The 2012 Buffalo Bills 53-Man Roster: A (Very Early) Guess

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Defensive Line: Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Chris Kelsay, Shawne Merriman, Alex Carrington, Spencer Johnson, Kellen Heard

The top five guys (M. Williams, K. Williams, Dareus, Anderson, and yes – Kelsay) are locks. After that, it gets interesting. I think Johnson’s pretty safe because he’s versatile enough to play all four spots. Merriman is tempting enough he’ll likely make the team if healthy. It’s a bit of crapshoot after that. I had Carrington and Heard sneaking onto the roster, but guys like Torell Troup, Kyle Moore, and Robert Eddins will get looks. I’d be surprised if Dwan Edwards makes this team, but I suppose he can’t be counted out either.

Linebacker: Nick Barnett, Kelvin Sheppard, Kirk Morrison, Bryan Scott, Nigel Bradham, Tank Carder, Chris White, Arthur Moats, Danny Batten

The three current starters (Barnett, Sheppard, Morrison) are locks, and Scott has carved himself out a nice little niche as the linebacker in passing situations. Bradham is a lock, and unless Carder is awful in camp he’ll be on the team. There will be a scramble for the backup spots between White, Moats, Batten, and Scott McKillop. Nine is a lot of linebackers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Bills kept a few extra guys here.

Cornerback: Terrence McGee, Stephon Gilmore, Justin Rogers, Ron Brooks, Aaron Williams

Notably absent from this list is former first-round pick Leodis McKelvin, who has probably burned through all his chances in Buffalo. He’ll need to really outplay Rogers, Brooks, or McGee and/or hope someone gets hurt if he wants to remain a Bill in 2012. Keeping six CBs isn’t out of the question either.

Safety: George Wilson, Jairus Byrd, Da’Norris Searcy, Joshua Nesbitt

The top three for sure…and that might be it. If the Bills do carry a fourth safety, Nesbitt could steal a roster spot, or undrafted rookies Nick Saenz, Delano Howell, or Nick Sukay could grab that spot for themselves.

Specialists: Rian Lindell, Brian Moorman, Garrison Sanborn

I think the Bills will think better of wasting a roster spot on a kickoff specialist, so no John Potter here. Maybe he hangs around on the practice squad in case of emergency.


So what do you think? Am I wrong/crazy in a few spots? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Chris Trapasso

    Solid prediction, Brad. I see them keeping six DB’s, so Leo’s making the team. 

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  • dominiccxdaniels

    I think 6 receivers will make the squad this year so Hagan is in.  (Sorry Jasper).  Also I agree with Chris regarding Leo.  Nesbitt (due to Scotts ability to play safety) or Heard could be on the cut list.

  • Zac_Walters

    I think your guesses look pretty solid with 2 guys. I think Merriman is a virtual lock. The surgery he had is the same procedure Suggs had a couple months ago and could put him in a position to play this year. Living in Maryland being UMD alum and the same age a Shawne, I hear a lot about him from folks close to his situation and by all accounts dude is back. I think his recovery might be underplayed as a strategy, when he hits the field week one folks won’t know what hit them.
    The other is Arthur Moats who I see as another virtual lock. While I have no personal knowledge of his situation his special teams play is undeniable and his ability to stay in this defense as versatile, quiet but consistent back-up role has all of the signs of a coach favorite. Also, watching him in practice whether it be in Bills Round-up or during camp at St. John-Fisher; this guy comes to play every time he puts on a helmet.

  • Zac_Walters

    *With the exception of 2 guys* -My bad.

  • Brad Andrews

     @dominiccxdaniels Six CBs wouldn’t be a surprise at all. But I’m wondering if Gailey and the rest of the staff have lost patience with Leo. I think he’s going to need a  strong preseason or he’s gone.

  • dominiccxdaniels

     @Zac_Walters  , I’m a fan of Moats.  I’m interested in what he will do with a full camp.  He has the desire and I feel that some good coaching will go a long way for him.

  • jpitzonka

    McKelvin should make the team – he is good enough to be the #5 or 6 CB and his return abilities can’t be overlooked. I expect 6 WRs on the roster as well - Hagan for special teams and they also seem to love David Clowney (Easly could be cut if they keep those two). Those spots could come at the expense of the 9th LB spot (Batten) and the 4th safety spot (Nesbitt).

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  • BuffNut13

    You only kept 23 players on offense and 27 players on defense.  There’s no way they have that kind of imbalance.  They usually keep it even with 25 and 25 on both sides of the ball plus the three special teams spots.  They’ll most likely keep 6 WR’s and 3 TE’s.  There’s really no point in keeping 9 LB’s.  Especially since they’ll be in their nickel package the majority with only 2 LB’s on the field.  Just something to consider.

  • MuranoPlace

    I know its a great kind of training…Its a very traditional kind of drafts hope that all all  players will like to join here…Great   total  package.