ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Drayton Florence #29 of the Buffalo Bills encourages the fans during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brody Wheeler/Getty Images)
I'm not exactly sure why - perhaps it's reaching the home stretch of the lame part of the off-season before Buffalo Bills training camp begins - but I've been thinking a lot about the eventual shape of the team's 53-man roster, sparked predominantly by last night's discussion about "locks" for the squad.
Curious to see what last year's opening day roster looked like, I went back into our archives and dug it up (then tweaked it for a couple of roster moves the team made between cut-down-day and the September 11 opener). Maybe it's just me, but I was a bit surprised to find that only five players that were on the team in Kansas City are no longer with the organization.
Naturally, that number is going to grow once final cuts are made this coming December - not just because of an influx of new players, but also potentially because of the transition from a 3-4 base defense back to a 4-3. Others face stiff competition from players that spent time with the Bills last season (one example being running back Johnny White).
Take a look at last year's opening-day roster in depth chart form. In terms of personnel there's a lot of carryover, but particularly on the defensive side of the ball, there are massive changes that we'll need to account for in future depth charts.
|WR||19 - DONALD JONES||86 - David Nelson|
|LT||77 - DEMETRIUS BELL||75 - Chris Hairston|
|LG||67 - ANDY LEVITRE|
|C||70 - ERIC WOOD||74 - Colin Brown|
|RG||60 - KRAIG URBIK||76 - Chad Rinehart|
|RT||79 - ERIK PEARS||71 - Sam Young|
|TE||84 - SCOTT CHANDLER||80 - David Martin||85 - Lee Smith|
|WR||13 - STEVIE JOHNSON||11 - Roscoe Parrish||81 - Marcus Easley|
|QB||14 - RYAN FITZPATRICK||4 - Tyler Thigpen||16 - Brad Smith|
|RB||22 - FRED JACKSON||28 - C.J. Spiller||20 - Johnny White|
|FB||38 - COREY McINTYRE|
|DE||99 - MARCELL DAREUS||72 - Kellen Heard|
|NT||95 - KYLE WILLIAMS||96 - Torell Troup|
|DE||98 - DWAN EDWARDS||92 - Alex Carrington|
|SLB||90 - CHRIS KELSAY||91 - Spencer Johnson|
|MLB||54 - ANDRA DAVIS||58 - Kirk Morrison||55 - Kelvin Sheppard|
|WLB||50 - NICK BARNETT||52 - Arthur Moats||51 - Chris White|
|JLB||56 - SHAWNE MERRIMAN||57 - Danny Batten||48 - Robert Eddins|
|LCB||24 - TERRENCE McGEE||21 - Leodis McKelvin||26 - Justin Rogers|
|SS||37 - GEORGE WILSON||43 - Bryan Scott||25 - Da'Norris Searcy|
|FS||31 - JAIRUS BYRD|
|RCB||29 - DRAYTON FLORENCE||23 - Aaron Williams|
|K||9 - RIAN LINDELL|
|P||8 - BRIAN MOORMAN|
|LS||65 - GARRISON SANBORN|