Last week, we profiled Buffalo Bills reserve defensive end Eddie Yarbrough. Yarbrough, who burst on the scene during training camp in 2017, has been with the Bills for two seasons and enters the 2019 offseason as an exclusive-rights free agent. If Buffalo tenders him, Yarbrough will be forced to play in Buffalo as an ERFA or he won’t be able to play for another team.
So should Buffalo tender him?
With a fairly strict rotation on the defensive line limiting players to roughly two-thirds of play time, depth players in these positions maintain a significant presence. Lining up almost exclusively at right defensive end, Eddie Yarbrough backs up the one-and-only Jerry Hughes on game days. For most of the year, Yarbrough didn’t have competition for his spot, but late-season experiments brought Mike Love into the mix.
At his very best, Eddie Yarbrough is a physical presence. Don’t expect Yarbrough to dominate in the strength department on the regular, but if you give him an opening he will run through it.
At about 260 lbs, Yarbrough is still smaller than your typical lineman (as are most defensive ends for the record). Power moves always need an element of technique. Yarbrough is good about setting up low when hitting the man across from him to maximize leverage.
While Eddie Yarbrough’s overall body control is good, his hands and finesse skills could use some work. As a second-year player, there’s no reason to expect complete refinement. Yarbrough shows flashes of hand-fighting prowess but still has work to do.
Yarbrough isn’t a complete defensive end, and relies heavily on power-based moves to get the job done. While his hand-fighting techniques have improved, other finesse-based skills like swim and rip moves would be good to introduce on a more regular basis. Yarbrough is a very good player for the Bills with their reliance on rotating along the defensive line. With some murkiness surrounding all of the names ahead of him on the depth chart, Yarbrough is a steady player with room to grow who the Bills would be wise to try to keep.
With two years of experience, a league-minimum contract would be for $645,000. It’s a one-year deal and gets paid as salary during the 17 weeks of the season. Yarbrough will make some money for his offseason work, but it won’t be much.
Nick Bosa (Ohio State)
Read all about these starting-level replacements in the original article.
The anti-Clelin Ferrell, Polite can bend the edge and is exceedingly flexible, but he doesn’t possess elite length or height. A bit on the light side, Burns needs to add more weight in the NFL. Assuming that he does, his upside may be similar to Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter. These next few players were all Senior Bowl attendees, but all three didn’t really light the world on fire down in Mobile. Sweat is a battle-tested, country-strong bull rusher that can beat you multiple ways. Quick off the snap and in possession of a relentless motor, you have to love Ximines’s effort on every play. This might be a low ranking for a player that set the NCAA sack record, but Ferguson just isn’t an exciting athlete.
Omenihu is raw, but as an experienced senior at 6’6” and 275 pounds, he’ll get looks as a developmental option. Jackson also brings ideal size and strength as a run defender to the table, but it’s fair to question if he can actually be an effective threat as a pass rusher. Boston College’s Zach Allen is similar, in that he’s a tweener between a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive end, and will likely find himself moved inside in obvious pass rushing situations. Banogu is an undersized pass rusher with burst, so perhaps a move to outside linebacker or SAM linebacker may be what’s best for his long term prospects.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in: What should the Buffalo Bills do with Eddie Yarbrough this offseason?
What should the Buffalo Bills do with DE Eddie Yarbrough this offseason?
This poll is closed
Make an ERFA tender of $645,000
Sign him to a multi-year deal
Do not offer him a contract