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Bills Reacts Survey, Week 15: Who should Buffalo start at CB2?

Widely observed as a strength heading into the season, the cornerback position has struggled as a group

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Buffalo Bills fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.

It’s Week 15 of the 2022 NFL season, and we want to know how you’re feeling, Bills Mafia! Every week of the season, we’ll ask fans if they’re confident the team is headed in the right direction — and more of the most pressing questions facing the coming game. Let us know what you think!

The Bills find themselves in an unenviable situation at cornerback. This, despite investing heavily at the position in last April’s 2022 NFL Draft. It’s a position group that’s seen more than enough injury in 2022 to last a couple seasons, yet here we are with a month left to play in the regular season, and the CB2 role still largely undefined — perhaps due in part to those injuries.

Whether due to those injuries or uninspired play, Buffalo’s defense continues to find great difficulty in fielding the right lock-down player opposite Tre’Davious White — himself finally healthy and back full time after last year’s ACL injury. There were flashes of brilliance early in the season, but that light has dimmed significantly in recent weeks.

Third-year cornerback Dane Jackson continues to have the trust of head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier, despite some very challenging performances. Veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes, initially signed to the practice squad but elevated in recent weeks due to injury at the position, has only made brief appearances with the starting defense. Considering his experience, he may bring something to the table that these next two players do not at this point.

Those two players are, of course, rookie cornerbacks Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford. Elam carries the weight of being a first-round draft pick, while Benford represents the possibility of an unexpected diamond in the rough. The problem with Benford isn’t due to his pedigree as a sixth-round pick out of Villanova, but availability. He’s been injured often and seldom available — through no real fault of his own. Facing his own rash of injuries, Elam has been far luckier in terms of game-day availability. His issue is, to this point, a mirage. He’s alternately found himself active and splitting snaps, inactive, or active and riding the bench this season. It’s a situation that bears watching, because it isn’t clear exactly what Elam could have done on the field that warrants such measures.

The Bills need to get this position sorted out soon. It should have been sorted weeks ago, and recent comments suggest the coaches believe the same. Someone must rise above the others if the defense hopes to put its best foot forward in the final month of the regular season. Who among these four do you think most deserves to suit up and start opposite White? Do any of them inspire confidence in you more than the others as the team prepares to make a run at the playoffs?

So, tell us by voting below:

  • How confident are you in the direction of the Bills?
  • Who should the Bills start at CB2 for their playoff push?