Buffalo Bills: Position battles will be the story of training camp in 2018

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The influx of young talent will provide the Buffalo Bills with a wealth of options. There will be plenty of position battles to keep an eye on.

This year’s training camp will be much different than previous years for the Buffalo Bills. There is a significant number of young players looking for playing time. McDermott and Beane are in year two of their “process” and they’re getting players that fit their system.

If you look back at the roster from a year ago, you’d see recognizable faces like Sammy Watkins, Ronald Darby, Richie Incognito, Eric Wood and Tyrod Taylor. Those players are now gone and have been replaced by recent draft picks and mid-level free agents.

When a team has a roster upheaval like the Bills have had recently, two things usually follow. The first is the learning period where players are tested mentally and physically. This transpires during OTAs and voluntary workouts. The second is a wealth of competition throughout the roster, with each new player being brought in to compete for playing time.

Both make this year’s training camp captivating.

Now, don’t be foolish, Chris Ivory is not going to overtake LeSean McCoy as the workhorse in the offense. Like most teams, the Bills have players that are considered starters without question like LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay, Kyle Williams and the whole starting secondary (Hyde, Poyer, White, Davis).

The Bills have also paid several free agents mid-to-high-level contracts, which indicates that they are considered day one starters by the front office and coaching staff. Those players are (CB) Vontae Davis, (DT) Star Lotulelei, (DE) Trent Murphy and (C) Russell Bodine. I believe it would take an unbelievable camp from a backup to unseat one of those players on the depth chart.

This will be known as the year of camp competition. There will be position battles, on both sides of the ball that Bills fans should be paying attention to. I will be writing a series of articles, throughout the month of June, highlighting the four most important battles that will determine where the Bills land in the standings this upcoming year.

The articles will be focused on the following position battles:

(June 3) Slot Corner: Philip Gaines, Taron Johnson, Levi Wallace

(June 10) Guard: Vladimir Ducasse, Ryan Groy, Wyatt Teller

(June 17) Slot Wide Receiver: Andre Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Ray-Ray McCloud, Austin Proehl

Next: Seven moves the Bills should explore this summer

(June 24) Quarterback: Josh Allen, A.J. McCarron, Nathan Peterman