Taking a closer look at the Buffalo Bills’ defensive line

Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Jack Mewhort (75) tries to block Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) during a game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Jack Mewhort (75) tries to block Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) during a game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

Continuing on with the Buffalo Bills position preview, next up is the defensive line.

The defensive line will be interesting to see how they play given they are switching back to a 4-3 defense. Everyone also knows how important getting to the quarterback is and the Buffalo Bills hope they have enough talent to do it regularly.

The team did a very smart thing in bringing back Kyle Williams, who will help lead the line to success.

Defensive linemen currently on the roster

  • Marcell Dareus
  • Kyle Williams
  • Jerry Hughes
  • Shaq Lawson
  • Ryan Davis
  • Adolphous Washington
  • Jerel Worthy
  • Max Valles
  • Deandre Coleman
    (Not included are camp bodies, or players who most likely won’t make the roster)

Marcell Dareus

Starting on the interior of the line with Mr. Big Stuff Marcell Dareus. Dareus’ time with the Bills has been up and down from drug suspensions to not being in shape and so on. But now, it appears Dareus won’t be facing any suspensions this season (hopefully). Dareus will also need to stay healthy this season, and if he does he should be a pro bowl caliber player.

It also could be a make or break season for Dareus, as he now has no connections to the coach or GM and if he fails to play well he may be cut. Dareus hasn’t had 10 or more sacks since 2014 and that was the only time in his career.

For the Bills to get to the quarterback, Dareus will need to get some more sacks.

Marcell Dareus Role: Starting DT 

Kyle Williams

This may be Kyle Williams final season in Buffalo and as an NFL player and if it is, it has been an incredible career. Williams will start beside Dareus and add some pressure to opposing teams offensive line. Williams has been a fantastic player for the Bills.

Hopefully they get to the playoffs, because Kyle deserves it.

Kyle Williams Role: Starting DT

Jerry Hughes

The four starting defensive lineman will all return to Buffalo which should boost Sean McDermott’s defense. Hughes played in all 16 games last season for the 5th year in a row and put up 6.0 sacks. If Hughes can replicate that and stay healthy, the Buffalo Bills should be happy with his performance.

There is no reason why Hughes can’t put up 10+ sacks.

Jerry Hughes Role: Starting RE

Shaq Lawson

Lawson will hope to get past his rookie season which he wasn’t happy with. After the Bills drafted him in the first round, Lawson missed a couple games with an injury and then just couldn’t find his rhythm. Now, Lawson will hopefully have a fully healthy season, playing opposite of Jerry Hughes, and get to quarterback and stabilize the Bills front seven.

Shaq Lawson Role: Starting LE

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Ryan Davis

Davis was a free agent signing for the Bills when McDermott was hired to provide depth after switching back to a 4-3 defense. Davis has spent time in Jacksonville for three seasons and the Cowboys for one season in 2016.

In 2014, Davis saw a lot of action and played in all 16 games, where he put up 6.5 sacks.

Ryan Davis Role: Backup RE

Adolphus Washington

Washington, like Lawson, had an uneventful rookie season and now will be fighting to get some backup snaps at the DT position. Washington last season played in 15 games, putting up 2.5 sacks and 21 tackles.

The hope is Washington can improve his play a lot and then start in 2018 if Kyle Williams retires.

Adolphous Washington Role: Backup DT

Jerel Worthy

Worthy returns to Buffalo after playing in 13 games last season with the Bills. He put up 0.0 sacks. Worthy has never put up much sacks in his three year career, but if he can just backup Dareus and play limited snaps that is all that will be needed from Worthy.

But, Worthy now does have backup competition with DeAndre Coleman.

Jerel Worthy Role: Backup DT 

Max Valles

Valles was a 6th round draft pick of the Raiders in 2015, but failed to make the roster and spent the season on the practice squad. Following the 2015 season, the Bills signed Valles off the Raiders practice roster and was subsequently waived and signed to a futures contract.

Now this is the best chance for Valles to stick on an NFL roster and actually get playing time. If he fails to do so, his career may be over.

Max Valles Role: Backup LE

DeAndre Coleman

Coleman is back in Buffalo after playing in five games for the Bills last season. In those five games Coleman only recorded three tackles and is still searching for his first NFL sack. Coleman will either be the last cut or the last person to make the roster on the defensive line, but is the early favorite to be the 3rd string DT behind Dareus and Worthy.

DeAndre Coleman Role: 3rd String DT

Next: Brandon Beane putting together all-star scouting department

What are your early thoughts on the Buffalo Bills’ defensive line? Let us know in the comments section below!