Share this article

print logo

Updated Bills 53-man roster projection following Week Two of preseason

Name a position on the Buffalo Bills' roster, and chances are it's not yet solidified.

With two preseason games now in the books after Thursday's 20-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Bills find themselves with plenty of jobs still to be claimed. Wide receiver. Defensive end. Safety. You name it, there is a battle going on.

Of course, that can be taken a couple different ways. On one hand, competition is what coach Sean McDermott wants. On the other, it's disconcerting that nobody has stepped up yet at certain spots.

Here is The Buffalo News' latest look at how the 53-man roster could come together in early September:

Quarterbacks (3): Tyrod Taylor, T.J. Yates, Nathan Peterman
Cuts: None

Analysis: No, there is no quarterback controversy. That idea is ridiculous. As bad as Taylor was against the Eagles, the Bills aren't considering a change – and that's the right move. Peterman made some nice throws for the second straight game, but is completing barely better than 50 percent of his passes in the preseason. He's done enough to earn the promotion to the second team, but it's crazy to think he's challenging Taylor right now.

Running backs/fullbacks (4): LeSean McCoy, Jonathan Williams, Mike Tolbert, Patrick DiMarco
Cuts: Cedric O'Neal, Jordan Johnson, Joe Banyard, Taiwan Jones

Analysis: Jones got some good work in as a gunner on special teams Thursday, but that doesn't look to be enough on its own to unseat one of the players ahead of him. Banyard ran well, but had a costly fumble against the Eagles. O'Neal and Johnson are buried on the depth chart.

Wide receivers (7): Jordan Matthews, Anquan Boldin, Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, Philly Brown, Brandon Tate, Rod Streater
Suspended: Walt Powell
Cuts: Daikiel Shorts, Jeremy Butler, Brandon Reilly, Rashad Ross, Dez Lewis

Analysis: Seven might be a lot to keep here, but the trade of Sammy Watkins left a lot to sort out. The severity of Streater's injury Thursday will be important to monitor, as he was well on his way to earning a roster spot with his performance this summer. Tate is closing in on a job primarily because of his return abilities – he did a solid job of that against Philadelphia. Holmes appears to be on the roster bubble with Matthews, Boldin and Jones projected as the top three. Brown might also be in jeopardy. The next couple weeks will be big for both of those players.

Tight ends (3): Charles Clay, Nick O'Leary, Logan Thomas
Cuts: Jason Croom, Wes Saxton

Analysis: The top three have separated themselves. Croom and Saxton haven't given offensive coordinator Rick Dennison any reason to push for keeping four players at the position.

Offensive tackles (4): Cordy Glenn, Dion Dawkins, Jordan Mills, Michael Ola
Suspended: Seantrel Henderson
Cut: Cameron Jefferson

Analysis: The Bills could have a big-time problem on their hands if Glenn's nagging foot injury doesn't get better before the regular season. Assuming they don't go outside the organization for help, the only option would be to move Dawkins to left tackle and keep Mills at right tackle. Both of those players have had their issues this summer. If Glenn is out long term, Ola would have a chance at earning a roster spot – assuming the Bills don't look elsewhere first.

Interior offensive linemen (4): Richie Incognito, Eric Wood, John Miller, Ryan Groy
Cuts: Karim Barton, Greg Pyke, Zach Voytek, Jordan Mudge, Vlad Ducasse

Analysis: The numbers here are low, but the plan would be to try and get Mudge on the practice squad. Only four interior lineman would be active on game days, anyway, so in the event of injury, Mudge could get called up to the 53-man roster. Ducasse is a new cut after struggling against the Eagles. Part of the reasoning for that is attempting to land an additional compensatory draft pick, and he factors into the formula.

Defensive ends (5): Shaq Lawson, Jerry Hughes, Ryan Davis, Eddie Yarbrough, Max Valles
Cuts: Ian Seau, Marquavius Lewis, Jake Metz

Analysis: Yarbrough just continues to make plays and has solidified his spot on the second team. Davis missed some time with a concussion, but was in the lineup Thursday against the Eagles. If the Bills go with only four defensive ends, it could come down to keeping Davis or Valles, who had a sack in Philadelphia and two quarterback hits.

Defensive tackles (4): Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Jerel Worthy, Adolphus Washington
Cut: Deandre Coleman, Nigel Williams

Analysis: The top three are pretty well set. It could come down to Washington vs. Coleman for a fourth spot. Washington took a bad penalty when he jumped offside on a third-down play against the Eagles, giving up a free first down. He bounced back a short time later with a nice fumble recovery. Coleman had a nice tackle for loss when he got in. He tied for the team loss with four tackles in a good showing. This competition should come down to the wire.

Linebackers (7): Lorenzo Alexander, Preston Brown, Ramon Humber, Reggie Ragland, Gerald Hodges, Tanner Vallejo, Matt Milano
Cuts: Carl Bradford, Jacob Lindsey, Abner Logan, Sam Barrington

Analysis: Ragland remains a prime trade candidate as long as he continues to line up with the third team. None of the projected cuts have done anything to show they deserve a spot instead of those projected to land on the roster.

Cornerbacks (6): Tre'Davious White, Leonard Johnson, Shareece Wright, Kevon Seymour, E.J. Gaines
Cuts: Bradley Sylve, Greg Mabin, Marcus Sayles, Jumal Rolle

Analysis: The trade of Ronald Darby left things wide open at this position. There is only one true roster lock in White. Johnson has been the starting slot cornerback, so his position looks secure. Wright, Seymour and Gaines are all in the running to start at right cornerback, with Seymour having the ability to bump inside. Mabin made a great interception Thursday against the Eagles as he pushes for a spot.

Safeties (4): Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Shamiel Gary, Trae Elston
Cuts: B.T. Sanders, Joe Powell, Bacarri Rambo, Colt Anderson

Analysis: A hamstring injury in the first preseason game has taken Rambo out of practice and quite possibly ended his bid for a roster spot. Anderson left warmups Thursday against the Eagles after aggravating the foot injury that kept him out at the start of training camp. Depending on the severity, his position could be in danger, too.

Special teams (3): Reid Ferguson, Colton Schmidt, Stephen Hauschka
Cut: Austin Rehkow

Analysis: Hauschka was a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals Thursday night, while Schmidt averaged 40.4 net yards on five punts, placing two of them inside the Eagles' 20-yard line. Both players have responded to the challenge from Rehkow in a positive way. Rehkow had a big mistake against Philadelphia when he sent a kickoff out of bounds.

There are no comments - be the first to comment