Around The AFC East: Buffalo Bills

It's Friday, which means it's time to go around our division and see what's happening with our rivals.

Kicking things off, as usual, is Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings:

Matty I: Let's talk depth.  What position are the Bills deepest at and what position do the Bills most lack depth?

Brian G: I'm currently very pleased with the amount of depth the Bills have at cornerback.  Terrence McGee remains the team's top corner, and while he's never been a true #1 corner, he's a very sturdy defender that is, quite obviously, a playmaker on special teams as well.  Jabari Greer came on and performed admirably as a third stringer-turned-starter last season, and he's been performing very well in OTAs.  Ashton Youboty hasn't been able to crack the lineup, but he's still a very solid young talent that could even be experimented with at safety, and free agent signee William James gives the team some much-needed size, especially covering slot receivers.  He should do well jamming the likes of Wes Welker.  Add in rookies Leodis McKelvin, Reggie Corner and Kennard Cox, and the Bills have seven corners fighting for as few as five roster spots (though it'll more likely be six).  There's some great competition there, as well as a lot of talent.

The depth that scares me the most is along the offensive line.  The Bills have a solid enough starting unit, but Jason Peters might hold out of training camp, right guard Brad Butler - in my opinion, the team's best run blocker last year - has a history of injury, and center Melvin Fowler is a weak link and had off-season shoulder surgery.  Kirk Chambers is the top reserve at tackle; he's unathletic and while he's tough, he'd be quickly exposed if forced to play significant chunks of time.  Veteran Jason Whittle is a solid reserve at guard and center (and a heck of a special teams blocker to boot), but he can't play tackle, and he too was injured last season.  Don't even get me started on Duke Preston, who has been taking first-team reps in place of Fowler at OTAs.  If any one of Buffalo's starting offensive linemen miss a significant portion of the season, the offense could be in serious trouble.  Not that they aren't already.

My Take: I'm with Brian here about the offensive line.  I think their starters are good.  but behind them are just a bunch of marginal players (much like here in Miami).  I'd also say that the tight end position would worry me if I was a Bills fan.

As far as the cornerbacks, call me a homer but I'm not at all impressed with that unit.  I like McKelvin and think he'll eventually be a star (which pains me to say, of course).  But McGee just doesn't do it for me as a #1 corner right now.  If McKelvin becomes the #1 by '09, I could definitely live with McGee as my #2.  But Leodis is just a rookie and Greer isn't any to get excited over.  I am with Brian, though, in that the Will James signing was a good one for them.  But overall, I have a hard time seeing the CB unit as "deep."

Anyways, head over to Buffalo Rumblings to see my response to his question.

Back in a bit with part 2...

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