clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Power Ranking the 2021 Buffalo Bills position groups

Because why not?

Power rankings are fun. They’re fun in the same sort of way that a political discussion during Thanksgiving dinner with the folks is fun. It gives us something to argue about. And by “us” I mean the readers and me the author. I’m gonna give a list and you’re gonna tear it apart in the comments. Ready? GO!


I’ll go “worst” to first with these rankings as I’m a firm believer in “save the best for last.” As a disclaimer, I’m sticking to the positions as listed on the Buffalo Bills’ official site (ex: Rousseau and Basham are officially listed as DEs).

Tights Ends

Say what you will about Lee Smith (I’m his fan club president). He may have been niche, but he was really, really good in his niche. Tyler Kroft’s departure removed what I considered the best all-around tight end on the roster, which essentially leaves us with players who are also fairly niche. Unlike Smith, I don’t see anyone as being really, really good in their niche. This group earns the distinction of “worst” as a result. I like Dawson Knox’s potential as much as anyone, but he’s inconsistent at the moment. Not ideal for arguably the best player in the bunch.

Running Backs

I probably like Devin Singletary and Zack Moss more than many of you, as I think they’re both decent all-around backs. I also feel scheme and play calling held them back a bit last season. That said, as a group there’s nothing that immediately jumps out. The rest of the position groups have at least one player who gets a label better than “decent.”

Defensive Tackles

I’ve been all about Star Lotulelei for years and that’s not a secret. His workout clips that were flying around social media make me believe he’s kept in great shape, but after a year off it does raise some questions. I really like Ed Oliver, but he was hurt a bit production-wise due to being floated all over the line. Harrison Phillips seems like he’s legitimately one of the best human beings on the planet. I’m hoping last year the injury was lingering and he’ll explode this season. This group has talent, but they all come with question marks for the moment.

Defensive Ends

I still love Jerry Hughes and will continue doing so until he finds a cliff. Mario Addison concerns me and I questioned last year if his blemishes were the reason Hughes played opposite his normal side so often. Efe Obada is very intriguing. This group gets a bump as it has both Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr. in it. They’re both raw, but their versatility is a huge plus. Otherwise this would be a draw with the defensive tackles. Talent, but with question marks.

The Specialists

Reid Ferguson is a heck of a long snapper and singlehandedly boosts this grouping to where they are. I really liked Tyler Bass’s rookie season but overall he wound up about average in many respects. I think he can do more, but I want to see it first. Matt Haack seems fine, and I do think he might be a better fit with Buffalo than he was with the Miami Dolphins. But like Bass, I’d like to see it before I call it.

Offensive Line

This group has a lot of talent. The starters are all baseline “good” players. There’s some depth with potentially sky-high ceilings. That said, as a group they have tendencies that strongly favor one facet of their game. I like their pass-blocking ability, but run-blocking less so. There’s also an argument they get a boost by Josh Allen’s ability to extend plays and work effectively in less-than-perfect pockets.

Linebackers

While I too would like to see more out of Tremaine Edmunds, I’m still higher on him than most. Overall, I think he does a really good job based on what I believe he’s being asked to do. In coverage, you can’t get much better than Matt Milano. If the 2021 defensive line plays out as we’re hoping, A.J. Klein should be allowed to focus more on what he excelled at and avoid things problematic for him. As a disclaimer, philosophically speaking I’m of the opinion that most defenses need to do a little bit of “pick your poison” as they can’t defend everything perfectly. When in doubt, be better at pass defense than run defense and this group does that.

Corners

Tre’Davious White is an elite player and does a lot to bring this group to where I have it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Buffalo Bills have fielded incredible defenses that feature Levi Wallace and Taron Johnson. If they’re your floor, that’s a great spot to be in. The corners also have some nice potential waiting in the wings. It’s not a perfect group, but it’s really good.

Safeties

The main thing preventing this group from going higher is the depth, which likely took a hit with the loss of Dean Marlowe. The staring duo of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer is fantastic.

Wide Receivers

The receivers, like the safeties, have fantastic talent at the top. Stefon Diggs is everything the Bills were hoping for and more. Maybe we all need a reminder that Cole Beasley is one of the best slot receivers in the game. Gabriel Davis had a nice start to his career and should pick up right where he left off. Emmanuel Sanders being this far down the list of guys I’ve mentioned is pretty nuts if you think about it. This group nudges by the safeties because there very well could be cuts the team will regret later.

Quarterbacks

And here it is, the best position group on the team and man does it feel good to type that out. Josh Allen was deservedly in the MVP conversation last year. Mitch Trubisky is starter-level at the backup spot. It’d be nearly impossible to ask for more.

Alright everyone, now’s the time to rip me apart in the comments. Enjoy!