Buffalo Bills: Question at CB drags secondary down in PFF rankings

The question of who starts opposite Tre’Davious White at cornerback kept the Buffalo Bills outside of the Top 5 in Pro Football Focus’ rankings at secondary.

The secondary for the Buffalo Bills defense is one of their strengths and they are coming off an excellent season last year. They finished fourth in passing yards allowed (195.2), second in passing touchdowns allowed (15) and third lowest passer rating (78.8).

The Bills have one of the best duos at safety in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer as well as Tre’Davious White at cornerback. This past season was a breakout year for White as he was tied for the league lead in interceptions with six and made his first Pro Bowl and earned his first-team All-Pro honor.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that when Pro Football Focus released their rankings of every secondary in the NFL that the Bills would be in the Top 10, ranked seventh overall in the league.

The Bills have done a fantastic job covering on the back end over recent years, and they’ve had success with several different cornerbacks in their zone-heavy scheme.

Tre’ Davious White has earned a coverage grade of 85.6 since 2017 — 13th-best in the NFL — to go with the second-lowest passer rating allowed, at 60.9. White has tracked opposing No. 1 receivers at points in his career, allowing the Bills to play more man coverage and add flexibility to their scheme.

However, if they can answer the big question at cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White, this secondary should be even better and rank higher next year. The team has essentially three players competing for the starting job with last year’s starter Levi Wallace hoping to hold onto the starting job from free agent signings Josh Norman and E.J. Gaines.

The player that has the most potential is certainly Norman as he has proven to play at a level that he was considered one of the best in the league. In 2015, as a member of the Carolina Panthers and with Sean McDermott as his defensive coordinator, he earned his only Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro selection of his career.

However, that was five years ago and during that time has had average success with Washington. He was even benched midway through last season and saw his playing time significantly reduced.

It is good to see that these players got the recognition they did being ranked seventh overall but if the Buffalo Bills can find the answer to the other cornerback spot, this group should be playing at a level that they would be considered one of the best secondaries in the NFL.