The Buffalo Bills entered the 2019 offseason with many holes on their roster. They addressed a very large number of them in the first few days of free agency and continued building depth. Here is where the roster stands following the 2019 NFL Draft. We aren’t including undrafted free agents until the team announces them officially.
The offensive line is completely up in the air. Is Dion Dawkins the left tackle or are they moving him to guard? Are they thinking long-term or short-term? The only thing set on the line is Mitch Morse at center, so we’re giving our best guess that the drafting of Cody Ford means a bit of a shake-up on the offensive line, which we note below.
Note: Players are listed in alphabetical order in the body of the article but an unofficial depth chart appears at the end of the article. Free-agent additions are marked with an * and draft picks are marked with a +
This position would seem to be set with the “franchise quarterback,” veteran backup, and veteran mentor roles all neatly slotted. They have reportedly added two quarterbacks in the early UDFA period, so the competition looks to be for a backup spot.
Will LeSean McCoy be the lead back in 2019? Buffalo needed to get younger here, so they drafted Singletary in the third round and signed Yeldon. Buffalo released Chris Ivory after signing Gore, but will the Bills keep a four-headed monster at RB plus special teams options? Something’s got to give.
Victor Bolden, Jr.
Ray-Ray McCloud III
Buffalo churned this portion of their roster most in 2019 free agency. John Brown and Cole Beasley should be in line for a ton of playing time in 2019, knocking Robert Foster to a complementary role. Former draft picks will need to work hard just to keep a roster spot.
Kroft is the de facto starter and has the most playing time at the NFL level. Croom hasn’t proven anything at the NFL level. Fisher was a tackle on the Cincinnati Bengals until this offseason, when he switched to tight end full-time. Knox is a developmental prospect, but should see playing time as a rookie while Sweeney seems like a practice squad candidate.
Morse is the only player on the o-line set in stone, as his lucrative contract offer has him Sharpied in as the team’s center for the foreseeable future. The two guard spots are wide open at this point.
We originally slid Dawkins over to guard, but Brandon Beane said Monday that he’s going to open the offseason as the left tackle. They said Ford was going to begin his NFL career at tackle but can slide inside to guard. He’s going to man the right tackle position while Nsekhe is the likely swing tackle.
Darryl Johnson, Jr.+
Buffalo has a lot of uncertainty around this group, as Hughes, Lawson, Yarbrough, and Harold aren’t under contract past 2019. Johnson was a seventh-round draft choice that projects from a 3-4 OLB to a 4-3 DE prospect.
Jordan Phillips just signed a medium-sized contract extension to be a major part of the rotation following the retirement of Kyle Williams. Oliver was drafted ninth overall to be the main replacement for Williams on the line and should be penned in with starter reps.
Lorenzo Alexander will probably play some defensive line as a pass-rushing specialist in addition to his role at linebacker. Maurice Alexander has starting experience at safety and could be a passing down presence. With two young studs, this position might be the most set on the roster. Joseph is a developmental prospect who will need to stand out on special teams to make the roster.
Buffalo needed another cornerback capable of playing significant snaps and seemingly found two in Kevin Johnson and E.J. Gaines. Taron Johnson’s injury meant a safety was playing nickel cornerback a year ago and Wallace was the team’s fourth choice at outside cornerback behind Vontae Davis, Phillip Gaines, and Ryan Lewis.
Bush was the team’s third safety in 2018 and played Big Nickel cornerback, as well. Joseph is a player who was expected to go higher in the draft. He can sit and learn behind the two top safeties and play some special teams for now.
Corey Bojorquez (punter)
Cory Carter (punter)
Reid Ferguson (long snapper)
Stephen Hauschka (kicker)
Andre Roberts (kick returner)*
The Bills are going to have a Cory/Corey battle at punter, it would seem. Both ended the year on injured reserve after different injuries. Hauschka was also hurt and struggled down the stretch, but we’d be surprised if they moved on from him. Ferguson just signed an extension.
Unofficial depth chart
2019 Buffalo Bills’ Unofficial Offseason Workout Depth Chart
|QB||Josh Allen||Matt Barkley||Tyree Jackson#|
|RB||LeSean McCoy||Devin Singletary+||Marcus Murphy||Senorise Perry*|
|RB||Frank Gore*||T.J. Yeldon*||Christian Wade*|
|WR1||Zay Jones||Victor Bolden, Jr.||Duke Williams*||David Sills#/Nick Easley|
|WR2||John Brown*||Robert Foster||Cam Phillips||Da'Mari Scott|
|WR3||Cole Beasley*||Isaiah McKenzie||Andre Roberts*||Ray-Ray McCloud|
|TE 1||Tyler Kroft*||Dawson Knox+||Jason Croom|
|TE 2||Lee Smith*||Tommy Sweeney+||Moral Stephens#|
|LT||Dion Dawkins||LaAdrian Waddle*||Conor McDermott||Blake Hance#|
|LG||Quinton Spain*||Wyatt Teller||Vlad Ducasse|
|C||Mitch Morse*||Russell Bodine|
|RG||Spencer Long*||Jon Feliciano*||Ike Boettger||Garret McGhin|
|RT||Ty Nsekhe*||Cody Ford+||Jeremiah Sirles|
|LE||Jerry Hughes||Mike Love||Eddie Yarbrough||Darryl Johnson, Jr.+|
|NT||Star Lotulelei||Harrison Phillips||Kyle Peko|
|DT||Ed Oliver+||Jordan Phillips||Robert Thomas||Quindarius Thagard#|
|RE||Trent Murphy||Shaq Lawson||Eli Harold|
|SLB||Lorenzo Alexander||Deon Lacey||Corey Thompson||Tyrel Dodson#|
|MLB||Tremaine Edmunds||Julian Stanford|
|WLB||Matt Mliano||Maurice Alexander*||Vosean Joseph+||Juwan Foggie#|
|CB||Tre'Davious White||Kevin Johnson*||Lafayette Pitts||Cam Lewis#|
|FS||Jordan Poyer||Dean Marlowe||Jaquan Joseph+||Abraham Wallace#|
|SS||Micah Hyde||Rafael Bush||Siran Neal|
|CB||Levi Wallace||E.J. Gaines*||Ryan Lewis||Denzel Rice|
|K||Stephen Hauschka||Chase McLaughlin#|
|P||Corey Bojorquez||Cory Carter|
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article had Dion Dawkins moved to guard. With Brandon Beane’s comments on Monday, we moved him back to tackle.