The Buffalo Bills have a revamped defensive front full of niche players who fit their system. The Bills saw an issue with their 1-tech defensive tackles, so they replaced them both this spring. They also saw a need for depth at the 3-tech spot, so they added plenty of new players there, as well.
While not all of these new additions will have an impact on the 2022 season, all of these players will see reps during training camp and the preseason. At best, those players on the roster fringe can impress enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. At worst, they’ll be released. If that’s the case, then they’ll hope that the plays they put on tape earn them a contract elsewhere or on Buffalo’s practice squad.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss a rookie defensive tackle looking to earn his keep.
Name: Prince Emili
Height/Weight: 6’2” 300 lbs
Experience/Draft: R; signed with Buffalo as UDFA following the 2022 NFL Draft
Acquired: UDFA signing
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Emili signed a three-year contract worth a total of $2.56 million. For the 2022 season, he carries a cap hit of $705,000 should he make the final roster. There are no guarantees in the deal.
2021 Recap: Emili had a strong senior season, notching 49 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and five sacks for the Quakers. He also had one forced fumble, one blocked kick, and two pass knockdowns. For his efforts, he was named First-Team All-Ivy for the second time, and he was also an All-Area and All-District Academic team member.
Positional outlook: Emili has a long road ahead should he wish to make the final roster. Buffalo has Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, Tim Settle, and Jordan Phillips slotting in as a fairly solid top four along the interior defensive line. Eli Ankou and C.J. Brewer round out the positional group.
2022 Offseason: Emili is healthy and he has participated in OTAs to date.
2022 Season outlook: Emili profiles as a 3-tech, and he is a plus athlete any way you slice it. At his pro day, he benched 225 lbs a total of 28 times and showed off a 36.5” vertical. That vertical number would have been tops among all defensive tackles at the combine, and only Otito Ogbonnia had more bench press reps. His time in the three-cone drill (7.58 seconds) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.5 seconds) would have been good for third among defensive tackles in each category.
If he can make a solid impression throughout camp, Emili profiles as an intriguing young player to stash on a practice squad. It is unrealistic to assume that he will make the final roster, given that the four players assumed to sit atop the depth chart all have plenty of professional experience. However, with time and more reps in a professional strength and conditioning program, Emili could be a real diamond in the rough.