Heading into this offseason, the Buffalo Bills have a lot of work to do with their offensive line as five of them, including four who started on different occasions this year, are entering free agency.
Tackle Daryl Williams and guard/center Jon Feliciano are the big question marks that the Bills need to address this offseason. Feliciano brought a unique sense work ethic to the line and is loved by his teammates. He has already stated this offseason that he doesn’t see himself going anywhere in free agency.
Williams was arguably one of Buffalo’s best offensive linemen this season and Spotrac.com predicts that he’ll draw an annual average salary of at least $8.8 million dollars. With the limited salary cap this season, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported will be no less than $180 million, the Bills will have some decisions to make.
Those decisions could impact who they take in the 2021 NFL Draft and if the Bills don’t bring back Williams in free agency ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. believes the Bills will select Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins with the No. 30 overall pick.
Kiper Jr. wrote that Buffalo’s decision could depend on whether they bring back Williams, along with if they believe former second-round pick Cody Ford will pan out as a guard or tackle. If the former Oklahoma Sooner moves to guard, right tackle becomes a position of need for Buffalo with captain Dion Dawkins locking up the left side.
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Bills Could Also Draft a Cornerback
If the Bills end up resigning Williams and a cornerback they like drops to No. 30, Kiper Jr. believes that the Bills could also look to address their depth at the position. The only cornerbacks that are definitely returning this upcoming season are Tre’Davious White and rookie Dane Jackson.
Veteran cornerback Josh Norman and Levi Wallace are both free agents this offseason and Beane has been high on Jackson since the end of the season. Drafting a cornerback could address their depth at the position and bring in competition for Jackson leading into the season as Beane said he has a chance to compete for the starting CB2 position.
In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, the Bills were connected to Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. who was described as an “absolute playmaker” during his college career.
In five games this season, Jackson showed that the game wasn’t too big for him even as a rookie. In two starts, he tallied 15 tackles, one fumble recovery, and picked off a pass against the New York Jets in Week 7 that swung the momentum of the game. Due to their depth at cornerback, Jackson spent most of the season on the practice squad, but when he was given the opportunity he played well.
Kiper Jr. Changed his Bills Draft Prediction
Earlier this offseason when Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft of the offseason, he had the Bills selecting Alabama’s Najee Harris with the No. 30 overall pick.
As both Beane and McDermott stated in their end-of-the-season press conferences, they want to be able to run the ball better next season, but that also comes down to blocking better, opening up holes, and holding blocks on the outside better.
So, while the Bills may address their running game in some way shape, or form this offseason, they also see the offensive line as an area they need to develop as well.