The Buffalo Bills entered the offseason with holes on their roster and created some more with roster cuts. So where are the holes still on their roster now as they enter final preparations for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Let’s go position by position to see where the Bills’ draft picks have a shot at making the roster. At the back end of the article is our best guess at what the depth chart looks like right now.
Note: Players listed alphabetically. Free-agent signings marked by asterisk*.
The Bills have a solid group at quarterback but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see them add a late-round QB to develop as the long-term backup to Josh Allen. Barkley and Keenum are on one-year deals. I don’t know if that third QB is going to be able to make the actual 53, but it’s certainly a draftable position group.
FB: Reggie Gilliam
The Bills could look to shore up this position for the long term with a big swing in the first couple rounds. Moss and Johnson won’t stop them from making a move here and while Singletary came on late, he hasn’t proven to be a game changer, plus he’s entering the final year of his deal.
I think wide receiver in Round 1 is definitely in play. The Bills have rolled three-deep at outside wide receiver for several years and are one injury away from Isaiah McKenzie or Jamison Crowder being relied on as a top outside option. With that being said, I expect a huge run on receivers in the first round that could dilute the pool at the position very early this week. I hope the Bills are able to address the position at some point soon.
This is an underrated need for the team. Buffalo may want to run more 2-TE looks under new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, and Howard, Knox, and Sweeney all have one year left on their contracts. For 2022 and especially for beyond 2022, tight end is a position to watch.
A lot of this would depend on what you think of Doyle, who was their top reserve offensive lineman by the end of 2021. If he’s your long-term answer at swing tackle, they may avoid this position group altogether. The late addition of Quessenberry gave them a solid swing tackle, too. If they like Doyle, this position group might be off the board.
Buffalo doesn’t have an obvious hole for 2022, but Saffold is on a one-year deal and the Bills have consistently plugged in new guards each and every year. Drafting a guy to develop for one year and become the starter after Saffold leaves could be in the cards and there have consistently been injuries at this position group, as well. Despite a long list of starting experience in this group, it doesn’t feel 100% settled.
Buffalo made a significant investment in free agency at the position group and they clearly value the defensive line. I don’t think DT is going to be a draft priority but with that emphasis on DL, you can’t rule it out.
Another position group that has seen significant investment over the last few offseasons, I wouldn’t expect this to be a draft priority, but ruling it out would be foolish. They have legit starters in the young Rousseau and vet Miller, but beyond that there are a lot of question marks. Epenesa and Basham are developmental second-round picks who haven’t proven anything. Lawson is a journeyman veteran minimum player and Love has four career games at age 28.
Following the loss of A.J. Klein, this is another sneaky need position for the team when you consider Tremaine Edmunds is in the final year of his rookie deal. I’m higher on Dodson than some, but this is a position group where Buffalo could look to start stacking talent with a Day 3 pick who could play his way onto the roster.
Still what I would consider the biggest hole on the team is CB2. Tre White is coming off an injury and may not be ready for the start of the season. Dane Jackson has proven himself capable, but are we really going to put Siran Neal out as a starting cornerback if Tre can’t play Week 1? The Bills haven’t added a veteran placeholder as we expected, so maybe this is the year they finally use a draft pick on the spot to cost-control the position as White’s cap hits increase. It could also help smooth the transition as Buffalo inevitably parts ways with safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde over the next several years.
Poyer is entering the final year of his deal while Hyde has two left. Both are on the wrong side of 30. Maybe this is the year Buffalo adds a safety to begin the transition. We’ve liked what we have seen from Jaquan Johnson, but he’s also on the final year of his deal. This position group looks great in 2022, but like a lot of other position groups we listed today, could be in line for an infusion of future prospects.
K Tyler Bass
P Matt Haack
LS Reid Ferguson
KR/PR Isaiah McKenzie
KR/PR Marquez Stevenson
Haack is another glaring weakness on the team, and punter would be a solid bet on Day 3. A few years ago, Bass was the pick because general manager Brandon Beane saw a path to the roster for a drafted kicker but didn’t necessarily see a spot at other positions. The same can be said in 2022 for punter. Adding another talented returner could make a lot of sense, too, as Buffalo didn’t seem to trust McKenzie or Stevenson at times in 2021.
You can see our projected depth chart below.
Projected Bills Depth Chart, Post-Draft 2022
|QB||Josh Allen||Case Keenum*||Matt Barkley*|
|RB||Devin Singletary||Zack Moss||Taiwan Jones|
|RB||James Cook+||Duke Johnson*||Raheem Blackshear++|
|WR1||Stefon Diggs||Jake Kumerow||Isaiah Hodgins||Neil Pau'u++|
|WR2||Gabriel Davis||Isaiah McKenzie||Marquez Stevenson||Malik Williams++|
|SWR||Jamison Crowder*||Khalil Shakir+|
|TE||Dawson Knox||O.J. Howard*||Tommy Sweeney||Quintin Morris/Jalen Wydermyer++|
|LT||Dion Dawkins||Tommy Doyle||Luke Tenuta+|
|LG||Rodger Saffold*||Ike Boettger||Jacob Capra||Tanner Own++|
|C||Mitch Morse||Greg Mancz*|
|RG||Ryan Bates (RFA)||Cody Ford||Derek Kersetter++|
|RT||Spencer Brown||David Quessenberry*||Bobby Hart||Alec Anderson++|
|LE||Greg Rousseau||Boogie Basham||Mike Love||Kingsley Jonathan++|
|1T||DaQuan Jones*||Tim Settle*||Eli Ankou|
|3T||Ed Oliver||Jordan Phillips*||Brandin Bryant|
|RE||Von Miller*||Shaq Lawson*||A.J. Epenesa|
|MLB||Tremaine Edmunds||Tyrel Dodson||Tyler Matakevich||Marquel Lee*/Joe Giles-Harris|
|WLB||Matt Milano||Terrel Bernard+||Andre Smith||Baylon Spector+|
|CB||Tre'Davious White||Kaiir Elam+||Olaijah Griffin||Nick McCloud|
|FS||Jordan Poyer||Damar Hamlin|
|SS||Micah Hyde||Jaquan Johnson||Josh Thomas|
|NB||Taron Johnson||Cam Lewis|
|CB||Dane Jackson||Siran Neal||Christian Benford+||Tim Harris/Tavon Fuller++|
|P||Matt Araiza+||Matt Haack|
|KR/PR||Isaiah McKenzie||Marquez Stevenson||Khalil Shakir+|