Buffalo Bills needs list, depth chart heading into 2022 NFL Draft

The Buffalo Bills entered the offseason with holes on their roster and created some more with roster cuts. So where are the holes still on their roster now as they enter final preparations for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Let’s go position by position to see where the Bills’ draft picks have a shot at making the roster. At the back end of the article is our best guess at what the depth chart looks like right now.

Note: Players listed alphabetically. Free agent signings marked by asterisk*.

quarterback

Josh Allen
Matt Barkley*
Case Keenum*

The Bills have a solid group at quarterback but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see them add a late-round QB to develop as the long-term backup to Josh Allen. Barkley and Keenum are on one-year deals. I don’t know if that third QB is going to be able to make the actual 53, but it’s certainly a draftable position group.

Running Back

Duke Johnson*
Taiwan Jones
Zack Moss
Devin Singletary
FB: Reggie Gilliam

The Bills could look to shore up this position for the long term with a big swing in the first couple rounds. Moss and Johnson won’t stop them from making a move here and while Singletary came on late, he hasn’t proven to be a game changer, plus he’s entering the final year of his deal.

wide receiver

James Crowder*
Gabriel Davis
Stefon Diggs
Isaiah Hodgins
Jake Kumerow
Isaiah McKenzie
Marquez Stevenson

I think wide receiver in Round 1 is definitely in play. The Bills have rolled three-deep at outside wide receiver for several years and are one injury away from Isaiah McKenzie or Jamison Crowder being relied on as a top outside option. With that being said, I expect a huge run on receivers in the first round that could dilute the pool at the position very early this week. I hope the Bills are able to address the position at some point soon.

tight end

OJ Howard
Dawson Knox
Quintin Morris
Tommy Sweeney

This is an underrated need for the team. Buffalo may want to run more 2-TE looks under new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, and Howard, Knox, and Sweeney all have one year left on their contracts. For 2022 and especially for beyond 2022, tight end is a position to watch.

Offensive tackle

Spencer Brown
Dion Dawkins
Tommy Doyle
Bobby Hart
David Quessenberry*

A lot of this would depend on what you think of Doyle, who was their top reserve offensive lineman by the end of 2021. If he’s your long-term answer at swing tackle, they may avoid this position group altogether. The late addition of Quessenberry gave them a solid swing tackle, too. If they like Doyle, this position group might be off the board.

Interior OL

Ryan Bates
Ike Boettger
Jacob Capra
Cody Ford
Rodger Saffold*
Greg Mancz*
Mitch Morse

Buffalo doesn’t have an obvious hole for 2022, but Saffold is on a one-year deal and the Bills have consistently plugged in new guards each and every year. Drafting a guy to develop for one year and become the starter after Saffold leaves could be in the cards and there have consistently been injuries at this position group, as well. Despite a long list of starting experience in this group, it doesn’t feel 100% settled.

Defensive tackle

Eli Ankou
Brandin Bryant
DaQuan Jones*
Ed Oliver
Jordan Phillips*
Tim Settle*

Buffalo made a significant investment in free agency at the position group and they clearly value the defensive line. I don’t think DT is going to be a draft priority but with that emphasis on DL, you can’t rule it out.

defensive end

Boogie Basham
AJ Epenesa
Shaq Lawson*
Mike Love
von Miller*
Greg Rousseau

Another position group that has seen significant investment over the last few offseasons, I wouldn’t expect this to be a draft priority, but ruling it out would be foolish. They have legit starters in the young Rousseau and vet Miller, but beyond that there are a lot of question marks. Epenesa and Basham are developmental second-round picks who haven’t proven anything. Lawson is a journeyman veteran minimum player and Love has four career games at age 28.

linebacker

Tyrel Dodson
Tremaine Edmunds
Joe Giles-Harris
Marquel Lee*
Tyler Matakevich
Matt Milano
Andre Smith

Following the loss of AJ Klein, this is another sneaky need position for the team when you consider Tremaine Edmunds is in the final year of his rookie deal. I’m higher on Dodson than some, but this is a position group where Buffalo could look to start stacking talent with a Day 3 pick who could play his way onto the roster.

corner back

Olaijah Griffin
Tim Harris
Dane Jackson
Taron Johnson
Cam Lewis
Nick McCloud
Siran Neal
Tre’Davious White

Still what I would consider the biggest hole on the team is CB2. Tre White is coming off an injury and may not be ready for the start of the season. Dane Jackson has proven himself capable, but are we really going to put Siran Neal out as a starting cornerback if Tre can’t play Week 1? The Bills haven’t added a veteran placeholder as we expected, so maybe this is the year they finally use a draft pick on the spot to cost-control the position as White’s cap hits increase. It could also help smooth the transition as Buffalo inevitably parts ways with safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde over the next several years.

safety

Damar Hamlin
Micah Hyde
Jaquan Johnson
Jordan Poyer
Josh Thomas

Poyer is entering the final year of his deal while Hyde has two left. Both are on the wrong side of 30. Maybe this is the year Buffalo adds a safety to begin the transition. We’ve liked what we have seen from Jaquan Johnson, but he’s also on the final year of his deal. This position group looks great in 2022, but like a lot of other position groups we listed today, could be in line for an infusion of future prospects.

Specialists

K Tyler Bass
P Matt Haack
LS Reid Ferguson
KR/PR Isaiah McKenzie
KR/PR Marquez Stevenson

Haack is another glaring weakness on the team, and punter would be a solid bet on Day 3. A few years ago, Bass was the pick because general manager Brandon Beane saw a path to the roster for a drafted kicker but didn’t necessarily see a spot at other positions. The same can be said in 2022 for punter. Adding another talented returner could make a lot of sense, too, as Buffalo didn’t seem to trust McKenzie or Stevenson at times in 2021.


You can see our projected depth chart below.

Projected Bills Depth Chart, Pre-Draft 2022

position Starter backup Reserve Reserve
position Starter backup Reserve Reserve
QB Josh Allen Case Keenum* Matt Barkley*
RB Devin Singletary Zack Moss Duke Johnson* Taiwan Jones
FB Reggie Gilliam
WR1 Stefon Diggs Jake Kumerow Isaiah Hodgins
WR2 Gabriel Davis Marquez Stevenson
SWR James Crowder* Isaiah McKenzie
AT Dawson Knox OJ Howard* Tommy Sweeney Quintin Morris
LT Dion Dawkins Tommy Doyle
LG Rodger Saffold* Ike Boettger Jacob Capra
C Mitch Morse Greg Mancz*
RG Ryan Bates (RFA) Cody Ford
RT Spencer Brown David Quessenberry* Bobby Hart
LE Greg Rousseau Boogie Basham Mike Love
1T DaQuan Jones* Tim Settle* Eli Ankou
3T Ed Oliver Jordan Phillips* Brandin Bryant
RE von Miller* Shaq Lawson* AJ Epenesa
MLB Tremaine Edmunds Tyler Matakevich Marquel Lee* Joe Giles-Harris
WLB Matt Milano Tyrel Dodson Andre Smith
CB Tre’Davious White Olaijah Griffin Nick McCloud
FS Jordan Poyer Damar Hamlin
SS Micah Hyde Jaquan Johnson Josh Thomas
NB Taron Johnson Cam Lewis
CB Dane Jackson Siran Neal Tim Harris
k Tyler Bass
p Matt Haack
LS Reid Ferguson
KR/PR Isaiah McKenzie Marquez Stevenson

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