With the start of the 2020 NFL regular season still months away, it seems to me that there’s no better time to discuss some of the more ‘controversial’ topics regarding our favorite NFL team. Today, we’re going to have a debate about those players who deserve more attention, either locally or nationally. Below are four options, but feel free to discuss additional names in the comments.
S Micah Hyde
Upon first joining the Buffalo Bills in 2017, Hyde immediately turned in a career year, with 82 tackles and five interceptions. The veteran has largely gone uncelebrated since, probably because his interception totals haven’t reached an elite level, but statistically he was just as impactful in the 2019 season as he was two years ago. Buffalo’s pass defense has ranked within the top five of the NFL the past two years, largely thanks to Hyde’s efforts in calling out coverages and preventing big plays along the backend of the defense. On top of that, injuries haven’t been an issue, as he’s only missed a single game over three seasons.
OT Dion Dawkins
Many draft analysts projected Dawkins as a guard in the NFL, but since his rookie year when he filled in for Cordy Glenn towards the end of the season, the former Temple Owl has been a solid starter at the left tackle position. Dawkins has allowed 13.5 sacks over the last three seasons and was called for holding six times according to the Washington Post. On top of that, Pro Football Focus ranks him as the Bills’ best lineman after a down year in 2018—with a 73.3 score—especially when it comes to pass protection.
DE Jerry Hughes
Hughes should be the poster child for sacks not being the be-all, end-all stat. That is because despite only having four and a half quarterback takedowns during the regular season, he frequently earns pressures on quarterbacks, forcing them to abandon the pocket or throw incomplete passes. The ten-year player remains the team’s most consistent pass rusher and has improved in his run defense virtually every year. Hughes also fought through injuries in the 2019 season, undergoing groin and wrist surgery soon after the season ended.
WR/ST Andre Roberts
Roberts may have been one of the team’s best offseason signings in 2019. The team’s return game was subpar the previous year, ranking in the bottom-half of the league in both kick- and punt-return averages. Those rankings vastly improved in 2019, thanks to the presence of Roberts, who helped the team rank fifth in kick-return and 14th in punt-return averages. This is on top of being able to contribute on offense as well, either as a traditional split end or as a gadget player.