Final Bills 53-man roster projection

The Buffalo Bills have until Saturday at 4 p.m. to get their roster down to 53 players. Here's a look at who I see making the squad.

The Buffalo Bills have until 4 p.m. Saturday to get their roster down to 53-players. Even when Buffalo gets their roster down to 53, they will probably add a released player or two from other teams and release a few more players of their own. That said, this final 53-man roster projection is based on the team’s current roster.

Quarterback (2)

Tyrod Taylor, 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.” 

That said, there have supposedly been discussions about releasing Matt Cassel and in doing so, the Bills would free up almost $5 million in cap space. The team can use that money towards a Marcell Dareus extension. It’d be a very risky move on Buffalo’s part to carry two quarterbacks but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it happen.

Running Back (4)

LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, Anthony Dixon, Bryce Brown

Buffalo shocked everyone by cutting Fred Jackson. Look for Williams to win the second running back job when he’s completely healthy.

Fullback (1)

Jerome Felton

Felton is a lock for the roster. The question is, will the Patriots pursue John Conner after he’s released?

Wide Receiver (7)

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

By cutting Cassel, the Bills can keep a seventh wide receiver. Thigpen wins the spot due to his versatility. Chris Hogan is a bit of a surprise cut based upon his 2014 season, but the NFL is a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ league.  

Tight End (4)

Charles Clay, MarQueis Gray, Matthew Mulligan, Chris Gragg

Nick O’Leary is the odd man out after having a disappointing training camp and preseason. Clay and Gray can both create mismatches against linebackers and play big roles in Buffalo’s 2015 offense.

Offensive Tackle (3)

Cordy Glenn, Seantrel Henderson, Cyrus Kouandjio

Glenn and Henderson start the season as the team’s starters and Kouandjio also sees a role as the top reserve. The team could add a fourth tackle after other teams make cuts.

Offensive Guard (3)

John Miller, Richie Incognito, Cyril Richardson

Miller and Incognito are strong starters but Richardson makes the roster simply by being the best of the worst. He could easily be replaced by another released player.

Center (2)

Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik

Urbik is in the same boat as Richardson. If a better option comes along, Buffalo may replace Urbik.

Defensive End (4)

Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Red Bryant, Alex Carrington

Williams and Hughes could have huge seasons in Rex Ryan’s defense. Behind them, the Bills keep two. Bryant is on the downside of his career but he’s still strong against the run and Carrington sticks thanks to his ability to play end and tackle.

Defensive Tackle (3)

Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Corbin Bryant, Stefan Charles

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

Dareus and Williams have already proved themselves to be among the best in the league at defensive tackle. Bryant had a strong camp and preseason and will start in Week 1 for Dareus. Charles sticks on the roster and will rotate into the defense.

Linebackers (6)

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

Tarpley wins the reserve MIKE linebacker job after his strong game on Thursday. Reddick surprises some Bills fans and makes the roster.

Cornerback (6)

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

McKelvin is placed on the 53-man roster and not the NFI list, so he takes up a roster spot while he recovers from an ankle injury. Merrill Noel finds himself released and placed on the practice squad.

Safety (4)

Aaron Williams, Corey Graham, Bacarri Rambo, Duke Williams

Williams and Graham could end up being a top safety duo in Ryan’s defense. Rambo had a strong camp and preseason to win a job and Williams beats out Meeks for the fourth spot.

Kicker (2)

Dan Carpenter, Jordan Gay

Both kickers stick around for now. Ryan isn’t pleased with Carpenter’s preseason kicking and isn’t exactly high on carrying a kickoff specialist. That said, unless a better overall option becomes available, both players are in the lineup Week 1.

Punter (1)

Colton Schmidt

Schmidt had a great camp and preseason. He finished strong against the Lions on Thursday.

Long Snapper (1)

Garrison Sanborn

Sanborn has no competition for this role.

Practice squad possibilities: Matt Simms, Cierre Wood, Bronson Hill, Andre Davis, Dezmin Lewis, Nick O’Leary, Merrill Noel, Tony Steward

Aaron Wilson reported that Davis is a player the Bills want to add to their practice squad.

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