5 bold predictions for Buffalo Bills preseason game against the Steelers

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Christian Benford will insert himself back into the CB2 conversation

In the first preseason, Dane Jackson got the start, but we don’t really know if that is indicative of who is leading the way in the battle for the number two cornerback spot. Throughout training camp and practices, the reports have been back and forth.  One day it’s Jackson making plays, the next it’s Benford or Kaiir Elam.  Here’s the thing, we know what we have with Jackson.  He’ll be where he needs to be, he’s a steady player and understands the defense.

Elam and Benford offer more upside but neither have really taken the reigns and pulled away in this competition.  At the end of the day, my money is on Benford though.  He seems to be the most balanced corner and with upside, whereas Jackson is balanced but likely peaked in his development.

Elam is concerning for me with his propensity to commit penalties, such as pass interference or holding.  He’s an aggressive player, solid in man coverage but lacks discipline.  He has yet to figure out how to play aggressively, while avoiding the penalties and is still a liability in zone coverage.

This is the week that Benford stakes his claim for the starting role, opposite Tre’Davious White.  He got the start over Elam to begin last season and had he not suffered the season-ending injury, I think he would have become the full-time starter by season’s end. With a healthy secondary and Benford in the lineup, this secondary could be one of the best in the league in 2023.