If Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane has been consistent in just one area during his tenure in Orchard Park, it’s this: the Bills’ top personnel man collects offensive linemen like I used to collect baseball cards in the ‘90s. Beane loves to assemble a cadre of versatile, talented linemen before augmenting other positions (or draft capital) by trading away the surplus value he’s acquired in the trenches.
With an overall lack of offensive line talent and depth around the league, Buffalo’s embarrassment of riches along the offensive line puts the team in a good spot with regard to leveraging that talent to acquire draft picks. The Bills have traded offensive linemen for draft picks in each of the last two offseasons, and with 16 offensive linemen on the current roster, it shouldn’t be a surprise when Buffalo does it again in August.
In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile a rookie offensive lineman whose fall from grace has been drastic.
Name: Trey Adams
Height/Weight: 6’8”, 311 lbs.
Age: 23 (24 on 3/4/2021)
Experience/Draft: R; undrafted during 2020 NFL Draft
Acquired: Signed as UDFA with Buffalo on 5/7/2020
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Adams signed a three-year contract worth a total of $2.3 million. $15,000 of that is guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus. If Adams makes the roster in 2020, he carries a salary cap hit of $615,000.
2019 Recap: Adams did something that he was unable to do in 2017 or 2018 during his final year of college, and that’s play an entire season for Washington. After emerging as one of the top tackle prospects in college football following his sophomore year in 2016, he tore his ACL in 2017 and suffered a back injury in 2018, limiting him to a total of 11 games over the course of those two seasons. He was able to play in his fifth year of eligibility thanks to a medical redshirt, and Adams performed well enough to earn First-Team All-PAC-12 honors and Fourth-Team All-America honors in 2019. He was a preseason watch list candidate for the Outland Trophy, and he was awarded the Don James Perseverance Award at Washington’s postseason banquet. After testing horribly at the NFL Scouting Combine (he ran a dreadful 5.6-second forty-yard dash, worst at the combine, and also came in dead last with a 7’8” broad jump and a 24.5” vertical) and providing a flippant answer to a question during a team interview, Adams was not drafted.
Positional outlook: Adams is one of nine tackles currently on Buffalo’s roster. The team returns its starting left tackle, Dion Dawkins, as well as both halves of their right-tackle platoon from last year in Cody Ford and Ty Nsekhe. Ryan Bates returns, and the team also added Victor Salako, Brandon Walton, Garrett McGhin, and Daryl Williams to the fold.
2020 Offseason: Skarekrow discussed Adams at length a few weeks ago.
2020 Season outlook: If Adams is healthy and can regain some of the form that made him one of the most sought-after prospects in college football just four years ago, then the Bills signed themselves a steal. If Adams is unable to do so, whether thanks to injuries, lack of commitment, or whatever, then they can at least say that they tried. A healthy Adams has already shown that he can be a dominant force along a Division I offensive line. If he can round himself into professional shape, he has a chance to stick as one of the team’s backup tackles. A more likely scenario is that Buffalo tries to slip Adams onto the practice squad, though if he performs well in the preseason, it could be hard to keep him there. In a cruel twist of fate, a limited preseason may hurt Adams’s chances of making the roster, but without the chance to prove himself to other teams, it could help the Bills to hide him on their practice squad for a year. Either way, Adams is a player to watch this summer.