4 Bubble Players Buffalo Should Watch Closely

The preseason is a showcase for players fighting to make an NFL roster. Here is a look at four players who have performed well in the preseason that may not make their respective rosters.

NFL rosters need to be cut down to 53 players on September 5. When the Buffalo Bills make their final cuts, a few players will be on the right side of the roster bubble. Unfortunately, those players won’t necessarily be safe once other teams make cuts. Buffalo will be looking for any players that they feel could be upgrades. After researching 53-man roster projections and reviewing Pro Football Focus, here are four players who have impressed in the preseason, but are on the bubble for their respective teams.

Lawrence Okoye, DE, 49ers

The 49ers have a deep and talented defensive line. It’s so deep that a player like Okoye may not make the team’s 53-man roster. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com recently made a roster projection and Okoye did not make the cut. If this happens, the Bills could pursue the talented project player. This preseason, he’s looked great in his limited snaps.

In 20 pass rush snaps, Okoye has four quarterback hurries, one quarterback hit and two stops.

Okoye has a background in track and field, specifically the discus. He competed for Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics and made it to the finals. In 2013, Okoye decided that he was going to attempt to play in the NFL. It should be noted that he never played a down of football in high school or college, but he did play rugby.

The 49ers have worked to develop the defensive end, but if he does get cut the team cannot assume that he’ll clear through waivers. The Bills and quite a few others teams could have interest in Okoye.

Taylor Boggs, OG, Lions

Tim Twentyman of Detroit Lions.com recently had Boggs as a bubble player on Detroit. Here is what Twentyman said about Boggs:

“Boggs has been a surprise performer. He’s been a steady second-teamer and was the first man into the game when right guard Larry Warford left with an ankle injury in Washington.

He has NFL experience (Chicago) and has been good when given an opportunity to play.”

Boggs is currently ranked third among all offensive guards at Pro Football Focus (+3.9 overall). He’s allowed two quarterback hurries but he has the highest run block rating at guard through the preseason with a +4.6.

Although Boggs has played extremely well, Twentyman noted that the Lions generally only carry four interior linemen believes Travis Swanson, Larry Warford, Laken Tomlinson and Manny Ramirez are locks to make the roster.

Buffalo lacks offensive line depth and Boggs may be the No. 1 player that the team pursues if he’s released by the Lions.

 Phillip Supernaw, TE, Tennessee Titans

First of all, Supernaw is just a great name. That gets him some early brownie points. Supernaw was listed as the Titans No. 3 tight end on their initial depth chart, so he could hang around with the Titans. If he doesn’t, Buffalo may like Supernaw for his blocking and ability to catch the ball.

Through the preseason, Supernaw has the second highest grade among all tight ends (+3.0). Ironically, Tennessee’s fourth string tight end Chase Coffman is ranked number one. Supernaw has a +2.3 grade in run blocking and has shown good hands for the Titans. In two preseason games, Supernaw has six receptions on six targets for 68 yards.

Buffalo’s tight ends behind Charles Clay have disappointed and the Bills may be looking to upgrade their third or fourth tight end.

Trevor Roach, ILB, Cincinnati Bengals

Buffalo lost Ty Powell for the year to an ACL injury and currently have Tony Steward and A.J. Tarpley competing for the MIKE linebacker role. Roach played at Nebraska as a MIKE linebacker and he’s played very well for the Bengals through two preseason games.

Roach was listed as Cincinnati’s fourth string middle linebacker on the team’s initial depth chart. Through two preseason games and 31 snaps, Roach is PFF’s top inside linebacker (+4.6). His biggest strength through two games has been his run defense (+3.9). He’s made four stops in two games and hurried the quarterback once.

Roach could be a Bills target if they’re unhappy with the play of Steward and Tarpley over the next two weeks.

It will be interesting to see how many of these players make their respective rosters and if they are claimed by other teams. Right now, all four seem like good fits for the Bills.


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