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2019 Buffalo Bills scouting report: cornerback Levi Wallace

The rookie revelation enters his second season looking to improve upon his fantastic first NFL year

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NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills spent most of the 2019 season searching for a corner to play opposite of Tre’Davious White, their fantastic former first-round draft choice. The team cycled through uninterested veterans (Vontae Davis), waiver-wire claims (Ryan Lewis), and free-agent signings (Phillip Gaines) before finally settling on a starter.

Heading into 2019, the CB2 spot is one that not only seems to be more solidified, but also has plenty of competition—in a good way, not like last year’s debacle—for reps and time. The Bills have prioritized depth and talent at multiple positions, even those where they already had players with ability, and the corner position has become much stronger as a result.

In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile the player who started more games than anyone else at CB2 in 2018, a young player looking to stake a solid claim to the job in the long term.

Name: Levi Wallace

Number: 39

Position: CB

Height/Weight: 6’ 179 lbs.

Age: 23 (24 on 6/12/19)

Experience/Draft: 1; undrafted in 2018 NFL Draft

College: Alabama

Acquired: Signed with Bills as UDFA on 5/1/18

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Wallace enters the second year of a two-year deal he signed last May. The total value of the contract is $1,050,000. In 2019, Wallace will carry a cap hit of $570,000.

2018 Recap: Wallace was a pleasant surprise last season, entering the starting lineup during Buffalo’s Week 10 victory at the New York Jets. In that game, Wallace had one tackle and one pass breakup, but he played every defensive snap. In his seven starts, Wallace played at least 83% of the snaps in every one. He finished the year with 37 tackles, one tackle for loss, one quarterback hit, and three passes defended. Pro Football Focus graded Wallace at an 83.5 overall, good for fourth among all NFL corners.

Positional outlook: Wallace finds himself with some stiff competition for playing time, as the Bills signed veterans E.J. Gaines and Kevin Johnson this offseason. That trio will battle for the starting nod across from White. Taron Johnson figures to reprise his role as the team’s top slot corner, with Cam Lewis and Ryan Lewis battling for a roster spot, as well. Lafayette Pitts is primarily used on special teams.

2019 Offseason: Wallace has been the starting corner opposite White in the early portions of OTAs, but most reports indicate that Kevin Johnson is playing very well thus far.

Little has been made of Wallace’s play other than to note his inclusion in the starting group.

2019 Season outlook: Wallace played well enough as a rookie where his roster spot this season is not in jeopardy, or at least it shouldn’t be. The real question is whether he’ll be a starter or a reserve this year, which is a question that we’ll follow all throughout camp and the preseason. Given the extensive injury histories for both Gaines and Johnson, it’s likely that Wallace will at least start a few games even if he isn’t named the starter initially. Wallace should once again be a strong contributor on a strong Bills defense in 2019.