Probability of Every Roster Player of Making the 2014 Buffalo Bills Team : June Edition


Well that was a mouthful of a title. We here at BLD wanted to bring to the fans a way of sizing up the 2014 Buffalo Bills team before anyone else. With this in mind we sought to create a matrix of all players by their odds, or more correctly, probability, of making the cut. As there are no sure bets in life, no player received a 100% probability, even though players like EJ Manuel and Kiko Alonso will be surely suiting up this season. The goal of the article is to compare our assessment month over month until Kickoff weekend and see how some of the “bubble players” pan out.

Before diving into the full list, we compiled a few overview descriptive statistics of the team as it stands. Obviously loaded with rookies and unsigned free agents (all of which are coming out of college), the team appears to be quite young and inexperienced, with the average age/experience of 25.1 and 3.1 respectively. From the following table, a quick breakdown of the team makeup can be seen.

 

Buffalo Bills Team Overview : June 2014

 

A few stats that stood out to us:

  1. The team is quite balanced to this point, even before cuts, at a 47:48:5 ratio of Defense:Offense:Special Teams.
  2. The average age is 25.1, which is exactly 3.1 years after most students graduate college (at age 22), signaling very little lapse in playing time overall.
  3. With an average height of 6′ 2″, and weight of 245 lbs, the current roster is more or less in line with NFL averages (taking an average of an average), via http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/10/nfl-heights-weights-tallest-fattest
  4. As it stands now, the 2014 Bills have grown both horizontally and vertically over the 2013 roster, by about 3 lbs and 0.4 inches.

Next, we dove into the team position by position to see if there were any other gems of data that stood out.

 

Buffalo Bills Team Overview - By Position : June 2014

 

At this point nothing out of the ordinary, save for the average age of special teams being 3-4 years higher than the other units, due to the curve breaker Brian Moorman. What this does also tell us is which positions the team values the most and will see the most competition, which at this point appears to be the Offensive Line, Wide Receivers, and Secondary. This helped us grade each player by team need and their skill set, giving players with similar skills in less competitive positions a higher probability than a similarly graded player in a contested spot.

The following table lists each player on the current active roster along with their vitals, a probability of making the team (not starting, just making) along with non-scientific reasoning for the grading. We compared our results with a few other Bills sports websites and found to be quite in line with their predictions as well. The table is sorted by unit (Offense/Defense/Special Teams), then by Position, and finally by probability of making the team from highest to lowest.

Without any further ado, the June 2014 Buffalo Bills Team Roster Prediction:

