Bills mid-Preseason 53 man roster projection

Buffalo has two preseason games left and will soon have to drop their roster down to 53 players. Here's a look at who makes the team after two preseason games.

The Buffalo Bills are halfway through their preseason schedule and there’s still a few roster spots up in the air. Some players have emerged as of late thanks to getting more opportunities on the field due to injuries.

Quarterback (3)

Tyrod Taylor, Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel

Rex Ryan recently said that he sees the team carrying all three quarterbacks.

“We’re going to keep 53 really good players and I have a funny feeling that means three quarterbacks.” 

The starter is still unknown at this point, but the order above is my predicted depth chart order as well.

Notable cut: Matt Simms doesn’t make the 53-man roster but he does have practice squad eligibility. He has a good chance of landing there with the Bills.

Running Back (4)

LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, Karlos Williams, Anthony Dixon

Good news: All four running backs are expected to be back in time for Week 1.

Bad news: All four running backs are dealing with injuries.

Fred Jackson is expected back soon and Dixon and Williams won’t be too far behind. The Bills know they have four talented backs, so limiting their work for the remainder of the preseason should be fine.

Notable cut: Bryce Brown ran well in the team’s first preseason game against the Panthers but then he suffered a minor hamstring injury. He’ll land elsewhere quickly.

Fullback (1)

Jerome Felton

Felton is a terrific lead blocker and should have a big role in this year’s offense.

Wide Receiver (6)

Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Percy Harvin, Marquise Goodwin, Deonte Thompson, Marcus Easley

Buffalo’s top three receivers are all banged up right now but all three should be back in action soon. Marquise Goodwin went down with an ankle injury last week but he later re-entered the game. He’s had a good camp so he deserves a spot. Deonte Thompson is the surprise of the group, but he is very deserving of making the 53-man roster. Easley was re-signed in the offseason for his special teams ability and that probably helps him stick on the roster.

Notable cuts: Chris Hogan got injured at the worst possible time. The receiver was having a disappointing camp due to drops. Now, he’s on the outside looking in. Andre Davis has a shot to land a roster spot if he performs well over Buffalo’s last two preseason games. Buffalo will attempt to stash Davis on their practice squad if he’s cut but another team may claim him after his strong camp.

Tight End (4)

Charles Clay, MarQueis Gray, Nick O’Leary, Chris Gragg

The options behind Clay have disappointed for the most part. Gray hasn’t done much throughout the preseason and the same can be said for O’Leary. Gragg had a good game against the Browns and right now he gets the nod ahead of Matthew Mulligan.

Offensive Tackle (3)

Cordy Glenn, Seantrel Henderson, Cyrus Kouandjio

Cordy Glenn has had a really good camp for the Bills and has looked strong throughout the preseason. Henderson and Kouandjio have also looked much improved in their second season. Henderson still holds a slight lead over Kouandjio but both could see quite a few snaps this season.

Offensive Guard (3)

John Miller, Richie Incognito, Cyril Richardson

Miller and Incognito have had impressive camps and they’ll be the starting duo for the team. Richardson’s play has been up and down but he may be the best backup option at guard.

Center (2)

Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik

Wood and Urbik handle center duties.

Defensive End (5)

Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, I.K. Enemkpali, Cedric Reed, Red Bryant

Williams and Hughes will create havoc on the field for Buffalo this year. The depth behind them took a hit when Jarius Wynn was lost for the season. Right now, IK Enemkpali and Cedric Reed get the nod on the roster as backups. Red Bryant, a new addition, sticks around due to his strong play against the run.

Defensive Tackle (4)

Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Corbin Bryant, Stefan Charles, Alex Carrington

Dareus does not count toward the 53-man roster due to his Week 1 suspension.

In Week 1, Bryant appears to have the inside track to start beside Williams. Stefan Charles will rotate into the defense throughout the season and he’s played well in his opportunities. Carrington is currently dealing with a shoulder injury, but he hangs onto a roster spot due to his ability to play defensive end and defensive tackle.

Linebackers (5)

Preston Brown, Nigel Bradham, Manny Lawson, Randell Johnson, A.J. Tarpley

No real surprises here. Tarpley earns the spot that belonged to Ty Powell.

Notable cut: Tony Steward still has a shot to land a job on the Bills but he’s currently on the outside of the roster bubble.

Cornerback (5)

Stephon Gilmore, Ronald Darby, Nickell Robey, Mario Butler, Ron Brooks

Leodis McKelvin starts the season the reserve/NFI list.

Gilmore and Darby start the season on the outside and Nickell handles nickel duties. Butler and Brooks see snaps as the top reserves. As for McKelvin, no one knows how serious his ankle injury is at this point, but he’s still cruising around St. John Fisher on a scooter. By placing him on the reserve/NFI list, McKelvin would miss six games.

Safety (4)

Aaron Williams, Corey Graham, Bacarri Rambo, Duke Williams

Williams and Graham are without a doubt the team’s starters at safety. Duke Williams was expected to make a push for the job but he’s disappointed in camp. That said, he still hangs onto the fourth safety spot behind Rambo.

Kicker (2)

Dan Carpenter, Jordan Gay

Carpenter just returned from a hamstring injury and the team probably keeps Gay around to handle kickoffs. Gay has looked okay in terms of kicking field goals so they may also keep him around in case Carpenter re-aggravates his hamstring.

Punter (1)

Colton Schmidt

Schmidt has had a solid camp and looked outstanding against the Browns on Thursday. He’s ready for the regular season.

Long Snapper (1)

Garrison Sanborn

Sanborn has no competition for this role.

Last 5 cuts: Marcus Thigpen, Andre Davis, Matthew Mulligan, Bryce Brown, Tony Steward

Things can still change in the last two weeks of the preseason, but here is how I see the final roster shaking out after two preseason games. 

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