The Buffalo Bills seem to have a fairly clear idea as to who will start along the offensive line this year. That doesn’t mean that anything is set in stone, but it does mean that the players who fall outside of that perceived “top group” will have to show their mettle in a reserve role before they have the chance to shine with the starters.
For the Bills, versatility in the backups along the offensive line is a must. The team emphasizes the ability to play multiple spots along the offensive line, cross-training most of the team’s reserves so that they are ready to go in a pinch. While most of those players are listed as “slash” players on the team’s official roster, some of them are not.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we focus on one of those reserve linemen who is beginning to learn a secondary position this summer.
Name: Tommy Doyle
Height/Weight: 6’8” 320 lbs
Age: 24 (25 on 5/6/2023)
Experience/Draft: 2; selected in the fifth round (No. 161 overall) by Buffalo in the 2021 NFL Draft
College: Miami (OH)
Acquired: Fifth-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Doyle enters the second year of his four-year rookie contract, a pact that pays him $3,795,724 over the life of the deal. For the 2022 season, he’ll carry a cap hit of $903,931 if he makes the 53-man roster. If he’s released, Buffalo will be on the hook for a dead-cap charge of $236,793 this year.
2021 Recap: Doyle was a reserve tackle on the team last year, but he rarely took the field except for in blowout situations or as a sixth offensive lineman. He played just 65 snaps on offense and 44 snaps on special teams. He did not commit a penalty on the season. In the playoffs, he scored a fantastic “F-You” touchdown at the end of Buffalo’s blowout victory over the New England Patriots, capping the scoring in Buffalo’s 47-17 win.
Positional outlook: Doyle is one of ten tackles on the roster. Spencer Brown and Dion Dawkins are the presumed starters, with Doyle engaged in a battle with Bobby Hart, Luke Tenuta, Alec Anderson, Tanner Owen, Derek Kerstetter, Cody Ford, and David Quessenberry for spots on the roster.
2022 Offseason: Doyle has participated in all offseason activities to date.
2022 Season outlook: Not only has Doyle participated in those activities, but he’s tried a new position—guard—this summer. Given his status as the returning swing tackle, his cheap rookie contract, and this work at a new position, it all points to Doyle earning a spot on the roster for the second consecutive season. Doyle isn’t someone the team wants to rely upon for major snaps, which is why they’ve hedged their bets with a solid veteran like Quessenberry, but he definitely seems like a player they could trust more than a previous draft choice, Cody Ford, if an injury on the line were to occur. Doyle is likely to be one of the eight linemen active on game days come September.