The Buffalo Bills have a solid, well-rounded group of interior defensive linemen on the roster. The group boasts veterans who eat space, highly drafted players, and high-motor backups capable of disrupting plays in the run game and in the pass game.
While the depth chart at that spot may appear to be the most set of all the positions on Buffalo’s roster, it’s not necessarily a given that things will turn out as many of us expect them. In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile one of the defensive tackles brought in to provide depth throughout training camp and the preseason.
Name: L.T. Walton
Height/Weight: 6’5” 305 lbs.
Age: 27 (28 on 3/31/20)
College: Central Michigan
Acquired: Signed with Bills on 6/5/19
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Walton signed a three-year deal with the Bills worth a total of $1,755,000. In 2019, his cap hit will be $495,000 if he makes the final roster. None of the money in the contract is guaranteed, so the Bills can release him with no penalty.
2018 Recap: Walton appeared in only four games for the Steelers last season, which was a career low (and was particularly disappointing given that he had played in all 16 games just one year prior). He made two tackles on the year in those four games, playing in a total of 52 snaps on defense.
Positional outlook: Walton is looking up at a whole bunch of names on Buffalo’s depth chart. Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver, Harrison Phillips, and Jordan Phillips project as the top four in the team’s rotation, and other than injury or off-field incidents, that probably won’t change. Robert Thomas and Kyle Peko are the other defensive tackles on the roster.
2019 Offseason: Walton participated in mandatory minicamp, though Joe Buscaglia noted that he wasn’t much of a participant during team drills. This could easily be explained as a product of timing—he did sign less than a week prior to mandatory minicamp—but it also could be a product of the team’s commitment to the top end of the depth chart at the position.
2019 Season outlook: Walton is likely on the outside looking in for a roster spot in Buffalo, though a strong showing throughout the preseason could land him a gig on another roster. He was a defensive end in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 scheme, so if he can show that he can transition inside to a defensive-tackle role, his versatility will appeal to teams. It’s unlikely, however, that team is Buffalo.