BroJ’s Projected 53 Man Roster (Update)

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Updated: September 1, 2011
Kyle Williams

Here are my opinions on what each position will look like on cut day. I roughly ranked the players in order of their likeliness to make the team. I also marked fringe cuts in BLUE, who are guys that I had trouble cutting because I think they’re right on the brink of making the team.

 

 

 

 

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Tyler Thigpen
Brad Smith
—-CUT LINE——
Levi Brown

Analysis: The quarterback position remains the same for now.  Levi Brown hasn’t shown much to receive consideration for Thigpen’s backup role.  Brad Smith is too valuable in the wildcat package to let loose; in fact, he may even develop into a serviceable backup QB.

RUNNING BACK

Fred Jackson
CJ Spiller
Johnny White
—-CUT LINE——
Bruce Hall

Analysis: Running back looks about the same as it did during the beginning of camp. Johnny White looks to be fine after his injury and received significant playing time in the final preseason game. Bruce Hall is unfortunately Bruce Hall, and doesn’t have enough talent to make the Bills consider carrying a fourth running back.

FULLBACK

Corey McIntyre
—-CUT LINE——
Jehuu Caulcrick

Analysis: McIntyre makes the team again, despite the fact that the Bills are using the fullback less and less. Jehuu Caulcrick is valuable as a flex RB/FB/special teamer, but it comes down to a numbers game at this point.

WIDE RECEIVER

Steve Johnson
Roscoe Parrish
David Nelson
Marcus Easley
Donald Jones
Naaman Roosevelt
—-CUT LINE——
Kamar Aiken
Ruvell Martin
Buster Davis
Felton Huggins

Analysis: Wide receiver has been one of the most interesting positions on the team since the start of camp. Things are starting to look clearer, though, with the emergence of Easley in the third preseason game. He may very well start the season as the team’s number two receiver. Donald Jones is too valuable on special teams for the Bills to cut him, but he probably lost his spot on the starting offense due to the injury. The most interesting case is Naaman Roosevelt. He had a strong training camp, but his recent injury has kept him off of the field as of late. Maybe as University at Buffalo alum I’m a little biased, but I think he’s shown enough to stay on the team.

Roster Battle: Naaman Roosevelt (WR) vs. Kamar Aiken (WR) vs. Mike Caussin (TE) for one roster spot.

TIGHT END

Scott Chandler
David Martin
—-CUT LINE——
Mike Caussin
Zack Pianalto
Shawn Nelson

Analysis: Scott Chandler seems to have solidified his place on the team as the starter. Martin provides what Chan Gailey appreciates the most in a tight end, which is solid blocking. It may be surprising to some that I’m only keeping two tight ends here. I think Caussin is the leader if they keep three, but I don’t think the talent in that position is good enough to justify that. I’ve noticed during the preseason that a) Buffalo doesn’t go double tight end very often, and b) the offense is using six or seven offensive linemen in their Big packages (which they’ve used sparingly in the first place).

Roster Battle: Naaman Roosevelt (WR) vs. Kamar Aiken (WR) vs. Mike Caussin (TE) for one roster spot.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Erik Pears
Demetrius Bell
Chris Hairston
Ed Wang
Cordaro Howard
—-CUT LINE——
Jason Watkins

Analysis: This position remains the same for me right now. Chris Hairston played well in his first preseason game action, and is supposed to get even more playing time in the final preseason game. I know we haven’t heard a lot out of Cordaro Howard this preseason, but I think his connection with Chan and his position versatility gets him on the initial 53. Even though it has been rumored that Bell’s roster spot could be in jeopardy if he doesn’t make the team, I think he provides good depth at the tackle position even if he gets beat out by Levitre.

Roster Battle: Ed Wang (T) vs. Cordaro Howard (T) vs. Collin Brown (G) vs. Geoff Hangartner (C) for two roster spots

OFFENSIVE GUARD

Kraig Urbik
Andy Levitre
Chad Rinehart
—-CUT LINE——
Collin Brown
Mansfield Wrotto

Analysis: I still believe Wrotto isn’t making this team because he’s had some dreadful games this preseason. Even though there’s a chance that all three of the guards I have making the team could start, I think Chan keeps the best nine linemen he has and slides one of the tackles over to backup guard.

Roster Battle: Ed Wang (T) vs. Cordaro Howard (T) vs. Collin Brown (G) vs. Geoff Hangartner (C) for two roster spots

CENTER

Eric Wood
—-CUT LINE——
Geoff Hangartner
Michael Switzer

Analysis: It’s my belief that Geoff Hangartner’s time in Buffalo is over. He gets paid too much to be a backup center and he really can’t play guard. Levitre getting snaps at center during training camp may have spelled the end of Hangartner’s run here.

