2013 Buffalo Bills Positional Previews: Defensive Backs

Da’Norris Searcy is taking over the starting strong safety job on the Bills defense this season. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

Safeties

Jairus Byrd

Byrd has yet to sign his one-year, $6.916 million franchise tender, but assuming he signs prior to the start of the season, Bills fans know what to expect from him. Byrd is one of the best safeties in the league, and Buffalo’s defense should immediately benefit from his strong play and ball-hawking skills upon his return.

In Pettine’s defense, there’s a good chance that Byrd will have his best season yet, which would force the Bills to either franchise him again or sign him to the large contract he seeks and truly deserves.

Da’Norris Searcy

Towards the end of the 2012 season, Searcy was cutting significantly into George Wilson’s playing time at strong safety. In February, the Bills took the next step to getting Searcy more playing time by officially releasing George Wilson.

Searcy did well in coverage last season and is strong against the run. There’s little doubt that Searcy should start the season at strong safety, but his play will dictate if he can hold off his competition.

Aaron Williams

The former cornerback was finally moved to safety entering his third NFL season, and it could salvage his young career. Simply put, Williams didn’t cut it as a cornerback.

If Byrd is not back for the first week of the season, Williams could be thrown into starting lineup immediately at free safety. While that would be a surprise, Williams will likely be eased into the lineup, spelling the starters from time to time.

Duke Williams

Fourth-round pick Duke Williams also has a chance of playing significant reps immediately for the Bills. The former Nevada strong safety is a hard hitter with excellent speed. Duke Williams’ playing time at safety will be dependent on his training camp and preseason play.

Jonathan Meeks

Meeks was selected by Buffalo in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft. Safety is a bit of a question mark for Buffalo, so Meeks should make the team, but it wouldn’t come as a big surprise if he was cut. He was underwhelming at Clemson but does have good speed. If Meeks makes the roster, he would probably contribute only on special teams in 2013.

Mana Silva

Silva received some time with the first-team defense at safety at OTAs, according to Mark Armstrong of BuffaloBills.com. Silva played in seven games for the Bills in 2012 and finished with two tackles. If Buffalo keeps five safeties, Silva could compete with Meeks for the job.

Jordan Dangerfield

Dangerfield, an undrafted rookie, was a three-year starter at Towson. Dangerfield played physically in college, but his chance of making the 53-man roster is slim.

 

Additional Positional Previews:

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends/Fullbacks

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

Linebackers

Specialists

 

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Tags: Aaron Williams, Buffalo Bills, Crezdon Butler, Da'Norris Searcy, Defensive Backs, Duke Williams, Jairus Byrd, Justin Rogers, Leodis McKelvin, Nickell Robey, Positional Preview, Ron Brooks, Stephon Gilmore

4 Responses to “2013 Buffalo Bills Positional Previews: Defensive Backs”

  1. Glenn says:

    Ryan,
    Quality piece as usual. Personally I am really looking forward to see what a healthy Brooks can do @ nickel corner. After the Ram game last year, I have lost all hope on Justin Rogers.

    I have been really surprized with Nickell Robey. If his size was not an issue, he was an easy mid round selection. I see him making the squad.

    Great work once again!

    • Ryan Talbot says:

      Appreciate the kind words Glenn! Brooks in the slot intrigues me greatly. I think he has the ability to play on the outside as well, but I’m hoping that McKelvin succeeds. The coaching staff seems comfortable with the team’s cornerback depth, but I am holding out for them to bring in a veteran to at least compete for a spot.

  2. Nick Zelko says:

    Gotta give Robey a shot. He performed above his size at USC. Size doesn’t always matter. I think he can be something special. As for brooks, he has to be the nickel guy in my opinion. Rogers gave up too many plays last year. Good write up as usual Ryan.

    • Ryan Talbot says:

      Thanks for the kind words Nick. Brooks should get the nod at nickel corner. If McKelvin struggles, Brooks has the chance to compete for the second corner job along with Crezdon Butler.




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