The Buffalo Bills ended the longest playoff drought in NFL history when they made the playoffs this year. The problem is their starting quarterback from a year ago (Tyrod Taylor) is no longer on the roster. If they make a playoff push this season, it will come at the hands of A.J. McCarron and or Josh Allen. The Bills are also going through an ongoing investigation with their star running back, LeSean McCoy. Buffalo runs the ball and his impending absence could have a huge impact on their season. What can we expect from the Buffalo Bills in 2018?
3 Position Battles To Watch:
1. Center: Russell Bodine, Ryan Groy
The Buffalo Bills had one of the best offensive lines in 2017 but things could be different in 2018. The Bills lost Eric Wood to retirement in what was a bad offseason for their offensive line. Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn are also both gone which means the entire left side of the offensive line is a huge question mark. The center spot could be a real disaster. Russell Bodine flat out stinks and there’s probably no chance he doesn’t win the job after coming over from Cincinnati. He had a PFF grade of 46.6 which is flat out awful.
2. Receiver: Austin Proehl, Jeremy Kerley, Kaelin Clay, Andre Holmes, Ray-Ray McCloud, Malachi Dupree, Rod Streater
Kelvin Benjamin runs slower than an 80-year-old trying to cross the street. Zay Jones had an awful rookie year and he’s running around motels naked. With a quarterback position that is already in flux, this receiver core isn’t helping matters much. There’s a mix of journeymen and young guys. My money is on Austin Proehl to maybe take the slot job. He’s the son of Ricky Proehl who was a member of the greatest show on turf with the Rams. Proehl is a good route runner and maybe the next undrafted steal.
3. Pass Rusher: Shaq Lawson, Trent Murphy
Jerry Hughes is a solid pass rusher but he needs a running mate. Hughes notched 10 sacks the last two years which is really just ok. Buffalo needs to create more pass rush. Shaq Lawson is a former first-round pick who I really liked and is slowing creeping towards becoming a real player. His sack production went from 2 to 4 and now in year three looks to become a viable starter. Lawson already plays really well against the run. He just may never be that twitch pass rusher who mainly relies on his power. Trent Murphy was an interesting piece to add in the offseason because he missed the entire 2017 season. Murphy did notch 9 sacks in 2016 but we hope he’s healthy to provide a similar level of production.
Ready To Breakout: Dion Dawkins
Cordy Glenn was traded for a reason. Dion Dawkins played really well as a rookie and could become one of the best young offensive linemen in the league. Dawkins had a PFF 74.5 grade as a rookie playing left tackle but really is better suited to play guard. Dawkins was my number one rated offensive lineman during the 2017 NFL Draft and probably will become a perennial Pro Bowl player for years to come.
Rookie To Watch: Josh Allen
Boom or Bust! Josh Allen can throw a football over them their mountains but we have no idea where that puppy is going. Allen never completed 60 percent in any of his three years as a starting quarterback which should scare the hell out of the Bills. IF Allen puts it all together, this is the best chance we have at seeing the next Carson Wentz. I’m not going to count him out because there are some balls that Allen throws that will flat out take your breath away. It’s going to be a fun preseason and we should totally freak out over his preseason performance despite the fact that it means absolutely nothing.
Fantasy Sleeper: Chris Ivory
In all honesty, a NONE would have been a better pick. Let’s just say LeSean McCoy misses game action. Chris Ivory is your guy. Then again, he looked pretty washed at times with Jacksonville in 2017. This entire team outside of McCoy probably shouldn’t be on your fantasy radar.