After trading Reggie Ragland to the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s clear that Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane likes to accumulate draft picks. To that end, there has been a lot of discussion about the possibility of releasing recently-signed veterans in order to add on another pick at the end of the third round via the compensatory pick formula. If the front office does go that route, there’s a fairly promising defensive end that could find himself with a spot on the Bills’ final roster.
Name: Marquavius Lewis
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 270 lbs.
College: South Carolina
Draft: UDFA (2017)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Lewis is on a standard three-year UDFA deal. He’s set to make $465k this season with $90k raises in each of the next two seasons. There is no dead cap hit if the Bills release him.
2016 Recap: In 12 starts last year for the 6-7 Gamecocks, Lewis recorded 48 tackles (24 solo, five for a loss), 1 1⁄2 sacks, and a fumble recovery. His season high of seven tackles came in South Carolina’s season-opening 13-10 win at Vanderbilt. Lewis notably performed strongly as a run defender, as PFF game him the third-highest run stopping grade among draft-eligible edge defenders.
Positional Outlook: The top two positions are set, and the top two reserves are also pretty well-settled at this point. Lewis’ best hope for cracking the top four is for Brandon Beane to embrace the compensatory pick accumulation strategy by cutting Ryan Davis.
2017 Offseason: Lewis had a monster opening to the preseason, notching three tackles for a loss along with a sack in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He hasn’t really been able to keep up the momentum over the last two games, however, missing the stat sheet against the Philadelphia Eagles before recording two tackles (one for a loss) against the Baltimore Ravens. His playing time has dropped over the course of three games, but he still saw 17 snaps against the Ravens.
2017 Season Outlook: Lewis has been impressive at times, but the emergence of Eddie Yarbrough has left him without a clear spot on the depth chart. If Davis is shown the door, Lewis will be the one filling in for him. He could also take the spot of a semi-surprise cut like Adolphus Washington or Jerel Worthy, but Davis’ job is likely his best path to the 53. In all likelihood, he’ll be a great addition to the practice squad.