The Buffalo Bills return all five of their starters along the offensive line this season. In a normal season with a normal training program, that would be a positive. In an offseason full of upheaval thanks to a global pandemic, that level of continuity is even more important.
Profiling the offensive linemen for this series essentially becomes a two-way street: We’re either talking about a guy who we know is going to start, or we’re talking about a guy who probably won’t be on the roster come September. That could be said for quite a few positions, of course, but with an offensive line group that started only six different players last season (and the sixth man, tackle Ty Nsekhe, appeared to have started by design against his old team and not because of injury), that divide is further amplified.
In today’s edition of “91 players in 91 days,” we profile one of the team’s young offensive tackles who appears to be a perfect addition to the team’s practice squad—though a spot on the 53-man roster will be hard to come by for him this year.
Name: Brandon Walton
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 311 lbs.
Age: 22 (23 on 3/18/2021)
Experience/Draft: R; signed as UDFA following 2020 NFL Draft
College: Florida Atlantic
Acquired: Signed as UDFA on 4/26/2020
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Walton’s three-year contract is worth a total of $2.3 million. The contract includes $50,000 of guaranteed money, which is pretty significant change for an undrafted free agent. If he makes the 53-man roster in September, Walton carries a salary-cap charge of $615,000 in 2020.
2019 Recap: Walton started every game as a redshirt senior last season for the Owls, playing left tackle and earning First-Team All-Conference-USA for his efforts. Florida Atlantic won the conference championship, defeating Tulane 49-6, and Walton’s protection was a huge part of the reason why.
Positional outlook: Walton joins a Bills’ tackle group that has a lot of familiar names. Dion Dawkins, Cody Ford, and Ty Nsekhe all return, as does Ryan Bates, who can play all five spots along the line. Garrett McGhin, Daryl Williams, Trey Adams, and Victor Salako are the other tackles on the roster.
2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report.
2020 Season outlook: Walton faces a long road to make the roster this season, but if the Bills can stash him on the practice squad for a year, he offers some intriguing upside in the long term given his combination of size and length (his wingspan is in excess of 81 inches). A college teammate of Devin Singletary, Walton hopes to pave the way for Motor to run free in Orchard Park just like he did in Boca Raton. Barring an injury or a trade of someone like Nsekhe, Williams, or Bates, it probably won’t happen this season.