Name
Pos.
Ht. (In)
Wt.
Age
Exp.
College
Prob %
Reason
Stephon GilmoreDB73190233South Carolina99%Lock to start but needs to step his game up
Leodis McKelvinDB70185287Troy95%Penciled in as the starting RCB, this 7 year man would have to drop significantly not to make the team.
Corey GrahamDB72196288New Hampshire94%Welcome home Mr. Graham!
Nickell RobeyDB68165222USC85%His Pick-6 last year against Miami might have kept him on the roster…for now.
Ross CockrellDB7219022RDuke80%The only way he doesn't make the team is by acting a rookie the entire summer. If he takes even one semi-decent step up he should be a lock for a 2nd or 3rd stringer.
Kenny LadlerDB7320521RVanderbilt75%Ladler's on the inside track for a 2nd or 3rd string spot in the secondary after his college performance.
Ron BrooksDB70190253LSU50%Three years into the system should give him enough experience to stay.
Mario ButlerDB73187252Georgia Tech50%If the Bills end up 8 CBs, Butler has a chance of making the team. But he will need to beat out a lot of competition.
Darius RobinsonDB7017522RClemson40%At least he's going to have a lot of teammates pulling for him…
Brandon SmithDB73205271Arizona State40%Most likely will end up starting…on the practice squad.
Michael CarterDB71189231Minnesota35%He's not high on anyone's depth chart right now; we'll re-evaluate at the end of June.
Deon BroomfieldDB7220622RIowa State30%An UFA will have a hard time finding playing time without a breakout summer camp.
Derek BrimDB7219922RBuffalo20%Will need to have an amazing minicamp to break in a crowded backfield
Mario WilliamsDL78292298NC State99%The only thing that would preclude Mario from making this team is a catasophe.
Kyle WilliamsDL73303309LSU98%One of the few Bills on this team from the Trent Edwards era.
Alan BranchDL78325297Michigan90%Second string LDT; should see more playing time if Dareus is suspended.
Marcell DareusDL75331244Alabama90%His off-field issues will be the only thing stopping him from playing 16 games
Jerry HughesDL74254255TCU90%While it reamins to be seen how Jim Schwartz will use Hughes, his talent and game-changing ability will not be discarded.
Jarius WynnDL75285276Georgia75%I like his chances as a strong 2nd stringer, rotating in with Jerry Hughes off the edge.
Corbin BryantDL76300262Northwestern70%Slated right now as a potential third string DT behind Alan Branch
Stefan CharlesDL77302252Regina (Canada)70%A sack and forced fumble is normally not enough to retain your job on an all star defense, but youth and Dareus's inability to stay out of trouble gives him hope.
Damien JacobsDL7528422RFlorida40%Once again a monster summer for a mammoth man must happen
Colby WayDL7629322RBuffalo20%At least he's going to have a lot of classmates pulling for him…
Ikponmwosa IgbinosunDL75286231Southern Connecticut State10%You'll have a better chance pronouncing his name than making the team.
Bryan JohnsonDL7625025RWest Texas A&M5%In the words of the bad guy from "Taken", 'Good luck'
Kiko AlonsoLB75238232Oregon99%If I could give a 100% probablity to someone, it would be him.
Brandon SpikesLB74255265Florida95%Could become the heart and soul of the Defense for years to come with another stellar performance in 2014.
Nigel BradhamLB74241243Florida State90%Second string WIL backer with 3 years experience in Buffalo
Manny LawsonLB77240299NC State90%In not drafting a pure DE in this year's Draft, the Bills signaled that they were comfortable with what they had in the 1-2 spots.
Keith RiversLB74235286USC90%A strong, versitile LB acquired from the Giants this offseason, the starting spot is his to lose.
Preston BrownLB74260210Louisville85%He is the Bills' long term solution in case the Brandon Spikes project does not work out.
Ty PowellLB74249262Harding60%His saving grace will be the fact that Manny Lawson moved up to DE in Schwartz's Defense.
James GainesLB7524021RMiami40%It's put up or shut up time for this "U" standout LB.
Randell JohnsonLB7624523RFlorida Atlantic40%Would need a lot to fall his way to make the team
Jacquies SmithLB74260241Missouri15%If he stays it will be on the practice squad.
Darrin KitchensLB7422922RFlorida10%Somewhat undersized but never underestimated, this UDFA is going to have to show a lot to coaches, and then hope for a special role on D.
Nathan WilliamsLB75249241Ohio State10%Gonna have to do something to stand out; maybe start on special teams.
Aaron WilliamsS72199244Texas99%Now with Jarius Byrd out, Williams needs to step up to become Johnny-on-the-Spot in the backfield.
Da'Norris SearcyS71216254North Carolina93%With the loss of Jarius Byrd, Searcy suddenly finds himself as a vetern of the Bills' safety unit.
Duke WilliamsS71201232Nevada85%He'll have to play his heart out over the summer, but that should be enough to earn him a spot on the team.
Jonathan MeeksS72209242Clemson80%May see significant time this offseason and compete with Searcy for SS1.
Jajuan HarleyS73215231Florida State10%Who?
Frank SummersFB69248281UNLV85%Unless Marone has a sudden change of heart for the fullback position, Frank's back for another year clearing holes.
Evan RodriguezFB74245253Temple5%Better start looking elsewhere Evan.
Cordy GlennOL78345243Georgia99%Hopefully 1/2 of the Bills new "bookend" tackles for years to come
Cyrus KouandjioOL7731020RAlabama95%Barring a Thor-like resurection from Erik Pears, the rookie that "doesn't know how to lose" will be holding RT down.
Kraig UrbikOL77324286Wisconsin95%A dependable player for the last 3 seasons, but might only be starting because the Bills cannot find anyone better at the moment.
Eric WoodOL76310286Louisville95%One of the vocal and actionable leaders on the team, the Bills will look to Wood to solidify the O-Line
