With Pro Bowlers Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy and star youngster and former fourth overall pick Sammy Watkins, the Buffalo Bills would seem to have a pretty solid set of triplets - the quarterback and top two position players that power an offense. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell does not agree, however, ranking the Bills trio just 21st in the NFL.
While saying Tyrod Taylor should continue as a “productive starting quarterback,” Barnwell’s biggest concern seems to be Watkins’ return from injury. Watkins himself has said he’ll be back during training camp. Then there is McCoy, who doesn’t even get a mention in the analysis making it unclear why the Bills are placed so low.
So, who is ahead of Buffalo?
Let’s start at 14 where the San Diego Chargers and Melvin Gordon outrank the Bills triplets. Gordon had fewer than 700 yards and underwent microfracture surgery. If Watkins is getting dinged for his injury, surely a more serious surgery should count against the Chargers.
One spot down at 15, the Redskins have Kirk Cousins, DeSean Jackson, and Jordan Reed. While Reed had a breakout year in 2015, Tyrod Taylor made the Pro Bowl over Cousins and Jackson averaged 52 yards per game and missed several more games than Watkins who was over 80 yards per game. It’s pretty clear the Bills should be higher than Washington.
At 16, the Giants and Shane Vereen’s 755 yards from scrimmage are apparently enough to place them five slots higher than Buffalo with LeSean McCoy’s 1187 yards from scrimmage. Even if you give an aging Eli Manning the nod over Taylor and Odell Beckham Jr a win against Watkins, it’s not by much. This seems dubious.
The Texans are at 17 with Brock Osweiler. Uh.
The Broncos are at 18 with Mark Sanchez. What?
There’s a very real argument that the Bills are underrated by at least five slots. Instead, they are just two spots ahead of the Jets led by Geno Smith.