BUFFALO N.Y. — There is a lot of hype about the 2022 season. Buffalo BillsIt is unbeatable. Caesars has the Bills as the betting favorite at +700 to win Super Bowl. ESPN's post draft power rankings had the Bills listed No. 1.
“The Bills are the best team in the NFL,” ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky said this week on Get Up.
The roster isn't perfect. And as coach Sean McDermott has noted, having a roster that looks good on paper hasn’t consistently been a recipe for success.
“I've been around this NFL for 20-plus years, and I've never seen a team win just because of names on a paper,” McDermott said. “That's not how a team comes together. I think when you have what you think is a roster that's able to compete, then it's all how it comes together.”
Buffalo addressed the obvious needs of the NFL draft at cornerback and running back. What moves should they make and in which areas should they invest?
Interior offensive line
The biggest criticism of the Bills’ 2022 draft class? The team may have failed to improve the interior of their offensive line. The roster has clear starters — left guard Rodger SaffoldCenter Mitch MorseRight guard Ryan Bates. However, depths are extremely limited after that.
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Concern would arise if one or more starters missed time. Take care Cody FordHe is the 2019 second-round pick. But he was not benched during the first month of 2021 season.
“Definitely still believe in Cody. He's had a focused offseason, according to all accounts. He's in a contract year. He understands what is at stake. It's pretty simple that he's gotta come in here, and this is the first year he hasn't had a surgery,” general manager Brandon Beane said. “… There's some things he can control that he's gotta do better.”
The Bills also brought in Aaron Kromer, an offensive line coach, to assist the group. There are many options available after Ford. Greg Mancz, Ike BoettgerThis man is attempting to heal a torn Achilles on the left leg. Jacob Capra.
They did draft one lineman: tackle Luke TenutaIn the sixth round, Virginia Tech won. But when it came to adding interior players, Beane didn’t feel that were options that made sense value-wise.
As teams make their rosters, the Bills should keep an eye on the waiver wire. The ideal scenario for Buffalo is to add interior players that can play multiple roles.
Safety is most uncertain regarding the future. Starter Jordan Poyer’s new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, requested a contract extension for the 2021 first-team All-Pro. After playing in 79 regular-season games with Buffalo, and being part one of the best safety tandems in the league, the 31-year old is entering his final year of his contract. Micah Hyde.
“[Poyer and Hyde] are multi-dimensional players at the safety position,” ESPN analyst Matt Bowen said. “They can cover, they have range, they have ball skills, they are physical, tough and they can tackle. They can do everything you want at that position.”
Poyer has not yet taken part in voluntary OTAs, but McDermott didn’t sound concerned Poyer’s contract would become a long-term problem.
“I have a lot of confidence in Brandon, a lot of confidence in Jordan, and also a lot of confidence in our team that is here (at voluntary OTAs), and I think these things are going to find a way to work themselves out,” McDermott said. “My concern is that a player isn't here, in this case Jordan or a couple other players as well, and I'm always concerned about situations like that. But I've also learned to focus on what I can control.”
The Bills are safe and sound. Damar HamlinAnd Jaquan JohnsonPoyer is the only person with the same skill set as Poyer. This makes it worth paying attention to the situation.
Yes, Bills have Dawson KnoxThey signed an extension to their contract for one more year O.J. HowardIn free agency
“[Howard is] a big dude,” Allen said. I saw him running today and said, ‘I don’t want to be in front of that guy.’ We’ve got some big tight ends who are scary looking when they’ve got the ball in their hands.”
However, tight end was also an option that the team thought about adding in the draft.
Now that Howard is a reliable receiving threat at the position, the Bills might be able run more two-TE sets. After Knox's hand injury, their lack of depth at this position was a problem in 2021. Texas A&M tight end Jalen WydermeyerSigned with the team as an undrafted agent and could be eligible for a spot.