Buffalo Bills: Dan Hope’s Post-Minicamp Depth Chart Projection

C.J. Spiller is firmly entrenched as a starter of the Buffalo Bills’ depth chart, but which quarterback will hand him the ball this season? (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

We’ve reached the longest six weeks of the Buffalo Bills offseason. With free agency, the NFL Draft, organized team activities and minicamp all in the rear window, all eyes are now looking ahead to training camp, which begins July 28, and the preseason and regular season that directly follow training camp.

The Buffalo Bills’ depth chart for the 2013 season remains a very fluid process. Many players will move up and down the depth chart, or move inside or outside the roster bubble, as training camp and the preseason progresses.

Earlier this week, Ryan Talbot made his post-minicamp 53-man roster projection. Take a look at his roster projection and my projected depth chart below, and feel free to let us know what you agree/disagree with in the comments section below!

Quarterbacks

1. EJ Manuel

2. Kevin Kolb

3. Jeff Tuel

It remains much too early to call the starting quarterback competition between Manuel and Kolb, but it will all depend on Manuel’s progression through training camp. Kolb has more experience (21 NFL starts), but is a short-term starting option at best. If Manuel proves in training camp and the preseason that he is capable of starting, he is likely to be under center Week 1.

Tuel is in position to make the roster as a third-string quarterback.

Running Backs

1. C.J. Spiller

2. Fred Jackson

3. Tashard Choice

Spiller could be destined to break out to stardom in 2013. If Jackson can stay healthy through 2013, he is a great No. 2 running back who forms a strong tandem with Spiller. Choice provides solid veteran depth at the position.

Tight Ends/H-Back

1. Scott Chandler H-Back: Chris Gragg

3. Mike Caussin

4. Lee Smith

Chandler is the only tight end on the Bills’ roster who is both a reliable downfield pass-catcher and strong in-line blocker. Gragg will likely be utilized as an H-back in many formations, with the team unlikely to retain any true fullbacks. Gragg and Caussin have been the Bills’ top tight ends in the rotation during spring workouts with Chandler and Smith sidelined, according to BuffaloBills.com.

Wide Receivers

1. Stevie Johnson 2. Robert Woods

3. T.J. Graham

4. Marquise Goodwin 5. Da’Rick Rogers 6. Brandon Kaufman

Johnson and Woods will see time both outside and in the slot, but both should be on the field on the majority of offensive snaps. Graham is a good fit to come in on the outside when Johnson or Woods kicks inside in three-receiver sets.

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett should find creative ways to get Marquise Goodwin and his 4.27-second 40-yard dash speed on the field, and he is likely to play in spread sets.

Rogers and Kaufman would give the Bills four rookies at wide receivers, but both undrafted players have the talent to beat out the rest of the Bills’ veterans and contribute this season. Some expect Rogers to compete for an immediate starting spot, but expectations should be tempered for the undrafted free agent, who is more likely to be the team’s No. 5 receiver as a rookie.

Offensive Line

LT: Cordy Glenn LG (C-2): Doug Legursky C: Eric Wood RG: Kraig Urbik RT (LT-2): Chris Hairston

RT-2: Erik Pears G-3: Colin Brown OT-4/G-4: Zebrie Sanders G-5: Zach Chibane

Glenn, Wood, Urbik and Hairston should all retain their starting roles from last season. The starting competition at left guard appears to be between Legursky and Brown, who split first-team repetitions during minicamp according to BuffaloBills.com.

Legursky could have the edge in that battle, with 17 career starts compared to just two for Brown. Either way, the loser of that battle is likely to be the team’s backup at both guard positions, while Legursky will likely be Wood’s backup at center.

Pears should remain on the roster as the swing tackle. Sanders missed his entire rookie season due to hip surgeries, but is a talented young offensive lineman who could work his way up the depth chart at both tackle and guard. Chibane has experience in head coach Doug Marrone’s blocking scheme, having played for him at Syracuse.

See page 2 for the projected defensive depth chart.

Continue to Page: 1 2

Tags: 53 Man Roster, Buffalo Bills, Depth Chart, Minicamp, Roster Projection, Training Camp

4 Responses to “Buffalo Bills: Dan Hope’s Post-Minicamp Depth Chart Projection”

  1. Ryan Talbot says:

    Dan, great read and like how you set up your depth chart. I like Jeff Tuel and think he has everything you look for in an NFL backup so it’d be nice to see him make the team this year. If not, I could see the Bills stashing him away on their practice squad.

  2. Glenn Gifford says:

    Nice read Dan. Brad Smith, Easley and Hogan all cut! Love it! Really like that you kept Kaufman. Personally feel Caussin goes and while I think Choice makes the team as you do…..not happy about him……and I’m not sure why……Justin Rogers….that spider gives me the creeps!

  3. Thrill says:

    Dan,

    I would have put a depth chart together just as you did with really only one exception. Zach Chibane will not beat out Sam Young. I think Sam Young will get a roster spot over Zach but Zach will find his way on the practice squad. Sam young can play Guard and Right Tackle, so he is too versitle to let go over someone who can play just guard. Yes Zach knows the system but believe me when training camp is over so will everyone else, plus Sam has NFL experience which in a cruch he can play from day one if someone gets hurt and not not be too bad going against the defence where Zach still needs to learn how to play against NFL talent. Overall you did an excelent job at picking the roster, the only thing I would change is replace Zach with Sam.

    Thrill

    • Dan Hope says:

      Thrill,

      Picking the last offensive lineman was one of the toughest choices for me. I think it will be a very good battle in training camp between Chibane, Young and also Chris Scott. I could see any one (or maybe two) of them making the roster as offensive line depth.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.




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