Post-minicamp 53-man roster projection for the Bills

·6 min read

The 2022 Buffalo Bills completed their 2022 minicamp cycle last week. It’ll now be a few weeks until we see the team again at training camp.

But let’s not allow that to get us down. Instead, let’s hit another look ahead.

Here is Bills Wire’s post-minicamp 53-man roster projection:

Quarterback

Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17)  Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Roster (2): Josh Allen, Case Keenum

Cut(s): Matt Barkley

The Bills have been fine hanging onto two quarterbacks under the watch of coach Sean McDermott. Barkley will stick around on the practice squad, but we’ll monitor this situation going forward.

Naturally, Allen and Keenum, who Buffalo traded a late-round pick for, make the cut.

Running back

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (26)  (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Roster (5): Devin Singletary, James Cook, Zack Moss, Taiwan Jones, Reggie Gilliam

Cut(s): Duke Johnson, Raheem Blackshear

The top four that make the roster are close to locks–Jones for special teams. Earlier this offseason Johnson wasn’t a guy written off by our predictions–But he is for now.

Cook, a similar style player to Johnson, factored too much into the work on offense during minicamp in little surprise. But it’s Gilliam who jumps over Johnson into the last running back spot because of Cook for his versatility to play tight end and on special teams.

Tight end

Dawson Knox #88 of the Buffalo Bills . (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Roster (2): Dawson Knox, O.J. Howard

Cut(s): Quintin Morris, Jalen Wydermyer, Tommy Sweeney

Howard didn’t overly impress at training camp. The Athletic reported he didn’t seem to have great quickness you’d expect in a former first-round pick. Still, he’s got experience and better blocking ability over other options.

Gilliam’s versatility probably allows the Bills to get one, or multiple, of their tight end cuts onto the practice squad.

Wide receiver

Stefon Diggs
Stefon Diggs

Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14)  Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Roster (7): Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, Isaiah McKenzie, Khalil Shakir, Jake Kumerow, Tavon Austin

Cut(s): Isaiah Hodgins, Tanner Gentry, Neil Pau’u, Marquez Stevenson

The top-five listed above appear pretty set. McKenzie and Crowder both flashed at minicamp, showing they can help fill the Cole Beasley void. Shakir didn’t blow anyone away, but he’s a rookie draft pick and the team is going to give him time.

Kumerow and Austin slide in for now. Austin signed just before minicamp and already was getting some looks as a returner. In terms of Kumerow, he’s a key special teamer and was cut by the Bills and re-signed after minicamp. That likely came with some assurances that he has a good chance to have some sort of role on the team.

Offensive line

Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins (73)

Roster (9): Dion Dawkins, Rodger Saffold, Mitch Morse, Ryan Bates, Spencer Brown, Tommy Doyle, Greg Mancz, Greg Van Roten, David Quessenberry

Injury (1): Ike Boettger

Cut(s): Jacob Capra, Luke Tenuta, Derek Kerstetter, Alec Anderson, Bobby Hart, Cody Ford, Tanner Owen

At this time of the year the play in the trenches is the hardest to project. Preseason games really help out and we’re awhile from that.

But sticking out like a sore thumb is Ford being cut. He’s had a dicey offseason from what we can read into.

Early this spring, general manager Brandon Beane referenced trading Wyatt Teller too soon and said Ford deserves more time to figure things out. But then the Bills signed Van Roten.

The other worth mentioning is Tenuta. A late draft pick, he’ll land on the practice squad. Buffalo lost a similar player in Jack Anderson last year, who was signed off the PS when he was placed there (Eagles). Hard to imagine that happening twice.

Defensive line

Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91) Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Roster (9): Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, Boogie Basham, A.J. Epenesa, Shaq Lawson, Jordan Phillips, Tim Settle, Von Miller, Greg Rousseau

Cut(s): Eli Ankou, Prince Emili, Mike Love, Kingsley Jonathan, Brandin Bryant, Daniel Joseph, C.J. Brewer

While it’s rare to feel like the top-nine players of a position could be locked in… it’s close to the case here. Of those, Lawson will have to make sure he takes his opportunity, but the rest are easy.

In the cuts, Ankou and Bryant are players the Bills have previously liked. But Buffalo found a way to slide them onto their practice squad in the past. Expect them to try to do so again.

Linebacker

Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (49). (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Roster (6): Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, Terrel Bernard, Tyler Matakevich, Tyrel Dodson, Andre Smith

Cut(s): Joe Giles-Harris, Marquel Lee, Baylon Spector

Edmunds, Milano and Bernard are solid locks for the roster. Matakevich and Dodson were big-time special teams contributors in 2021 as well.

The real question is Smith following his six-game suspension. Do the Bills keep him around during that? Spector is also a player to keep an eye on, but a seventh-round rookie seems destined for the practice squad.

Cornerback

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White (27) . (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Roster (6): Tre’Davious White, Kaiir Elam, Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson, Siran Neal, Cam Lewis

Cut(s): Nick McCloud, Olaijah Griffin, Tim Harris, Travon Fuller, Christian Benford, Ja’Marcus Ingram

White is expected to make the 53 but likely not play early in the year due to his knee injury. In order for the Bills to place him on injured reserve and then have the option to take him back off of it a few weeks later, he has to make the team.

Regardless, expect Buffalo to make a backdoor deal with someone on their roster as they’ve done in the past. The Bills will “cut” someone, give them a wink and a nod, place White on IR, then re-sign them.

Without White, Elam and Jackson likely start at outside corner. Johnson will man the nickel spot as usual. Neal brings size, versatility and special teams.

The final spot could be between Lewis and Benford. Lewis made a play or two at minicamp, and has experience, so he slides in for now.

Safety

=Bills safety Micah Hyde (23) Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Roster (4): Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Jaquan Johnson, Damar Hamlin

Cut(s): Josh Thomas

An easy position group to predict, but the Bills have liked Thomas in the past. Depending on his play this summer he could find a roster spot–practice squad seems much more likely.

Special teams

Buffalo Bills assistant special teams coach Matthew Smiley speaks with kicker Tyler Bass (2). (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

Roster (3): Tyler Bass, Matt Araiza, Reid Ferguson

Cut(s): Matt Haack

Araiza is the only question. As long as his holding and hang time comes around in the next few months, he’s got the clear edge on Haack as a draft pick.

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