FanRag Sports took the time to rank defensive units in the AFC East by position and team. The results were average for the Buffalo Bills.
Yesterday, I took notice of how the Buffalo Bills fared on offense when compared with the AFC East by position — according to an article by FanRag Sports. Luckily, they also published an article ranking the defenses in the AFC East by position.
The results weren’t as good as the offensive results, but they were close. In case you missed those, the Bills ranked 1st in the AFC East with running backs and offensive line, 2nd with tight ends and quarterback and 3rd with wide receivers.
I also want to point out — again — that the New York Jets placed fourth in all categories.
This time around, the Buffalo Bills weren’t featured at the top of any rankings on defense. They did, however, rank 2nd with their linebacker crew, interior defensive lineman and surprisingly the cornerbacks.
The New England Patriots boast the most dangerous linebacker group, but the Bills could definitely surprise some critics this season in that category. Switching to a 4-3 defense, the Bills are currently trying out Reggie Ragland, Lorenzo Alexander, Preston Brown, Gerald Hodges and Ramon Humber for those 3 linebacker positions.
That’s a good problem to have. They also have rookies Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo. The recent addition of Sam Barrington will bring more competition, but that came after the FanRag Sports article was published.
Ranking the Bills 2nd with interior defensive lineman shows a lot of confidence in Buffalo’s healthy mix of youth and veterans. Especially when the first comment made by the author — Jon Ledyard — was “This is a highly-talented position group for every team in the AFC East, making it extremely tough to rank the four squads.”
Here’s what he said about Buffalo’s group:
"The Bills have two of the top seven or eight interior defensive linemen in the NFL when Dareus is healthy and motivated, but they were a sieve against the run last season when Dareus went down. It’s tough to give a unit that was that bad the top spot in these rankings, but the individual talent to have a huge bounce-back year is there."
The Jets placed 1st in that category.
The last 2nd place ranking came with the cornerbacks — where the Patriots once again sat atop the AFC East. Ledyard had some encouraging words for the youth in this category in Buffalo:
"For Buffalo, Darby was left on an island a lot last year and really struggled after a strong rookie season, but coach Sean McDermott’s Cover 3-heavy scheme should bode well for him. It remains to be seen exactly where White will fit into the starting lineup, but his experience outside and in the slot will add much needed versatility. The depth is still relatively young and unproven, but Seymour allowed just 0.89 yards per coverage snap and gave up a reception just once every 14.8 snaps in his 177 coverage reps in 2016, according to PFF Elite."
The Buffalo Bills didn’t rank too well when it came to edge rushers (3) and safeties (4 – last), unfortunately. Ledyard really liked the Dolphins’ edge rushers and was iffy about the Patriots and Bills in that regard. As for safeties, Ledyard noted that the Bills have “one of the worst safety rooms in the NFL.”
Although he had little hope for Buffalo at safety, there was some hope for the edge rushers. Ledyard noted big seasons from Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson could move them up on the list, mainly due to “poor” depth at the position.
How would you rank the Buffalo Bills’ defense in the AFC East by position? Leave your thoughts below!