Roster Battle: Ed Wang (T) vs. Cordaro Howard (T) vs. Collin Brown (G) vs. Geoff Hangartner (C) for two roster spots

DEFENSIVE END

Marcell Dareus
Dwan Edwards
Alex Carrington
Spencer Johnson
—-CUT LINE——
Kellen Heard
T.J. Langley
Lionel Dotson

Analysis: I had Kellen Heard on the last projected 53 I made, but I’m not sure he can make the team on one spectacular series during the fourth quarter of the last preseason game. I still think the talent is there, but he’s not quite ready for a rotation spot yet. The first four players are locks to make the team, although Carrington may see more time at outside linebacker than defensive end just to get him on the field.

Roster Battle: Kellen Heard (DE) vs. Michael Jasper (DT) for one roster spot.

NOSE TACKLE

Kyle Williams
Torell Troup
Michael Jasper
———-

Analysis: Jasper has to make this team just based on defenders. Even though he hasn’t had a spectacular preseason (or even good, really), he has the size and athleticism to occupy multiple defenders. I think if he get let go, the Bills won’t be able to scoop him up for the practice squad.

Roster Battle: Kellen Heard (DE) vs. Michael Jasper (DT) for one roster spot.

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Nick Barnett
Andra Davis
Kirk Morrison
Kelvin Sheppard
Arthur Moats
—-CUT LINE——
Chris White
Brandon Hicks

Analysis: A lot of people are speculating on Arthur Moats’ roster spot at this point. I don’t think the Bills would have moved him inside if they didn’t believe he had a future there.  Nine linebackers may seem like a lot to some people, but linebackers are also likely players for special teams (or at least more likely than some bigger defensive linemen). Chris White may buy himself some time, but he looked slow and useless at OLB. He gets cut at this point. Practice Squad for White.

Roster Battle: Arthur Moats (ILB) vs. Chris White (ILB) vs. Antonio Coleman (OLB) vs, Robert Eddins (OLB)

OUSTIDE LINEBACKER

Shawne Merriman
Chris Kelsay
Danny Batten
Antonio Coleman
—-CUT LINE——
Robert Eddins
Jammie Kirlew

Analysis: Another player being rumored to be playing for his spot is Antonio Coleman. I think his burst and pass rushing ability is too valuable to lose in this type of defense. He also had a spectacular preseason, and will make the team. Batten’s job looks to be safe right now, and may even challenge for Kelsay’s starting job (or Merriman’s injured ghost) later in the season. The team seems to really like Eddins, and he’ll likely be kept for the practice squad.

Roster Battle: Arthur Moats (ILB) vs. Chris White (ILB) vs. Antonio Coleman (OLB) vs, Robert Eddins (OLB)

CORNERBACK

Leodis McKelvin
Terrence McGee
Drayton Florence
Reggie Corner
Aaron Williams
Justin Rogers
—-CUT LINE——
Doyle Miller

Analysis:  The first five players on this list look to be safe. It really comes down to whether the Bills want to keep five or six cornerbacks. Between Rogers coming back from injury successfully, and showing early potential in training camp, I believe that they’re going to keep six.

FREE SAFETY

Jairus Byrd
—-CUT LINE——
Jon Corto
Josh Nesbitt

Analysis: I have Bryan Scott listed at strong safety right now, but he’s probably the backup free safety. I think the Jon Corto era is finally over for the Buffalo Bills. Gailey and his guys seem to put less value on the “special teams player” than the team did during the Bobby April days. Josh Nesbitt looks to be a guarantee for the practice squad. He can learn how to play free safety, while working as a wildcat/quarterback/whatever against the first teamers in practice. He is a really good tackler for this point in his career, wouldn’t be totally shocked to see him somehow sneak on the roster at some point this year.

STRONG SAFETY

George Wilson
Da’Norris Searcy
Bryan Scott
—-CUT LINE——
Sidney Glover

Analysis: All three of these guys had the ability to play free safety. It’s possible that the Bills keep another safety, but right now I think four is all that can fit right now.

KICKER

Rian Lindell

Analysis: The incumbent.

PUNTER
Brian Moorman

Analysis: Moorman survived up-and-coming Reid Forrest’s presence basically by default, when Forrest had a pair of terrible punts in the home preseason game against Jacksonville.

LONG SNAPPER

Garrison Sanborn
—-CUT LINE——–
Danny Aiken

Analysis: As much as I’d love to say I have an opinion on this, I have absolutely no clue. I can only assume that Sanborn will retain his job. It is interesting that Aiken has stayed around until the final cuts, though; Aiken was rated as the top long snapper in the draft by several draft publications.