The Buffalo Bills brought in a lot of new faces in 2019. Between free agency and the draft the team added 25 new players—most of whom contributed on the field. With heavy turnover and Buffalo seeming to hit on their first four 2019 draft picks, the question remains: Who deserves more snaps in 2020?
Devin Singletary seems like the most obvious choice for a heavier work load in 2020. It seemed like every week fans and media were clamoring for him to get more touches. Despite only playing 49.58% of the offensive snaps, Singletary racked up 969 total yards and four scores. It will be interesting to see if/who Buffalo finds a counterpart for the rookie running back should they not sign Frank Gore in 2020. Regardless of who's on the roster, I think it’s fair to say Singletary will be the team’s RB1 heading into 2020.
The ninth overall pick faced some unwarranted scrutiny early in the 2019 campaign. Fans were disappointed that Oliver’s sack numbers weren't what some had expected. However, Oliver came on hot in the second half of the year and finished with five sacks, 43 tackles, a forced fumble and two batted passes while only playing 53.67% of the team’s defensive snaps. Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was clear in preseason that Oliver had a long way to go but the talent was very clearly there. Fast forward to the end of 2019 and Oliver is almost guaranteed more snaps in 2020, being a first-round pick and what many hope is the future face of the Bills’ defense.
Before the 2019 season many considered Lawson to be a bust. He had faced injuries most of his career and hadn't really blown anyone away when he did play. However, Shaq was one of the Bills’ many bright spots on defense, and showed that he can be a productive role player and a solid all-around defensive end. Lawson played a little over 46% of the snaps in 2019 and it will be interesting to see what happens when it comes time to re-sign him. Should Buffalo pay him I think the payday also comes with more responsibility, and if 2019 is an indicator of where he's headed, it seems he's up to the challenge.
Buffalo’s third-round pick made some splash plays in 2019 and quickly established himself as the team’s best option at tight end. He took over 60% of the snaps in 2019 but struggled at times to consistently catch the ball and execute blocking assignments. If Knox can correct the case of the drops he had and take a step forward in 2020, the Bills may have found their tight end of the future.
The Bills’ fifth-round pick is a bit of a dark horse here. Joseph didn't take any snaps in 2019 but he may very well be the Buffalo’s replacement for Lorenzo Alexander. Joseph’s versatility at the University of Florida is what attracted Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott. His ability to attack the line of scrimmage and also be a viable cover linebacker will fit right into Leslie Fraziers defense. The first-year linebacker had questionable size and play processing coming into camp. Hopefully with a redshirt season under his belt, the Bills won't have to look far for Lorenzo Alexander’s replacement.