one of the NFL’s better edge defenders. Basham isn’t quite as athletic, but he’s technically sound with the strength to push around just about any offensive tackle.
In: Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, Tyrell Adams, Tyrel Dodson, A.J. Klein, Tyler Matakevich
Perhaps the biggest move Buffalo made in free agency was retaining the services of Matt Milano. The longtime Bill is one of the best coverage linebackers in the league, and combining him with Tremaine Edmunds gives the Bills one of the NFL’s most imposing linebacker duos. Adams, Dodson, and Klein are all capable backups, while Matakevich will be one of Buffalo’s core special teamers.
In: Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace, Siran Neal, Taron Jackson, Dane Jackson Rachad Wildgoose
As the leader of the Rachad Wildgoose fan club, I couldn’t keep him off the roster. While I am somewhat alone in this opinion, I feel he was one of the biggest steals of the 2021 NFL Draft and should find a home in the NFL. However, he probably will face an uphill battle to a starting job, at least in the short term.
While there is some scheme versatility to his game, Rachad Wildgoose is best suited for zone coverage w/ strengths in the hook/curls & flats
— Anthony Cover 1 (@Pro__Ant) May 21, 2021
In: Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Jaquan Johnson, Damar Hamlin
Not too many surprises here, as the safety position is basically locked in, barring injury. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer will remain the starters, with Johnson and Hamlin handling backup duties.
In: Tyler Bass, Reid Ferguson, Matt Haack
This section of the roster projection is literally impossible to mess up, as the Bills aren’t even entertaining competition at these positions.
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