PFF ranks Buffalo Bills secondary fourth in the NFL

Tre'Davious White, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Tre'Davious White, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Pro Football Focus released their annual positional rankings for every NFL team.

Ahead of the 2021 season, the Buffalo Bills stout secondary came in fourth place. Buffalo was sandwiched between the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots, with the Denver Broncos getting the top spot. When comparing these NFL teams, Pro-Bowl nominations and personal player awards are fun, but a cohesive unit is what is most important.

When building an NFL secondary, you can’t do much better than what the Buffalo Bills have done in recent years. Signing two free-agent safeties ahead of the 2017 season in Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde who were underappreciated and underutilized on their former teams. Also the signings of Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace, and former fourth-round pick, Taron Johnson have all excelled.

These five have been the core of that Bills secondary since they joined the team. Now with adding players like Dane Jackson, Rachad Wildgoose, and Damar Hamlin to the fold to compete, it may bring this already-great Bills secondary to the next level.

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills /

Buffalo Bills

How this measures up with last year’s rankings

According to ESPN, the Buffalo Bills defense last season ranked 13th in the NFL, allowing 232.9 passing yards per game. Only one of the three teams listed above the Bills for the 2021 season outlook ranked higher than Buffalo in pass defense in 2020.

The Baltimore Ravens were placed second in PFF’s positional rankings, allowing 221.0 passing yards per game. With Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters returning, along with the additions of Jimmy Smith and Shaun Wade in the secondary, the fierce Baltimore defense that blitzed more than any other defense in the NFL last season will look to continue their success.

All signs point to the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns being some of the top teams in the AFC next season, and with the offseason additions the Browns made to their defense, it will be a tough task for any opposing offense.

Is fourth a fair ranking?

Had Buffalo went out and drafted one of the top remaining corners on the board at 30 back in April, or signed a free agent corner we could have seen them higher on the list. At this time, fourth is fair and maybe even generous.

With a big question mark of who will line up across from Tre’Davious White, it’s easy to make an argument that Buffalo may be ranked too high. Although Dane Jackson flashed in moments when he saw playing time last season, it isn’t easy to slot in a former seventh-round pick who played in five games as CB2 on any depth chart.

Wallace is learning fast, but inconsistent play has followed him. Entering his fourth season with the Bills, McDermott and his staff know what type of player they are getting in Wallace and likely won’t see a huge jump in production.

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There is still plenty of time left this offseason if Brandon Beane would want to add another piece to the secondary. With reported interest in former Steelers corner Steven Nelson, and players like Richard Sherman still free agents, the Bills have the opportunity to boost the defense if they feel the need.