After a short hiatus during the long, dry stretch of the off-season, I’m back to bring you yet another Bills Mafia poll breakdown. With little going on in and around the league, I circled back to one of my previous polls. But this time, the polling is based on groups rather than a specific player. I went to Twitter and asked Bills Mafia who they think has to step up the most on the defensive side of the ball for a Super Bowl run in 2021. Here are the results.
Results are ranked from highest to lowest
Veteran D-Lineman (53.5%)
An overwhelming amount of folks tapped here on my poll and for good reason. Obviously, following last season’s Defensive Line woes, Beane & Co. upgraded big time by drafting back-to-back D-linemen at picks 30 and 61. Rousseau and Basham are super intriguing prospects and will be Bills for the next four to five years. But we shouldn’t expect them to come in and in year one have eight-plus sacks; it’s simply not fathomable.
That’s why 53.5% of Bills Mafia calls for veteran D-linemen such as Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, & Star Lotulelei to improve. With Star coming back, the rookies, and the Efe Obada signing, the Bills should have their correct personnel out there. And, hopefully, that will lead to more and better production. If QBs continue to get nine seconds in the pocket like Philip Rivers in the wild card game, our playoff run might be shorter than expected.
Edmunds & Milano (23.3%)
One of the brighter spots from last season was the much-improved play by Tremaine Edmunds. He went from a downhill, fill-the-gap only Mike LB to someone who can stretch the field horizontally and make coverage plays against pass-catching threats. Milano however had a tougher season. Plagued by injury, he struggled in the passing game and seemed to miss a step as compared to past seasons. I’m assuming that’s the reasoning behind nearly a quarter of the votes here. One of the strongest positional groups on this Bills team is the Linebacking core. If they can step it up even further and stay healthy, this defense could be elite tier.
Levi Wallace has been a familiar face in Buffalo for some time now. When I visited The 585 Report, Ryan and I discussed Wallace and we came to the revelation that he’s the most average zone Corner in the league. He won’t do anything spectacular, but he’s great in the run game and uses his length to his advantage. However, if Super Bowl LVI is a real goal for this squad, an improvement should be made. Wallace was torn apart by both Rivers and Mahomes in the playoffs.
Luckily enough, there is a multitude of alley-ways Beane & Co. could take on this one. They could stick with Wallace and continue to develop him. They could give Dane Jackson a shot. Or they could look to free agency for a guy like Steven Nelson. (I think the Richard Sherman door is closed.) They could even hit the trade market, using assets like Mitch Trubisky or Dawson Knox to seek out an elite second boundary Corner. While upgrading CB2 should happen, Bills Mafia wants other things addressed before finding Wallace’s replacement.
Leslie Frazier (8.4%)
I’m glad that Frazier is coming last in this poll. When looking at his defense personnel-wise, he comes equipped with a sick Safety tandem, an elite boundary Corner, Linebackers who can both fill gaps and hang with elite Tight Ends, and a young and hungry D-Line. He’s always had average defenses with average players. But now, as the defensive side of the ball is becoming more dangerous, he should have one of his best personal seasons ever.
Last year, Frazier lacked the tools on the D-Line to be creative. Now, with 6’8″ Rousseau, Basham’s versatility, and Big Star returning to eat up multiple blockers, Frazier is going to have a field day with blitz packages. I’m very extremely superbly excited for Fraze and the rest of the defensive coaching staff as a world of versatility and creative ideas has opened up for them.
Thank you Bills Mafia for the support throughout the past articles and Twitter polls! As always make sure to follow me on Twitter @SemiAverageRigs to be a part of future polling articles.