The defensive line for the Buffalo Bills is deep and the coaching staff is going to have plenty of different combinations at their disposal to try and confuse opposing offenses. The Bills have been a team that likes to rotate defensive linemen regularly over the course of the game. This past season Ed Oliver had the most defensive snaps among defensive tackles and Jerry Hughes had the most at defensive end with both only playing 58% of the snaps.
This season should be no different after the Bills used their first two picks on defensive ends that should allow them to keep players fresh. They also have some players that bring versatility and the team can use this to their advantage to create potential mismatches.
These are four different defensive line combinations that the Buffalo Bills could use this year.
Defensive Ends: Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison
Defensive Tackles: Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver
This is probably the easiest of the combinations to predict and shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. While the Buffalo Bills did draft Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr. with their first two picks, the coaching staff will likely lean on the veterans to set the tone early in the season.
On the ends will be Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, who were the team’s primary defensive ends a season ago. However, while they will be starting their snap count, particularly Addison, will likely go down this year as Brandon Beane indicated after the NFL Draft.
In the interior will be Star Lotulelei, who is returning after opting out of this past season, who will play the one-tech. He will be responsible for being the anchor of this line, clogging running lanes and engaging with blockers. This will then free up Ed Oliver to return to be a three-tech, which is better suited for his skill set as he can use his athleticism to get into the backfield and get after the quarterback.