3. Defensive tackle
Defensive tackle was a strong suit before the start of the off-season; it wasn’t a top five position of the team, but it also wasn’t a weakness. Now, just a few months later, it’s hard not to qualify the position group as a strength.
Drafting Ed Oliver in the first round changes the way the perception of the position. The Houston product will help shore up the Bills’ run defense, while also adding a pass-rushing skill set comparable to legends John Randle and Aaron Donald. However, he may not start week one, due to the talent already at the position.
Alongside Oliver is Star Lotulelei, Harrison Phillips, and Jordan Phillips. Lotulelei was a pricey free agent addition in 2018 — though he didn’t wow in his first season playing in Buffalo, he’s a lock to start and should continue to be a high-quality interior run stuffer.
Behind Lotulelei is a couple of Phillips’s. The first, Harrison, is a sophomore many see similar to Bills great Kyle Williams. The second is a former second-round pick that didn’t quite work out with the Dolphins but enjoyed a revival year in Buffalo in 2018.
As it currently stands, Lotulelei and Jordan Phillips are the starters — at least in spring practice — but expect to see a lot of movement there. Oliver has the potential to be an elite defensive tackle in the NFL, while Harrison Phillips can be their next Kyle Williams down the line. There aren’t any star talents here yet, but there is a lot of promise for that.