Erik PearsOL80316319Colorado State90%Will most likely move to RT2 behind the incoming rookie Kouandjio, Pears has good experience but not a starting quality player.
Cyril RichardsonOL7634323RBaylor90%This 5th rounder will have some time to learn from Chris Williams before starting, but should eventually take over the lead LG1 role.
Chris WilliamsOL78326287Vanderbilt90%The Bills overpaid for this mammoth of a man, so he better make the team.
Doug LegurskyOL73315276Marshall60%The more I think about this, the more I don't see Legursky making the team.
Chris HairstonOL78330254Clemson55%With all the additions and young blood added this offseason, the only thing that would keep him is others' demise.
Mark AsperOL79325282Oregon50%Currently slated as 3rd string LG
Seantrel HendersonOL8034522RMiami50%The jury is still out here. People have expectations as large as his frame, but his maturity will seal his fate.
Antoine McClainOL77336241Clemson40%The only thing he has going for him is 1 year in Nate Hackett's system.
J.J. 'UngaOL77320272Midwestern State20%Bubble player looking in; played 3 games last year.
Randy CollingOL77320241Gannon10%Who?
Edawn CoughmanOL76313251Shaw10%See Randy Colling
EJ ManuelQB77240242Florida State99%If he doesn't make the team, who does?
Thad LewisQB74219264Duke95%While maybe not having all the intangibles of a 10-year starting QB, Thad has the heart of a lion and desire to win above all otehrs
Jeff TuelQB75221231Washington State80%"Tuel Time" lit up the tabloids last pre-season, but dropped like a bag of wrenches on primetime.
Dennis DixonQB75215295Oregon35%There is a chance he gives Tuel a run for his money for QB3
Fred JacksonRB73216338Coe College99%No entity can live without its heart
C.J. SpillerRB71200265Clemson98%One of the Bills' most electrifying players, expectations run high this year with a revamped Oline
Bryce BrownRB72220233Kansas State85%The Bills wanted him for over a year; hard to see such an explosive player not making the team.
Anthony DixonRB73233265Mississippi State75%While the Bills might have the best 1-2 RB tandem in the league, and Bryce Brown was highly coveted, Dixon might find success in goal line and special teams.
Ronnie WingoRB75231231Arkansas5%In a crowded talent with an embarassment of riches, I don’t see room for Wingo anywhere.
Scott ChandlerTE79260288Iowa98%The incumbant starting TE, the job is his to lose.
Tony MoeakiTE75252265Iowa85%Like his Hawkeye partner in the same position, Moeaki has green in front of him if he can live up to expectations.
Lee SmithTE78265264Marshall80%Will compete with Tony Moeaki for TE2.
Chris GraggTE75244231Arkansas50%I had such high hopes for this youngster last year but has failed to impress so far. Needs to step up.
Mike CaussinTE77243273James Madison30%The compeition is by no means fierce here, but he is definitely not starting.
Sammy WatkinsWR73205200Clemson99%No team trades both its 1st and 4th round picks of the next year for a non-starter.
Robert WoodsWR72190222USC95%He's going to have to double his output in 2014 to become the receiver everyone thought he would be.
Marquise GoodwinWR69179232Texas90%The only reason he won't make the team is TJ Graham turns into Jerry Rice.
Mike WilliamsWR74212275Syracuse85%He's penned in as WR2 right now, but that doesn't mean anything for someone who has not proven himself in quite awhile.
Marcus EasleyWR74217264UConn75%Most likely a lock especially with solid special teams play last year. Should step up in WR land to guarantee.
Chris HoganWR73220251Monmouth70%Right now a spot on the team is "7-11"'s to lose.
Kevin ElliottWR75205252Florida A&M40%Has youth and size on his side, along with improvement as the season progressed last year
T.J. GrahamWR71188243NC State40%The 40% here was generous. That should tell you all you need to know.
Ramses BardenWR78224285Cal Poly-S.L.O.30%Outside player looking in at a crowded position (See: Stevie Johnson)
Chris SummersWR77215241Liberty30%Currently does not reside on anyone's depth charts; looking at practice squad at the moment.
Caleb HolleyWR7420022REast Central (OK)25%Holley faces an uphill battle. In the rain. Wearing sandals. Blindfolded.
Cordell RobersonWR76205231Stephen F. Austin25%It doesn't look good for this 2nd year man trying to find a niche. Might find work as a situational WR if hands and jump are solid.
Dan CarpenterK74228287Montana90%The only reason he doesn’t make the team is if Hopkins has a miraculous offseason, which will not happen.
Dustin HopkinsK74193232Florida State60%Should remain on the team unless Dan Carpenter finds a fountain of youth.
Garrison SanbornLS73240286Florida State99%One of the few players on the team (and in the league) whose job is virtually safe.
Brian MoormanP721743814Pittsburg State90%The longest-tenured player on the Bills' roster, Moorman's job is more or less his to lose.
Jake DombrowskiP73190231Harvard10%Youth, and not brains, will carry this Ivy league grad.

 

As the summer progresses and players are added/removed/injured/waved, we will look to update this table until a final roster is generated. What do you think about the predictions so far? Add your comments below.

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References

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2077621-offseason-buffalo-bills-player-power-rankings

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2072895-assessing-every-buffalo-bills-udfas-chances-of-making-the-final-roster

http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/depth/_/name/buf/buffalo-bills

Tags: 2014 Team Bills Roster EJ Manuel Probability