The Buffalo Bills did not have much pass rush to speak of in 2017, totaling only 27 sacks for the year. Numbers like that usually don’t imply great job stability for the edge defenders and pass rushers, but the Bills also seem to have a fairly entrenched top-four among their defensive ends heading in to 2018.
In the latest installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we take a look at one guy looking to make the roster for the second consecutive year.
Name: Eddie Yarbrough
Height/Weight: 6’3,” 259 lbs.
Draft: Entered the league as a UDFA in 2016, signing with the Denver Broncos on 5/2/2016
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Yarbrough re-signed with the Bills, who tendered him as an exclusive-rights free agent. His contract will pay him $555,000 this season.
2017 Recap: Yarbrough was a pleasant surprise for the Bills, as he signed with the team on April 7 to little fanfare. Our expectations for him were quite low, but he persevered and made the roster after turning in a solid preseason. He recorded 34 tackles and 1 sack last season, and he even started against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Positional outlook: Buffalo gave defensive end Trent Murphy big money this offseason to start opposite Jerry Hughes, meaning that Yarbrough and Shaq Lawson will likely be reduced to rotational backup status this season. The Bills also have Terrance Fede, Owa Odighizuwa, Marquavius Lewis, Mat Boesen, and Mike Love listed on the roster at defensive end.
2018 Offseason: Yarbrough was asked about Buffalo first draft pick, quarterback Josh Allen, since the two were teammates at Wyoming. Yarbrough had all positive things to say about his former-turned-current teammate. Little else has been written about Yarbrough’s offseason.
2018 season outlook: If Yarbrough is going to make the Bills’ roster again in 2018, he will have to show improvement from what was a subpar 2017 campaign overall. Although it was better than anticipated, he did not generate much in the way of a pass rush, and Pro Football Focus graded him at a 60.4, or below-average, for the season. With Hughes and Murphy set as the top two, Yarbrough will battle Lawson for reps as a backup player, with Odighizuwa the most likely candidate to sneak on the roster as the fourth defensive end if Yarbrough is cut.