The Bills' six-member rookie class has been lauded for the contributions the group made to the Bills' season, but the numbers show just how involved they were.
The Bills were fifth in the NFL in snaps taken by rookies with 3,448, according to Pro Football Focus. Three of the top five were playoff teams – the Bills, Jaguars and Saints. The other two were among the league's worst teams – the 49ers and Browns.
Those rookie contributions can help the Bills improve. Drafted players represent the best value in the NFL because rookie contracts are so cost efficient. The better a team drafts, the easier it is to build depth.
A look at how many snaps rookies played for every team in the NFL! pic.twitter.com/QPRVgcZ4vM
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 20, 2018
The obvious reason for the Bills' high placement is cornerback Tre'Davious White, who was among the best defensive rookies in the league. White played 1,093 snaps (98.65 percent of the total defensive snaps).
Linebacker Matt Milano played 450 snaps on defense (46.1 percent) and then another 226 on special teams, which was fifth on the team. Tanner Vallejo played only 13 defensive snaps, but was third on the team on special teams with 256 (58.6 percent).
Offensively, wide receiver Zay Jones saw 792 snaps (75.9 percent of total offense) and tackle Dion Dawkins saw 781 (74.2 percent).
As to be expected, backup quarterback Nathan Peterman saw the least action among the rookies at 98 snaps (9.32 percent).
“The foundation of what Brandon Beane is doing here, coach Sean McDermott is doing here … seeing this team really formulating for the future, and seeing these future leaders, it's just really awesome,” Jones said. “I'm so grateful to be a part of it, because there's something special here. ... It's a new team, a new vibe, it's a new energy, and I'm absolutely in love with it.”