Buffalo Bills 2019 Draft Class: Mid-Season Report

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The Buffalo Bills complete the first half of the NFL regular season with a winning record. At the halfway point, the 2019 Rookies have helped Head Coach Sean McDermott get to a 6-3 record Lets breakdown how the first-year players have progressed so far this season.

Ed Oliver (Round 1, DT, Houston)

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The ninth overall pick from The University of Houston, The Bills drafted Oliver, in hopes to bring a disruption type threat to the interior defensive line. The Buffalo defense has been an overall nightmare for teams, but Oliver has yet to stick out. In the first nine games, Oliver has only recorded 20 tackles and one sack. Oliver has been moved down the depth chart behind veteran Defensive Tackle Jordan Phillips, who is having a monster year. Although Oliver has some adjustments to make, the potential is still immaculate for him. Bills Defense Coordinator Leslie Frazier uses a rotating system at the Defensive Tackle position, so look for Oliver to continue to work on his development during the second half of the season.

Cody Ford (Round 2, OL, Oklahoma)

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Cody Ford’s rookie season has been up and down for sure. The Bills have placed Ford at the Right Tackle position and have seen starts in all nine games so far this season. Ford has seen struggles with his speed on the corner, mainly concerning his footwork play. There is criticism regarding his future at the tackle position, and that Ford should move to Guard. Ford has dealt with a shoulder injury the past few weeks. Although he hasn’t missed any games, he is currently sharing snaps at the Right Guard position with veteran Ty Neskshe.

Devin Singletary (Round 3, RB, Florida Atlantic)

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Devin Singletary has been outstanding for the Bills in the games he has been healthy for this season. Singletary did an impressive job in the offseason, enough for the Bills to move on from long-time starter LeSean McCoy. So far, during his rookie campaign, Singletary has rushed for 309 yards and two touchdowns on 48 carries. He is impressively averaging 6.4 yards per carrying. Devin also has one receiving score on the season. Although he is still sharing the carries with the “ageless” Frank Gore, Singletary has made substantial claims to become the future of the Buffalo backfield.

Dawson Knox (Round 3, TE, Ole Miss)

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Dawson Knox has a lot of potential moving forward in the NFL, and for the Bills. Known for his impressive stiff arm Week three against the Bengals, Knox has impressed the sports media world, and Bills Mafia alike. He has 18 receptions for 247 yards and a touchdown. When he catches the ball, Knox averages over 13 yards per catch, and impressive stat indeed. The Bills should emphasize more targets towards Knox, and get him more involved for the second half of the season.

Vosean Joseph (Round 5, LB, Florida)

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Vosean Joseph did not make it to the NFL regular season, as he was placed on the IR due to injury in the preseason. Joseph will hope to make a splash during the 2020 preseason, as he will battle for a roster spot next season.

Jaquan Johnson (Round 6, Safety, Miami )

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Johnson had an impressive preseason, that allowed him a roster spot this season, but has not seen much time on the field. With only three tackles on the season, Jaquan Johnson will still look for quality snaps when he gets opportunities. The Bills secondary is saturated with players who can play the safety position. 

Darryl Johnson, Jr. (Round 7, DE, NC A&T )

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 08: Darryl Johnson #92 of the Buffalo Bills warms up before a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field on August 08, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Johnson was another rookie who had an impressive preseason and beat a few veterans to a bubble roster spot for the Bills final 53. Darryl has seen some time on the field for Buffalo and even recorded a sack against the Titans. Darryl Johnson is explosive and has impressive intangibles for an edge rusher. He could solidify as a decent role player for the Bills for years to come.

Tommy Sweeney (Round 7, DE, Boston College)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 16: Tommy Sweeney #89 of the Buffalo Bills reacts after a play against the Carolina Panthers in the first quarter during the preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on August 16, 2019, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Being the second Tight End taken by the Bills in the same draft, many figured Sweeny would become a throwaway pick, or a guaranteed practice squad comes the NFL regular season. This was not the case; however, with the luck of some injuries, and impressive preseason play, Sweeney made the Bills initial 53. Sweeney has only seen three receptions on the year and most likely won’t see much more. He has had an issue with drops, is being outplayed by his rookie counterpart Dawson Knox. It wouldn’t be surprising to seeing Sweeney’s roster spot become the victim of an upgrade this offseason.

Christian S. Rauh is a Sports Writer for Overtime Heroics.

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