2015 Depth Charts: Buffalo Bills

| 2 years ago

2015 Depth Charts: Buffalo Bills


Bills DC

Notes

•  New head coach Rex Ryan’s first order of business will be deciding what to do at quarterback. Are the team ready to give up on E.J. Manuel just two years after spending a first round draft pick on him? Do they think he can turn it around? At this point in his career he hasn’t shown much to make you think so.

•  How they handle the offensive line will be interesting. Cordy Glenn is a good left tackle, and we debated whether or not to have him in the Very Good bracket, while the addition of Richie Incognito will help if he can still play at the same level he was previously. Chris Williams and Seantrel Henderson struggled last year though, so the line still needs some work.

•  Defensively, Ryan will likely want to line up similar to how he did in New York and Baltimore, and Mario Williams has experience both with his hand in the dirt and standing up. With Dareus and Williams on the defensive line, he has some flexibility there.

•  Cornerback is one of the stronger positions on the roster, with free agent Corey Graham impressing in his first year in Buffalo. Realistically they are already set through the top four positions on the depth chart which is a big help.

Team Needs

Edge Defender: Will they look to bring back Jerry Hughes? Even if they do they’d still only have two starting calibre edge defenders on the roster, with Williams locked into one starting spot. Ryan knows how important it is to get after the quarterback, so look for them to at least target a situational pass rusher, if not a full time starter.

Quarterback: As mentioned above, they need to decide what they want to do at quarterback. This isn’t a great year to be trying to find one in free agency, but if they don’t believe Manuel to be the answer they need to try something either through the draft or free agency.

Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods are both young players who deserve the chance to develop, but outside of them there isn’t much to get excited about at the positions. Marquise Goodwin hasn’t developed into a consistent deep threat yet but with Watkins capable of big plays, perhaps the top priority here should be a solid possession receiver to help keep the chains moving.

 

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| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Jaguars28

    That defense is incredible. The offense… not so much. They need to upgrade quarterback, running back, and interior O-Line

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      Agreed. They’ll probably keep Spiller. The Defense should get even better under Rex. I don’t expect him to do anything but completely castrate the offense though.

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      Spiller will probably be back. The defense should be even better under Rex but that Offense is going no where fast with him.

      • Matty T

        Spiller is as good as gone. He wants big money and doesn’t fit in Greg Roman’s power running scheme. He’s not in the Bills future plans.

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    seems like urbik at LG and cyrus k. at RT would be an in-house upgrade

  • twnick2014

    Mario Williams should be in the “very good” category. Also, I feel like Sammy Watkins should be in the “good” category.

    • Gordon McGuinness

      Mario Williams should be in the very good category, I just put the wrong green on the chart. Fixing that now. With Watkins, there were some really good games in there, but not enough consistency.

      • Matty T

        For Sammy, playing almost a full season with broken ribs will do that to you.

        • Gordon McGuinness

          The injury might have slowed him down, but we have one season to go on with Watkins and there wasn’t enough in that season to say he was worthy of being in the Good category.

          • Ed

            First of all, Duke Williams is not the FS. That would be Da’Norris Searcy and would be a graded as good or who knows with you’re thought process. Secondly you not giving Mario Williams elite is laughable even with your “statistics” and if your all about stats, I suggest looking at Gilmore’s stats again as he ranked right up there with the best of them. Revis, Sherman, etc…

          • Mark Mccollough

            That is based on the assumption that Searcy is not on the roster as he is not under contract yet for next year. In that scenario Duke Williams likely would move to the free safety slot with Aaron Williams locking in at strong safety because of his physicality and flexibility in Ryan’s scheme. Ideally they both should be interchangeable but for these purposes they have to be slotted into a position.

          • Jaguars28

            Believe it or not, not all of your favorite teams’ players are elite. Gilmore will obviously look better with a lethal pass rush.

          • Chris

            LOL you mad?

            Searcy is a FA. If you haven’t noticed, no currently unsigned FAs with any team are listed on the depth charts.

            Mario Williams graded 9th overall at 4-3 DE, and 11th as a pass rusher which is the only thing he does well. 9th at one position is not top 50 in the NFL.

            Gilmore graded 26th overall, 24th in coverage. Revis was 4th, and 4th. If you haven’t gathered by this point, stats don’t tell the whole story. Grades are the best measurement.

            #Rekt

          • Matty T

            I actually agree with where Sammy is. I’m just saying, his injury hindered him. But the end result was an average starter for his rookie season.

      • Matty T

        And how is it that Mario, the man with the second most sack in the league since joining Buffalo, widely considered as one of the best run stopping DE’s in the league, according to your own rankings, and coming off a 14.5 sack season, not considered Elite? He’s as Elite as they come at DE!

        • Gordon McGuinness

          With Williams, he was our 20th highest graded DE in 2012, our 17th highest graded 3-4 OLB in 2013 and 9th highest graded DE last year. He’s very good, but considering the bulk of his pass rushing grade came from one game in 2014, to label him as Elite would be generous.

