The Buffalo Bills rotated several defensive tackles in 2019 as they tried to replace an injured Harrison Phillips. Kyle Peko, Vincent Taylor, and Corey Liuget all took snaps at DT in addition to Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver, and Jordan Phillips.
But those defensive snaps are really at two different positions. The 1-technique defensive tackle lines up over the shoulder of the center and is supposed to eat blocks and double-teams. The 3-technique is supposed to penetrate into the backfield and be disruptive and more agile.
Star Lotulelei and Harrison Phillips are both 1-techs. Phillips took 74 snaps in 2019 before being hurt and was never on the field with Lotulelei. In short, those guys are the 1-techs and the guys signed to replace Phillips when he was injured—Peko, Taylor, and Liueget—are all 1-techs, too.
So as we look to replace pending free agent Jordan Phillips on the roster, we’re looking for a 3-tech. The only one on Buffalo’s roster under contract for 2020 is Ed Oliver, who seems poised to slide into the unquestioned starting role in his second year.
Jordan Phillips did have some ability to shift over and play 1-tech, but with Lotulelei under contract and Harrison Phillips returning, that won’t be necessary.
In short, if the Bills allow Jordan Phillips to walk, they are going to need to add a new rotational piece at 3-tech defensive tackle.
- All-22 Analysis: Jordan Phillips had a very good 2019
- Contract projection for Jordan Phillips seems pretty big
- Bills don’t have an in-house replacement for Jordan Phillips
- Free agency options to replace Jordan Phillips at 3-tech
- The Bills could draft their next 3-tech rotational tackle
- Opinion: Why I wouldn’t re-sign Jordan Phillips