by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
As the Buffalo Bills practice their first week in training camp, here are some questions to ponder about each position.
Will the Bills keep Tyree Jackson? Josh Allen and Matt Barkely are set as the number one and two guys of course. Will the Bills keep a third quarterback on the roster or do they have Tyree Jackson on the practice squad? The feel I get from the first week is that they keep two guys and that Tyree is looking more like a player fighting for a practice squad spot.
Does TJ Yeldon make the team? Yeldon was a free agent signing that does one thing very well. He catches the ball out of the backfield extremely well. As you look at the rest of the roster you see the team likes versatility. Yeldon doesn’t play special teams, so I believe he could be in jeopardy of being cut. Does LeSean MCCoy get traded before the start of the season. With so much depth it is still out there if a team loses a guy with an injury. At this point I see McCoy on the Bills and as starter on opening day.
Who’s the sixth receiver? The top four receivers seem set in John Brown, Cole Beasley, Zay Jones and Robert Foster. The good news is how good Beasley and Brown have looked. Andre Roberts because of special teams would be the fifth. Who’s the sixth? Fan favorites David Sills and Duke Williams are fighting with Ray-Ray McCloud and Isiah McKenzie for the sixth spot. At this point it looks like McCloud may have the upper hand but it’s too early to tell.
As the Bills make over the line from last year everything is in question. It appears Quinton Spain, Spencer Long and Jon Feliciano are fighting for the guards spots. All three guys are very versatile. The Bills might be able to keep one less lineman because of the versatility of these guys. Ty Nsekhe hasn’t been able to break through at the tackle spots yet held down by Dion Dawkins and Cody Ford, but he still might get his chance.
How good is Dawson Knox? Talk about getting your opportunity. Sometimes rookies perform just because they get a chance. With Tyler Kroft going down, Knox is getting a chance to show what he’s got. Jason Croom has been banged up as well. It’s a golden opportunity for Knox.
Who’s the starting DT for Kyle Williams and who’s the fourth DE? Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips will both play a ton so who starts might not matter because both should contribute this year. Eddie Yarbrough has been the fourth DE for a couple of years but Mike Love amongst others are giving him a run. At this point my money would be on Love.
Who are the back-up linebackers? This is the one position that the Bills better not get an injury. Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds and Lorenzo Alexander are great. Who’s backing them up? Ton of questions. Is Mo Alexander a safety or a linebacker? He might have a upper hand at linebacker rather than safety. Will Eli Harold beat out Deon Lacey? How good is rookie Vosean Joseph? At this point there are more questions than answers when it comes to the back-up linebackers.
Who’s the starting corner opposite Tre White? Levi Wallace is fighting hard to keep his spot. He’s stronger than last year but Kevin Johnson is right on his heels. Taron Johnson and EJ Gaines will play a ton as well. Bills are deep at corner.
Back-ups behind starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer? Versatility plays a role here as well. Siran Neal is a big safety and is versatile. He and Mo Alexander who I put as a linebacker both have the versatility the team loves. Does veteran Kurt Coleman make the team? Rookie Jaquan Johnson is in the mix as well. I believe the Bills love their depth at corner and safety.
Will Corey Bojorquez and Stephen Hauschka hold onto their spots as punter and kicker. At this point I like both of their chances to be the specialist on this team.
Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are in their third year and this is the best team they have in those three years from top to bottom. This is why Bills fans are optimistic when it comes to this year. When you look at the roster they do have more depth then they have had in the past. Does that translate into wins? The Bills fans are expecting it to play out that way. We’ll see.