The first depth chart of the season has dropped, and Buffalo Bills fans couldn’t be more excited. What does the depth chart look like and are there any surprises?
Surprises On The Buffalo Bills First Depth Chart Of The Season?
Training camp is almost wrapped up, the first preseason game is upon us, and the season opener is just around the corner. There’s been a few intense days at camp with players going after each other for one reason or another. There’s a lot of pressure to go all the way this season and everyone wants to be a part of the winning team. Except for a few elite players, everyone is fighting for their spot on the team because that’s how McDermott wants players to feel: humble and hungry. The weeks of hard work have paid off and the Bills released their first depth chart of the season, and we have some questions.
I think every NFL fan knew that Josh Allen was going to be the starter, so that’s not much of a surprise. What is interesting to see is that Keenum is listed as number two with Barkley at three. Barkley is a Buffalo Bills favorite as he was Allen’s original backup (we’ve tried hard to forget about Peterman) and has proven himself as capable of winning games under this coaching staff.
Barkley hasn’t played a game in over a year and while Keenum is a little greener to this organization he’s the one with more experience and the most recent playing time. In the end, Bills fans hope they see neither on the field unless it’s in the last minutes of a Bills blowout victory.
Bills Offensive Line
The starters here are mostly what you would expect. Dawkins is a fan favorite and an all-around talented tackle. The Bills just paid to bring Roger Saffold in who just came off a pro-bowl caliber stint with the Titans where he helped Derrick Henry previously rushed for over 2,000 yards.
The Bills made the reliable Mitch Morse the highest paid center in the league at one point, so it’s expected to see him get the start. They also just extended Ryan Bates after getting into a bidding war with the Bears for him, so it’s expected to see him start as well.
What’s interesting is someone else getting the start at tackle over last year’s third round pick Spencer Brown. While Brown showed glimpses of talent at the tackle position last season it should be noted he hasn’t been getting a lot of snaps at training camp, albeit likely due to recovery from an injury. In his place the Bills brought in David Quessenberry, a veteran guard who they think can make the transition to tackle.
Quessenberry is also fresh from a stint with the Titans where he along with Saffold helped make Ryan Tannehill look like a good quarterback. Whether or not he will be the starter come week one remains to be seen but it’s clear the Bills have some high expectations for the recent signee.
Bills Running Backs
Singletary is listed at number one just as everyone expected. James Cook may end up being the premier back as the season goes on but for now, Singletary is the man. He proved he could turn it up and had more touchdowns in the last quarter of 2021 than he had in the first 12 games. The only thing to note about the Bills running back depth chart is that they have Zack Moss listed at number three. I think this means they still have faith that he can still find use as a red zone specialist.
Bills Wide Receivers
Stefon Diggs might be the number one receiver in the league so it’s not a surprise to see him as the number one on the Bills. Similarly, after years of sitting on the bench studying and after the greatest performance by a wide receiver in a playoff game ever, it should be expected to see Gabriel Davis as number two. What’s nice to see is Isaiah McKenzie getting some respect as officially number three on the depth chart.
McKenzie has worked his butt off on special teams and as a clutch slot receiver over the past few years and has earned his spot on this team. Jamison Crowder and recent draft pick Khalil Shakir may prove themselves capable of taking the role from him as the season progresses but for now McKenzie deserves to be there.
To be sure, there were little surprises to be had by this depth chart. Other players like Dawson Knox or Reggie Gilliam were no-brainers to get the number one spot in their respective positions. That said, the first depth chart is a combination of a couple of weeks of training camp mixed with last season’s final depth chart. The obvious names are where they should be, and the surprises are minimal based on what little coaches can see during the limited training sessions. Expect some names to shuffle around the closer we get to the season, as everyone on this team is trying to make a name for themselves.
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