The pecking order at defensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills has been thought to be fairly well-established throughout much of the offseason. Ed Oliver, Star Lotulelei, Jordan Phillips, and Harrison Phillips appear to be the top four at the position, with everyone else serving as camp bodies and practice-squad candidates. So it seemed a bit odd when Harrison Phillips was still playing well into the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts in the first preseason tilt of the year. As Jerry Seinfeld might say, “What’s deal with that?”
As often happens in the preseason, an injury derailed Buffalo’s depth chart—or at least it would appear—since they placed a defensive tackle on injured reserve in the immediate aftermath of their 24-16 victory over the Colts. They also signed another defensive tackle—an undersized three-tech who played his college ball in the same conference as Oliver.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile the newest member of Buffalo’s defensive line.
Name: Roderick Young
Height/Weight: 6’1” 307 lbs.
Age: 22 (23 on 6/22/20)
College: North Texas
Acquired: Signed with Buffalo on 8/11
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Young’s deal is for one year at the league minimum ($495,000) for someone with his level of experience. There are no guaranteed dollars on the contract, so if he does not make the roster, Buffalo will have zero penalty charged to their cap for cutting him.
2018 Recap: Young underwhelmed in his senior year at North Texas, finishing with 30 tackles, six tackles for loss, and three sacks. Given that he produced more the year prior (48 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks), it was expected that the undersized three-tech would do more.
Positional outlook: We’ve already listed the top tier at defensive tackle, but Young will battle with Kyle Peko and L.T. Walton for snaps in preseason games and practice that may help him stick on the practice squad or find a home with another squad.
2019 Offseason: Young spent minicamp with the Jaguars, who signed him as an undrafted free agent. He was injured in minicamp and released with an injury settlement. He has participated fully in practice since signing with Buffalo.
2019 Season outlook: Young stands little chance of making the final roster, as he is probably more of a fill-in (and a buffer for players like Harrison Phillips) for the preseason reps than anything else. Still, if he can show well enough, he may earn a spot on the practice squad. It’s more likely that his stop in Buffalo is a short one, however.