2022 Buffalo Bills Breakout Candidates
Every year, there are a few Buffalo Bills players that shock the fanbase and have a big season (think Dawson Knox). This year, the Bills have a handful of players that could break out, including some guys not mentioned in this list (Tim Settle and Devin Singletary).
McKenzie should really hit his potential this season. He has a few good games under his belt over his tenure behind Cole Beasley, including the Miami Dolphins in 2020 (two receiving TDs and one return TD) and the New England Patriots in 2021 (125 yards and one TD). A full season with him working the slot should help elevate Josh Allen and the Bills offense.
The Bills acquired Bates in a trade during the 2019 preseason. Since then, they have had him stashed away as a backup, until the end of the 2021 season of course. When he got the starting job, the OL looked remarkably better. Devin Singletary looked the best we’ve seen from him yet. A full year with him starting alongside Mitch Morse and Spencer Brown should elevate the run game higher than we saw last year.
Howard may be the most underrated signing of the off-season. With the Buffalo Bills moving to more two-TE sets, Howard should get more playing time than in Tampa Bay. Howard has had an injury riddled career thus far. However, the Bills shouldn’t be too worried about that with him as TE2.
The biggest “what if” from the 2021 draft class, Greg Rousseau had a good start to his rookie campaign that included an INT and four sacks. Now, with a lot of attention going to Von Miller on the opposite side, Rousseau should see an uptick in production. Rousseau is still relatively new to the position, switching over his freshman year of college, so this year should be really telling of his future, given the talent around him and a year under his belt.
Oliver has had a decent start to his NFL tenure, totaling 117 tackles, 12 sacks, and 28 QB hits over his three year career. Going into his fourth season, a contract year, Oliver needs to have a big season if he wants to cash out on his next contract. The Bills paired Oliver with a couple DTs this off-season, DaQuan Jones and Tim Settle, which should take some pressure off of him and help him settle into his own role.