          • Travis Moore

            However, he was a first team All Pro. Isn’t that the definition of Elite?

          • Guest

            Of the 4 defensive linemen, I would argue Kyle Williams was the weakest this year. His trademark quick first step was diminished. He was a solid player, but calling him “elite” seems to be based more on legacy than 2014 production. IMario, on the other hand, seems to have been shortchanged … his 2014 production was certainly elite, and his “very good” rating may be more a reflection of his production in 2010-2013,

          • Jaguars28

            Kyle>>> Mario

          • Travis Moore

            2010-2013, yes. Last year, no. Kyle is getting older and I expect his production to continue to decline.

          • Jaguars28

            No

          • Travis Moore

            Of the 4 defensive linemen, I would argue Kyle Williams was the weakest this year. His trademark quick first step was diminished. He was a solid player, but calling him “elite” seems to be based more on legacy than 2014 production. IMario, on the other hand, seems to have been shortchanged … his 2014 production was certainly elite, and his “very good” rating may be more a reflection of his production in 2010-2013. He was selected as a 1st team All Pro this year… isn’t that the definition of elite?

        • Jaguars28

          Williams is great, not elite though

  • davathon

    It’s the modern NFL. No QB = No chance.

  • Lurking Meat Sweats

    They definitely need some help on the edge, at QB, and at WR. I would really like to see them get a pass catching TE and some depth at RB, too.

    • J.Murph

      Bad draft year for TE and we have no first pick which kills us there..If we take Maxx Williams at #50 ( if there) we will lose out on a real good RB..Ajayi , Yeldon, or maybe Coleman…Jessee James from Penn State is a monster but a project for sure…

      • Jaguars28

        It’s not a bad year for TE’s at all

        • Tim Edell

          Its a bad year for TE sir

        • J.Murph

          Name all the studs after Williams? OLeary is good but short at 6-3. JJames is dumb for not staying at PSU., very green. Kroft and Boyle are small school good players..

      • Lurking Meat Sweats

        Ajayi would be a very good fit for Roman’s offense. I didn’t mean the draft only. Jordan Cameron had a down year, but I’d love to see him a Bills jersey.

  • J.Murph

    Saying Glenn is good at LT ” the blindside” is a reach.. I do like CB Butler and WR Hogan is underrated for sure….

  • Mark Mccollough

    I mostly agree with the rankings with a couple of exceptions. I would bump Dixon and Hogan to average, but that really doesn’t effect in any way the collective picture this paints of the teams strengths and weaknesses. Bottom line, better QB play probably bumps everyone on offense up a shade on the color scale because they can mask a lot of issues. I would love to see the rankings of the pending free agents on the side, but still included, to help create a visual view of what the team had the year prior and the potential effect on them returning or leaving in the upcoming offseason.

  • Tim Edell

    I count 3 very goods

  • AJ

    This is the most talented defense Rex Ryan has had since his Ravens and early Jets days. The pass rush is better than any he had on the Jets. No more having to rely on complex blitzes to get any sort of pressure. Now he has players that can actually beat a block.

    • a57se

      Wait until he calls a cover 0 blitz that costs you a game…

  • AJ

    What exactly made the Bills feel Chris Williams is worth the contract they gave him? The same management that thought EJ Manual was worth a mid-1st round pick.

  • Chris

    I would consider 2014 to be the best season of Mario Williams’ career – he had his first double digit grade, a career high in Green games (8), and he played a full slate of snaps. However, to this point in his career I’d argue he had only put up “Good” grades comparatively at the DE position. I think he’s overrated listed at Great, which likely is weighting last year too heavily over the rest of his career.

    Kyle Williams, on the other hand, has been an absolute monster the last few years. How anyone would argue he doesn’t deserve an Elite tag is beyond me. He has graded what I would consider Elite 4 of the last 5 years comparatively at his position with grades over 20 each of the 4, and the 5th was an injury-shortened season.

    Quite simply, Kyle > Mario

    • Vitor

      Kyle is one of the best DL not named Watt. Same level of play from Campbell and McCoy.

  • Bob

    Mario Williams is not “elite”???

  • asdf

    Alonso is moving to WLB/RLB btw

  • Dean Kindig

    I don’t see the need for WR, with Watkins, Woods, Hogan, Deonte Thompson. All under 27.

  • Mark Schaffer

    I thought Preston Brown deserved a ‘good’ grade – he got better as the season progressed. I also think Aaron Williams is better than average too. And Henderson deserved a better grade as well – below average I would say but not terrible. He has the tools and I look for him to improve. And how can they say that offensive line isn’t a team need? I hope they add at least a guard and another tackle before camp starts. I hear Jarhi Evans may get cut …

  • Mike

    Glenn should absolutely be in the “very good” bracket. His production dropped a bit this year, but he’s consistently graded in the top 2% of tackles who played at least 75% of snaps the past 3 years. He’s also recorded higher than a 96% pass protection efficiency grade in each of his three seasons. Not to mention he did all of this while playing in the Bills’ offense…