Despite the promising play of rookies Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson, and Ryan Lewis, the front office signed a pair of veterans to fill out the secondary in free agency. EJ Gaines was brought back in to hopefully regain the form he had two seasons ago. Kevin Johnson, the former Houston Texan and first round pick out of Wake Forest was also signed, presumably based on his draft pedigree and unfulfilled potential.
Luckily for the group, there are most likely two spots at stake this offseason. Taron Johnson displayed strong play in the slot before shoulder surgery ended his season, but seemingly will now have to earn a starting position. The same goes for Lewis and Wallace. Each showed competency manning the outside, granted with a minimal sample of playing time. Sean McDermott expertise resides in identifying and developing secondary talent, so expect this to be the most heated positional battle.
Prediction: EJ Gaines (outside corner) and Taron Johnson (slot corner)
What was the weakest position group last season quickly became the deepest. New additions John Brown and Cole Beasley will most likely be handed starting spots, leaving a hole at third wide receiver. Last season, Zay Jones took steps towards being a productive wide receiver, and Robert Foster displayed tantalizing potential. Each has a claim to that third wide receiver spot, but the competition doesn’t stop there.
Athletic freak Duke Williams was given a second chance at an NFL career after having issues at Auburn and recently competing in the CFL. Williams size/speed combo is tantalizing, yet he is far from a proven NFL entity. Pro bowl special teamer Andre Roberts has had productive seasons in the past, but was signed to return the ball. Isaiah McKenzie flashed in limited playing time. Realistically though, this is a two man race between Foster and Jones, with Williams as a dark horse to claim a spot.
Prediction: Robert Foster
The Bills added a collection of intriguing talent at the tight end position, even considering the quality play of Jason Croom last season. Tyler Kroft sealed the bag with a $21mil contract, and his versatility will be welcomed to what was a one-dimensional skill group last season. However, his injury history coupled with his lack of experience is concerning.
To avoid putting their eggs in one basket, Brandon Beane drafted Dawson Knox in the third round. Knox is an interesting talent, and one who’s production suffered from playing in an offense with two high level receivers in AJ Brown and DK Metcalf. His athleticism and pass catching ability could give Josh Allen exactly the safety blanket Charles Clay should of been.
Prediction: Dawson Knox