The Buffalo Bills never expected to draft AJ Epenesa. The addition of Quinton Jefferson in free agency was meant to fill the role played by Shaq Lawson in 2019. The Bills made that move after the trade for Stefon Diggs theoretically took them out of contention for a solid defensive end in a shallow class. Then AJ Epenesa slid and slid and slid some more all the way to the Buffalo Bills in the second round. This means the Bills have probably one more player in that rotation than they were expecting. What does that mean for Trent Murphy?
Mario Addison won’t be a starter. Despite his heavy price tag, Addison will more than likely find himself coming off the bench in a role that will ask him to rush the passer. Some downs he will be giving Jerry Hughes a breather. Some downs he will be paired with Hughes at the left end position, and some downs he will be standing up to blitz filling the role left behind by the departed Lorenzo Alexander.
Harrison Phillips won’t make his presence felt until mid-season. Brandon Beane did not sound very confident when discussing Harrison Phillip’s rehab from a torn ACL last season. One can envision a situation in which Star Lotulelei (Update: Star has opted out of the season.) gets a bulk of the snaps opposite Ed Oliver and Vernon Butler. Butler could even take snaps behind Star with the plethora of three-technique capable players on the roster. Expect the Bills to ease Phillips back in. It is not out of the realm of possibility that he is put on the PUP list, and Vincent Taylor makes the active roster through mid-season.
Don’t hold Ed Oliver back. Sean McDermott likes to rotate his defensive lineman. Often times players rarely play more than 50% of the snaps. If Ed Oliver blossoms into the player we think he will become, he should not be constrained by a rotation. It’d be silly to play him 80%-90% with the depth the Bills have but 50%-60% is not overdoing it. Impact players need to be on the field.
Catch The Bills Guys discuss this and more in the video below;