A little over two weeks following an embarrassing performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills fans have more questions than answers. A 27-10 divisional round humiliation has exposed serious flaws that need to be addressed urgently for the 2023 season.
Brandon Beane is faced with his toughest challenge to date as General Manager with several starters hitting the free agent market, and negative $19 million in projected cap space.
It’s safe to say that Beane will get creative and navigate the cap issues appropriately, but for the sake of the argument, we’ll assume that our “big ticket” free agents (Jordan Poyer, Tremaine Edmunds, Devin Singletary) all walk away from Buffalo.
Beane has to do some damage control to remain consistent in all three phases of the game, while addressing these three positions in priority.
Buffalo Bills top 2023 offseason positions of need: Offensive Line
The Buffalo Bills offensive line play in 2022 was uninspiring and pitiful.
2022 PFF Grades:
Roger Saffold 44.0 (UFA)
Spencer Brown 53.4
Mitch Morse: 61.0
Ryan Bates 61.5
Dion Dawkins 73.8
An offensive lineman’s value should not be determined based solely on Pro Football Focus grades. There are intangibles that only the players and coaches can fully understand; slide protection, blitz pickup, running back protection, etc.
With that in mind, the Buffalo Bills offensive line play was consistently poor on an individual performance level. The lack of consistency in the run game sets this offence back significantly, and while fans are quick to point the finger at Devin Singletary and James Cook, there’s not much they can do when defenders are meeting them in the backfield at the time of the handoff.
Protecting Allen in pass protection and creating displacement at the line of scrimmage on the run will take this offence to a level that will be near impossible to stop. Expect Brandon Beane to invest up front in the mid-rounds of the draft, and take a dip into the free agent market for some experienced, cheap veterans.