Buffalo Bills: Offensive Line Scenarios

Depth Chart Breakdown

The Buffalo Bills may not have the best offensive line in the National Football League, but they certainly have the deepest. There are currently nine players on this roster that have played significant snaps in the National Football League. In those significant snaps, no one has embarrassed themselves like the Russell Bodines and Vlad Ducasses of years past. Are they perfect? No. Are they solid? Hell yes.

Dion Dawkins, Quinton Spain, and Mitch Morse will certainly be back manning their respective positions when the 2020 season commences. The right side is another story. Jon Feliciano, Daryl Williams, Cody Ford, and Ty Nsekhe will all be battling for two positions along the right side. The losers of the competition will become some of the best back-up linemen in the NFL. We will have higher caliber players as backups than the New York Jets do with 30 million dollar players along their starting offensive line. All of these players have invaluable position flexibility. Feliciano can man all three interior positions. Williams can play both right guard and tackle. Ford has the ability to kick inside if he cannot learn to better combat speed rushers on the edge. Ty Nsekhe is a true “swing tackle” with an ability to man both the left and right side of an offensive line admirably.

Spencer Long and Evan Boehm appear to be heading towards a battle to be the 8th offensive lineman. Both have the ability to play guard and center. One will likely be cut to save room for a younger developmental offensive lineman in the ninth slot. The leaders in that clubhouse appear to be returning players Ryan Bates and Ike Boettger along with newcomers Trey Adams and Brandon Walton. Theoretically, Long and Boehm could be cut to make way for some younger players on the back half of the line, or they could be used as trade bait as camp comes to a close. We have seen the Bills trade the likes of Marshall Newhouse, Russell Bodine, and Wyatt Teller for draft picks in the recent past.

Other players with long-shot odds to make the roster or practice squad include camp bodies like Victor Salako, Garrett McGhin, and Marquel Harrell.

Below I analyze the odds on the different scenarios we could see play out along the Bills offensive line in 2020.

Scenario #1 – 75%

In this scenario the Buffalo Bills maintain their starting five offensive lineman from 2019, a unit that served them adequately. Nsekhe would take on the role of “swing tackle” having the ability to be the backup on both sides of the line. Williams would be the backup at right guard and right tackle. Feliciano would kick into center if Morse went down and Williams would step into the starting five. Long or Boehm would serve as further depth along the interior. Adams, Walton, Boettger, and Bates would be battling for three spots, one on the active roster and two on the practice squad to further their development.

Scenario #2 – 10%

In this scenario, Daryl Williams is able to unseat last year’s starter, Jon Feliciano, as the team’s starting right guard. Feliciano immediately becomes the backup at all three interior positions, and Nsekhe is the swing tackle on both ends of the line. Long or Boehm would serve as further depth along the interior. Adams, Walton, Boettger, and Bates would be battling for three spots, one on the active roster and two on the practice squad to further their development.

Scenario #3 – 10%

In this scenario, Cody Ford falls flat at right tackle and Daryl Williams is tasked with manning the position. It is highly unlikely Nsekhe gets the opportunity to start as the Bills won’t want to risk his health as he is the only player on the roster outside Dawkins who can competently man the left side. Ford would immediately be given every opportunity to start at right guard because of his draft status and Feliciano being in a contract year. Feliciano immediately becomes the backup at all three interior positions and Nsekhe is the swing tackle on both ends of the line. Long or Boehm would serve as further depth along the interior. Adams, Walton, Boettger, and Bates would be battling for three spots, one on the active roster and two on the practice squad to further their development.

Scenario #4 – 3%

In this scenario, Cody Ford fails at right tackle, and Daryl Williams is tasked with manning the position. It is too late into camp to give Ford a fair shake at beating out Feliciano so he moves onto the bench to develop for 2021 when Feliciano is a free agent. Feliciano still mans the backup center position and Ford is immediately elevated into the starting lineup if any of the three men on the interior get injured. Nsekhe remains as the swing tackle. Long or Boehm would serve as further depth along the interior. Adams, Walton, Boettger, and Bates would be battling for three spots, one on the active roster and two on the practice squad to further their development.

Scenario #5 – 1%

In this situation Cody Ford again cannot handle the responsibilities of right Tackle. Ty Nsekhe has such a good camp you cannot justify him as a backup. Williams becomes your backup right tackle due to his experience. Nsekhe would still switch over to the left side if Dawkins was injured with Williams taking his place on the right side. Ford would immediately be given every opportunity to start at right guard because of his draft status and Feliciano being in a contract year. Feliciano immediately becomes the backup at all three interior positions. Long or Boehm would serve as further depth along the interior. Adams, Walton, Boettger, and Bates would be battling for three spots, one on the active roster and two on the practice squad to further their development. Adams and Walton would have a distinct advantage here as the depth at tackle takes a hit.

Scenario #6 – 1%

In this situation Cody Ford again cannot handle the responsibilities of right Tackle. Ty Nsekhe has such a good camp you cannot justify him as a backup. Williams becomes your backup right tackle due to his experience. Nsekhe would still switch over to the left side if Dawkins was injured with Williams taking his place on the right side. It is too late into camp to give Ford a fair shake at beating out Feliciano so he moves onto the bench to develop for 2021 when Feliciano is a free agent. Feliciano still mans the backup center position and Ford is immediately elevated into the starting lineup if any of the three men on the interior get injured. Long or Boehm would serve as further depth along the interior. Adams, Walton, Boettger, and Bates would be battling for three spots, one on the active roster and two on the practice squad to further their development.

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