The Buffalo Bills added some players to their roster this weekend and with the last major shakeup to the depth chart before the 2021 NFL season, it’s officially time for our first roster projection that is sure to be wrong.
We listed players in alphabetical order in the roster list but there is a projected depth chart at the bottom. Free-agent signings are marked with an asterisk while NFL Draft picks are marked with a plus sign. Undrafted free agents aren’t included until they are officially announced.
Cut: Davis Webb
The Bills have Trubisky at the primary backup to Allen with Fromm as the developmental backup QB. Trubisky is only signed for one year.
Running Back (4)
Cuts: Christian Wade, Antonio Williams
I might as well list Jones as a special teams player because that’s the only way he sees the field. Breida is a game-day inactive unless one of the other three is hurt.
Wide Receiver (6)
Cut: Isaiah Hodgins, Tanner Gentry, Jake Kumerow, Brandon Powell*, Duke Williams
Hodgins is a player I didn’t want to cut, but I went with the rookie Stevenson because I think his return abilities keep him on the roster in the Andre Roberts role. As a projection, I think Hodgins brings more to the table at wide receiver than McKenzie and kept him over the jet sweep motion artist in the first draft of this projection. It shouldn’t be hard to work Hodgins onto the practice squad.
Tight end (4)
Cut: Nate Becker
Sweeney is back and replacing Lee Smith while Hollister takes Tyler Kroft’s snaps.
Offensive tackle (4)
Cut: Bobby Hart*
The Bills’ offensive tackle depth has been completely re-worked, and I’m here for it. Brown becomes the primary swing tackle and Doyle the depth option. Straightforward for now.
Interior OL (5)
Cut: Forrest Lamp*, Jordan Devey, Jamil Douglas*, Jack Anderson+
This was a very difficult crew to put together. The Bills want to upgrade over their offensive line from a year ago, but are they counting on Ford to take a step forward as that upgrade or a seventh-round pick? Probably not. That leaves Lamp or maybe Douglas as your upgrade. They tendered Boettger as an RFA and not veteran minimum, which means they like what he brings to the table, and they re-signed Feliciano this offseason so he’s not going anywhere. Bates is super-versatile and that’s why I kept him over Lamp. If they keep a tenth offensive linemen, I assume it’s on the interior.
Defensive Line (8)
Cut: Bryan Cox Jr., Darryl Johnson, Mike Love, Efe Obada*, Brandin Bryant, Harrison Phillips, Justin Zimmer
With how much nickel the Bills run and how many players have DE/DT or 1T/3T versatility, Buffalo goes with only one true 1-tech defensive tackle in Lotulelei, even though he’s coming off a season when he didn’t play. Phillips is the last man off my roster and I don’t like giving up on third-rounds picks and maybe he can be impressive coming off injury, but they want to improve the defensive line and he’s not one of the first eight guys on that list. He played 360 combined snaps a year ago, and just 31 percent of the defensive snaps with Lotulelei off the roster. With Star coming back, his DT numbers just won’t be there.
Cut: Marquel Lee*, Andre Smith
Matakevich is another positional player in name only, as he’s a special teams selection. I’m excited about the mix of youth and experience in this group. The Bills only kept six linebackers a year ago, so there is no home for Lee or Smith.
Rachad Wildgoose Jr.+
Cut: Cam Lewis
Literally the 53rd player on my roster was Wildgoose. Buffalo has not traditionally kept six CBs but with two developmental offensive tackles, I did not keep a fifth tackle and did not add the seventh-round guard. It really came down to Harrison Phillips at DT and Wildgoose, and the cornerback adds a lot more in terms of special teams ability. If you want to substitute Cam Lewis, by all means go ahead.
Cut: Josh Thomas
Dean Marlowe is out and Jaquan Johnson takes over as the primary backup safety. Hamlin moves into the developmental role over former UDFA Thomas.
K Tyler Bass
LS Reid Ferguson
P Matt Haack*
There isn’t anyone on the roster to currently challenge any of these guys. Haack has a bunch of guaranteed money and isn’t going anywhere.
Here is my projected depth chart as it stands right now (not 53-man):
2021 Buffalo Bills Offseason Depth Chart
|QB||Josh Allen||Mitchell Trubisky*|
|RB1||Zack Moss||Matt Breida*||Taiwan Jones|
|WR1||Stefon Diggs||Jake Kumerow||Marquez Stevenson+|
|WR2||Emmanuel Sanders*||Gabriel Davis|
|SWR||Cole Beasley||Isaiah McKenzie|
|TE||Dawson Knox||Tommy Sweeney|
|LT||Dion Dawkins||Spencer Brown+|
|C||Mitch Morse||Ryan Bates|
|RG||Cody Ford||Ike Boettger|
|RT||Daryl Williams||Tommy Doyle+|
|LE||Mario Addison||Greg Rousseau+||Efe Obada*|
|NT||Star Lotulelei||Vernon Butler||Harrison Phillips|
|DT||Ed Oliver||Justin Zimmer|
|RE||Jerry Hughes||A.J. Epenesa||Carlos Basham+|
|MLB||Tremaine Edmunds||A.J. Klein||Tyler Matakevich|
|WLB||Matt Milano||Tyrel Dodson||Andre Smith|
|FS||Jordan Poyer||Damar Hamlin+|
|SS||Micah Hyde||Jaquan Johnson|
|NB||Taron Johnson||Siran Neal|
|CB||Levi Wallace||Dane Jackson|
|KR/PR||Isaiah McKenzie||Marquez Stevenson+|
Let me know where I messed up in the comments section!