Six Buffalo Bills players are due to become restricted free agents on Wednesday, which is the deadline for the team to present them with qualifying offers.
The Buffalo News asked a pro-personnel scout from a different NFL team to rank the players and provide an assessment of each under the condition of anonymity.
The league has multiple levels of tenders, with each calling for a one-year salary and varying levels of what the original team is entitled to if it were to choose not to match an offer the player receives from another club. The minimum, which is likely to apply to most of the Bills’ RFAs, is $1.671 million, with a first right of refusal but no compensation. Depending on the level of the tender, compensation can go as high as a first-round draft pick.
The ranking of the players, all of whom are entering their fourth NFL season, follows:
1. Corbin Bryant, DT.
NFL scout’s assessment: “Good athlete with good power to anchor on the inside … Has some lateral ability to move and play down the line of scrimmage … Made a big jump this year … Always thought he was ‘just kind of a guy,’ and something clicked this past season … Maybe it was because Kyle Williams went down (with a knee injury) and he got to play more, but the guy definitely made a jump … They move their linemen around a ton, but he’s a guy who could probably play some on the nose and three technique … Can get up the field and be disruptive, but there are times when he doesn’t finish the play. Needs to take that next step … If they’re going to a traditional 3-4 (as General Manager Doug Whaley said during an interview on WGR 550 last Thursday), he could probably play a little bit inside, but he’s probably going to have to play more of a defensive end, five-technique spot because of his size (6-4, 300 pounds). In a true 3-4, you need a stouter guy on the nose because he has to take on double-teams all the time … Probably going to have to tender him at a higher level because of the need up front with Mario Williams gone and Kyle coming back from that injury.”
2. Chris Hogan, WR.
NFL scout’s assessment: “Good size (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) … Inside-outside flexibility … Great hands, dependable … You’d probably like a more explosive guy in your top three receivers, but he definitely can be productive … Wouldn’t call him slow, but not as explosive as the other guys they have … Serviceable third, good fourth receiver … Can work underneath, across the field, short to intermediate routes … Can run routes similar to those run by (New England’s) Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, but isn’t as good at separating as those guys are … Gives you special-teams value … Nobody’s going to give up a draft pick for him and nobody’s going to give him big money.”
3. Jordan Mills, OT.
NFL scout’s assessment: “Like his size (6-5, 316 pounds) … Tackles are hard to find in this league, and he’s started a bunch of games (34) … Not the best athlete, but because of his size and experience, he should come into camp and compete … Ability to re-direct isn’t great, so if he has to move around to get himself out of trouble – like if you’re in pass pro and the guy’s trying to go up and under and you’ve got to come back inside or, in the run game, if you’ve got to climb up to the second level and the linebacker’s trying to slip your block – he’s going to struggle … Inconsistent with pad level … Although he’s a big guy, his strength is average … With the tackles they already have, I wouldn’t expect him to be a starter, but he can give you a backup who has played in this league and knows what it’s all about ... Can play right or left tackle for you, which is pretty valuable … Having played for Aaron (Kromer, the Bills’ offensive line coach) in Chicago is a huge comfort level for that kid … Should tender him just for the security he provides as a third tackle.”
4. Bacarri Rambo, S.
NFL scout’s assessment: “Had his most productive season so far in the NFL … Good size (6-0, 211 pounds) … Solid job tackling in space … Flies around, but shows good instincts … Can cover for you a little bit in man-to-man … Physicality can be inconsistent. He wants to portray himself as a tough guy, but he’s not always the first guy there, down in the box in the run game. He’ll jump on the pile late or he’ll kind of stand around and let somebody else finish the play … If Aaron Williams does come back (from a neck injury), Rambo’s a good third-type safety for you who can play special teams, play in some sub packages … Definitely a guy that adds value.”
5. Stefan Charles, DT.
NFL scout’s assessment: “This would be more of your true nose tackle if you’re going to go with a more traditional 3-4 … Has decent strength to hold up in the run game … He’s 6-4, so he can get out-leveraged sometimes with guys getting underneath him … Biggest weakness is pass-rush ability … Plays hard … Decent backup player.”
6. Ty Powell, LB.
NFL scout’s assessment: “He was hurt (suffering a season-ending knee injury in a training-camp scrimmage against the Cleveland Browns), so obviously doesn’t have a lot of time playing defensively … More of a special-teams guy … Big (6-2, 249 pounds), fast guy … Worth bringing to camp and just seeing what he can do … Tender won’t cost you anything, so you can cut him at any time if you think you have better guys for one of those bottom-of-the-roster spots.”