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Dane Jackson leading Bills' starting cornerback competition

Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford have to build on strong performances

The Buffalo Bills have a decision to make at cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White. In the early goings of the offseason, it appears Dane Jackson is in the driver’s seat to fill the CB2 role. To that end, Jackson didn’t play in last weekend’s preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Bills defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier discussed the competition in his latest press conference, saying the team didn’t play Jackson because they “wanted to be able to take a look at the young corners as much as they could,” and they know what they have in Jackson. Frazier mentioned that Dane Jackson is ahead of the pair of rookies battling with him to start Week 1. Those young corners are, of course, Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford. As a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, many expected Elam would control the CB2 position from the start. One of the team’s biggest surprises this summer has been the play of rookie six-round pick Christian Benford.

To their credit, Leslie Frazier has been very pleased with the play of Elam and Benford, noting both performed well against the Colts when targeted and showed fairly well in zone coverage. Despite strong games, the key for both will be to build on their performances and continue progressing toward a starting opportunity.

Of course, things could change if Tre White is unable to go at the start of the regular season. Frazier stated as much, saying they’re “just crossing our fingers that we get [White] back soon.” With a still-uncertain timetable, Dane Jackson could find himself in the role of CB1, with either Elam or perhaps even Benford filling the CB2 position. With such strong performances early on by Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford, and the experience of third-year pro Dane Jackson, the Bills are building toward a roster with strong depth at cornerback.