The Buffalo Bills are heading into the last two games of the season, and there isn’t anything to play for but their pride. At this point in the season, the main focus for the coaching staff is to see what the young guys can do for the future and what holes need to be filled in the off-season. So, this week’s edition of five players to watch will be focused on players of the future.
QB Josh Allen
Allen’s rookie season is just a flier for what is to come from him. The biggest year of progression for a young quarterback is from year one to year two, so this off-season is an important one for Allen and his coaches if he wants to be the quarterback of the future. If all goes as planned for Allen, this will be the first game of many he plays against the New England Patriots. If he goes into Foxboro and hands the Pats their third straight loss while they’re in the middle of a playoff race, the stories will write themselves.
WR Zay Jones
Jones earned a lot of praise in the middle of the season and started to look like a legitimate weapon for the Bills’ offense. Over the last couple of weeks, his case of the yips has temporarily returned from his rookie season. Jones is still a young receiver, but the emergence of Robert Foster could be pushing Jones down on the depth chart at some point heading into next year. Receiver is an area the Bills will address this off-season, and Jones could become an afterthought if enough playmakers are brought in and he doesn’t improve. Jones is a fan favorite and has a lot of people rooting for him to become an important piece to a high-scoring offense.
G Wyatt Teller
For a fifth-round pick, Teller has been a pleasant surprise at the left guard position. Although he has some trouble anchoring himself as a pass protector, his tenacity in the run game is a vital part of his recent success at the position. A revamp of the offensive line is inevitable for the Bills, but who is going to be replaced is still up in the air. Teller may have bought himself another year as a starter since he isn’t seen as a liability and the coaching staff seems to like him and his potential.
DE Shaq Lawson
Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have a big decision this off-season for Lawson’s future with the team. If they choose to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, they’ll be on the hook for a hefty payday in Lawson’s fifth year with the team. Lawson hasn’t played well enough to have his option picked up in my opinion, but re-signing him to a lower-cost deal should be in play for the team after next season.
LB Tremaine Edmunds
Edmunds is going to be a good player in the NFL for the next 10 to 15 years. For a rookie who has had the responsibility of taking over as the quarterback of the defense, he has taken the challenge well. From the start of the season up until this point, he has grown into one of the better young linebackers in the NFL. With Edmunds and Matt Milano, the Bills have one of the best young linebacking corps in the NFL.