The Buffalo Bills stockpile talent along the defensive line. It doesn’t always appear that way from a glance at the box score, though, as the Bills haven’t had many linemen with a high number of tackles or sacks during head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier’s tenure.
This is partially due to the system in which these defensive linemen play. Buffalo doesn’t give their linemen much time to freelance. They have to play their assignments soundly in order to ensure the success of the defense as a whole. This means that the Bills tend to select defensive linemen who fit a particular spot or role along the line. This is especially true of their defensive tackles.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss an undrafted rookie who profiles as a “3-tech” in Buffalo’s front.
Name: C.J. Brewer
Height/Weight: 6’2” 290 lbs
Age: 24 (25 on 11/22/2022)
Experience/Draft: R; signed with Buffalo as UDFA
College: Coastal Carolina
Acquired: Signed as UDFA
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Brewer’s rookie deal is a three-year pact worth a total of $2.56 million. For the 2022 season, he would carry a cap hit of $705,000 if he were to make the 53-man roster.
2021 Recap: Brewer was a problem for opponents in 2021, as he racked up 54 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks for the Chanticleers. He was part of a defense that ranked 25th in the nation in points against, allowing 21.6 points per game. Brewer was second in tackles for loss, fifth in total tackles, and third in sacks on the team. He also notched his first career interception vs. Arkansas State. His list of accolades is extensive, but highlights include being named First Team All-Sunbelt Conference, as well as earning Honorable Mention in the Pro Football Network All-American team.
Positional outlook: Brewer joins a fully remade positional group, as only Ed Oliver remains of last year’s top players in the rotation. Tim Settle and DaQuan Jones were brought in as free agents, as was old friend Jordan Phillips—who returns after a two-year stint with the Arizona Cardinals. Fellow undrafted rookie Prince Emili joins Eli Ankou and Brandin Bryant in rounding out the roster.
2022 Offseason: Brewer earned his contract with Buffalo after trying out during rookie minicamp. He has participated in OTAs, and he is healthy and ready for training camp in July.
2022 Season outlook: While it’s unlikely that Brewer makes the 53-man roster, he is certainly an intriguing prospect as a 3-tech in Buffalo’s front. He clearly showed the ability to penetrate gaps in college, notching 32.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks in his five NCAA seasons. He’s a tad undersized, but so is Ed Oliver, so it’s not impossible to make a solid career as a “smaller” defensive tackle. Brewer is a plus athlete, as he ran a 4.97-second 40-yard dash, threw up 24 reps of the 225-lb bench, and had a 9’ broad jump and 28.5” vertical at his pro day. If Brewer can quickly conquer the jump in competition, he could be a fun player to watch throughout the summer.