Now that the 2015 Buffalo Bills roster is more or less set in terms of additions to the team (I don’t anticipate many new marquee players added to the team between now and the start of the season), we can make a confident guess of who will be starting. From the starting players there are a number of Pro Bowl caliber, especially given the additions this offseason. With this in mind, I went through the current 90-man roster and picked out those that I think will be playing in this year’s Pro Bowl, assuming the Bills do not make a Super Bowl run. Take a look below and share your thoughts and comments who will be representing the team this year.
Mario Williams, DE – With the exception of JJ Watt, who is the closest thing to a football God, is there anyone more terrorizing on the football field than Mario? After putting up only 14.5 sacks last year, Mario had one of his best all around campaigns, causing disruption and forcing double teams constantly. This year with a Rex Ryan-led defense, there should be no reason why he does not better his 2014 numbers and find himself in the backfield as often as opponents’ Running Backs. With the resigning and rejuvenation of Jerry Hughes, who has looked excellent so far in OTA‘s, Mario will find himself left one on one too frequently not to succeed.
Jerry Hughes, DE – In case you missed the last paragraph on the Bills’ other stud Defensive End, Jerry is playing with a “hughes” (excuse the pun) chip on his should this year. After being snubbed in last year’s Pro Bowl selection, Jerry is out to not only show he was worth every cent of his recent contract, but to show he is one of the NFL’s best. Entering the prime of his career, it is not out of possibility to see him record 14+ sacks this year, given the adjustments and improvements Rex Ryan has brought to the Bills’ defense. Beyond his sack totals, if there were major statistics on QB pressures, hurries, knockdowns, and “throwing the ball way too early because Jerry Hughes is coming”, Jerry would most likely win all those as well.
Marcell Dareus, DT – Big Marcell. What else is there to say? Not only can he be labeled as the “prototypical DT or NT”, he is a major force on every Defensive play. From run stuffing to straight up the gut QB pressures, Marcell has shown that he must be schemed-against by every Offensive Coordinator. Dareus is another one of those guys, like Jerry Hughes, who has something to play for this season. Although he will lose one game due to his suspension, this is make-or-break year, which will define his career. Currently in negotiations with the Buffalo Bills, Marcell knows there is a lot riding on his performance this year and wants the league to know he is worth closer to Ndamukong Suh than Gerald McCoy.
LeSean McCoy, RB – Now before all the skeptics bash this pick, look at the facts around us. Rex Ryan has repeated stated (and not just for show) that he wants to “pound the ground” every game, and will “run up to 50 times if we can“. Well who do you think will be getting the majority of those carries? Barring a major injury (knock on wood), McCoy will touch the ball at least 20-30 times a game. If the revamped Bills O-Line can be a marginal step up from last year’s team (which should not be hard), he should be able to average 4-6 yards a touch (not only carries), which will project him at 1280 – 2880 all purpose yards for the season (and undoubtedly double digit TDs), making him a top vote for Pro Bowl honors.
Robert Woods, WR (Sub) – Most people that read blogs on the Buffalo Bills believe (rightfully so) that if any receiver would show up in the Pro Bowl, it would be Sammy Watkins, the team’s 1st pick last year. However, every team coming to play the Bills is also aware of this, and most likely will have their top corner, if not double team, on Sammy. This should provide Robert Woods with an excellent opportunity to breakout in his 3rd year, after showing signs of it last year. After picking up 65 receptions for 699 yards and 5 TDs in a patchwork QB season last year, if the Bills can get any kind of consistency at the Quarterback position this year (and decency), Woods could be in line for even more opportunities to shine. Expect him to put up slightly better numbers this year (projecting 800+ yrds and 7-9 TDs), and could be a supplement on the Pro Bowl roster.
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