In a recent rankings by The Draft Network, the Buffalo Bills were named the second best secondary in the AFC East.
The past two seasons, the Buffalo Bills have had one of the premier secondaries in the NFL finishing first in fewest passing yards allowed in 2018 at 179.2 yards per game and fourth in the same category in 2019 with only 195.2 yards per game allowed.
Even with those numbers, the Bills who has one of the top groups in the NFL may not be the best in their own division. Benjamin Solak at The Draft Network recently ranked the secondaries in the AFC East and had the Buffalo Bills second, while the New England Patriots were first.
"2) BUFFALO BILLSCB1: Tre’Davious WhiteCB2: Josh Norman/Levi WallaceNCB: Taron JohnsonSS: Micah HydeFS: Jordan PoyerFLEX: Levi Wallace/E.J. GainesIt was tough to call it between Buffalo and Miami; both have talented secondaries but can’t class with New England. I landed on Buffalo because the difference between its safeties and Miami’s is larger than that of Miami’s corners with Buffalo’s, even with the enhanced value of quality man cover corners.I rank Tre’Davious White over Byron Jones; if White hit the open market this year with Jones, I think he would have demanded a bigger contract. He is fresh of an All-Pro season where he saw largely the same coverage success but critically added a league-leading six interceptions, which matched the total of his first two seasons combined. That ball production was the big difference between him and Jones last year. White is also a true corner, not a convert to the position, and has accordingly been producing at a higher level for longer.CB2 is a glaring area of weakness right now for the Bills, who added Josh Norman with the hope he could reclaim some of his old success when he played under coach Sean McDermott in Carolina. Norman will battle with Levi Wallace, a former undrafted free agent who is a big winner among the coaching staff but didn’t match his 2018 peaks during his 2019 play. The same can be said of Taron Johnson, who shined as a rookie over the slot but was more average last season.I really am enamored by the Bills’ safety room. Jordan Poyer has blossomed from a modest contract add into a high-impact free safety with ball production and unbelievable run support ability. He was rightfully extended this year, which secures his future with Micah Hyde, one of the league’s better coverage box safeties with quality versatility and special-teams acumen. They are as versatile and trustworthy in coverage as the Patriots’ duo."
The fact that the Bills were ranked second here is not at all surprising as the Patriots had an excellent secondary and beat the Bills in every category from passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed and interceptions.
The part that is interesting though is that Solak believes the Bills are closer to the Miami Dolphins, who he ranks third, than to the New England Patriots. The Bills secondary has put up Top 5 numbers the past two years and entering 2020 could have the same exact starting secondary. The only reason they might not is if Josh Norman beats out Levi Wallace on the outside.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins added two new starters with Byron Jones and rookie Noah Igbinoghene and while talented, it remains to be seen see how they will perform in this defense and if they can live up to expectations.
There is also a strong case to be made that the Bills, when comparing each individual position is much more talented than the Dolphins at every position outside of the CB2 position.
The other point worth mentioning, when comparing the top three secondaries in the division, is the Buffalo Bills are the only one not expected to rely on a rookie this coming season. That experience could be enough to not only separate from the Miami Dolphins but potentially catch the New England Patriots for that top spot.