The Buffalo Bills should have been preparing to kickoff the 2020 preseason with a game against the Baltimore Ravens last night. Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that game and the entire preseason are canceled. We’ll have to wait until September 13 for the Bills to play again when they host the New York Jets for the regular season opener.
While the preseason often showcases players who have little chance at making an NFL roster, exhibition football always brings with it some excitement. It’s the first chance to see the team in action again and the first time to evaluate some of the new players on the roster, even if that evaluation is unbelievably limited.
We didn’t have the chance to watch any Bills players last night, but there are quite a few who we would have loved to see in the red, white, and blue. Here are five names we’d have focused on had the game gone on as scheduled.
RB Zack Moss
Buffalo’s newest backfield complement to Devin Singletary would have made his professional debut on Friday, and it would have been a great time to watch the quick, violent runner against other pros. Moss may be the “complementary” back, but he has starter potential, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up with a few games this year where he has more touches than Singletary. Buffalo has a great problem on offense this year, as they almost have too many mouths to feed for the first time in nearly 30 years. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will have the chance to scheme the ball into the hands of a lot of talented playmakers, and Moss is one who stands to have a tremendous impact on this season.
WR Stefon Diggs
Sure, he probably would have played a series or two at most, but it’s like Christmas morning with the kids: Any time you have a new toy, you want to play with it immediately. Diggs adds an element to Buffalo’s offense that has been missing for years, as they finally have a star receiver who can beat top corners by himself. That’s no knock against John Brown, who showed that he was able to beat players like Stephon Gilmore at times last season, but Diggs is a next-level wideout who gives quarterback Josh Allen a player who’s always open, even when he’s covered.
“Insert Fringe Wideout Here”
This is a cheap way to talk about a whole host of players, but the receiver group is as deep as any in the league, and I could legitimately make the case for nine of the ten wideouts on the roster to make the final team (my apologies to Nick Easley). Has Robert Foster finally figured out his consistency issues? What about Duke Williams? Can Isaiah McKenzie produce value as a return man, or will he continue to contribute to cardiac incidents all over Western New York? Are Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins truly so far advanced in their knowledge of the playbook that they could help the veterans to align themselves before the snap? It’s too bad that we won’t be able to watch this group against other teams this summer.
DE A.J. Epenesa
Buffalo’s top draft choice has size, strength, versatility, and a sweet beard. All of these things clearly point to him becoming a star at the professional level, but it’s his versatility that really intrigues. Would he have stayed at defensive end only in his debut? How would have the rest of the defensive line rotate? Players like Trent Murphy and Darryl Johnson are definitely impacted by Epenesa’s presence, so if the rookie comes out and dominates, it could make the coaches’ decisions change. Alas, we won’t have the chance to find out except in practice reports.
P Kaare Vedvik
A punter? I wanted to watch a punter? Walter White knows how I feel. Corey Bojorquez was subpar in 2019, and some competition is good. Bojorquez isn’t the only specialist involved in a battle (Tyler Bass is going to give Stephen Hauschka a run for his money), and while it may “just be a punter,” that position needs to be upgraded. If Vedvik is the guy, it would make Buffalo’s roster moves easier come September, as the team could focus on scouring the wire for other positions instead. If Vedvik isn’t the guy, then the Bills need to move on and find the guy who is, because Bojorquez has proven through his inconsistency that he should not remain. Bass is another player we really would have liked to see.
That’s who we wanted to watch last night—what positional groups would have been your focal points?