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2018 Buffalo Bills scouting report: linebacker Ramon Humber

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The veteran looks to remain with the Bills, albeit in a lesser role than in 2017

While much has been made of the overhauls to the defensive secondary and the defensive line, the Buffalo Bills have not received as much attention regarding their linebacking corps. Both through the draft and by retaining savvy veterans, the Bills have put together an intriguing, if imperfect, mix of older and younger players at the middle level of the defense.

In the latest installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we look at one of the veteran members of the linebacker room, a holdover from a previous regime who made the most of a big opportunity last season.

Name: Ramon Humber

Number: 50

Position: LB

Height/Weight: 5’11” 232 lbs.

Age: 30

Experience: 9

College: North Dakota State

Draft: Entered the league as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2009 NFL Draft

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Humber signed a one-year deal worth $1,005,000 in the offseason. Thanks to the veteran’s minimum exception, he will only count $720,000 towards Buffalo’s 2018 salary cap.

2017 Recap: 2017 was a banner year for Humber. He earned a starting position for the first time in his NFL career, and in the early going, he was excellent. He led the Bills in tackles through 4 weeks, recording 37 stops over that span. He broke his thumb during Buffalo’s 23-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in that fourth week. Although the coaching staff said he would not lose his starting role due to injury, strong play by rookie Matt Milano combined with a downturn in the defensive unit’s effectiveness ultimately did lead to Humber losing that starting gig. Humber finished the season with a career-high 89 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defended, and 1 forced fumble.

Positional outlook: The Bills’ linebackers seem to fall into two distinct categories: probable starters (Lorenzo Alexander, Tremaine Edmunds, and Matt Milano), and strong special teams players (Humber, Julian Stanford, Deon Lacy, Corey Thompson, Tanner Vallejo, and Xavier Woodson-Luster). Humber’s success last season as a run-stuffer gives him a kind of dual citizenship within those ranks, as he could be a solid fill-in starter while still providing excellent special teams play.

2018 Offseason: Humber finished his undergraduate degree this offseason, earning his diploma in University Studies from North Dakota State. In terms of his current occupation, little has been said about the hard-working veteran that we don’t already know.

2018 season outlook: Barring an injury, downturn in performance, or a fantastic showing from some of the younger players, Humber is a near-lock to make the 53-man roster again this season. His combination of special teams prowess and starting experience make him a valuable reserve, and his incredible work ethic and professionalism make him a great locker room presence. Humber has been a nice find for the Bills since he joined the squad in 2016, and he should continue to contribute this season, as well.