Predicting the Final Buffalo Bills' 2012 53-Man Roster
The NFL draft is a few weeks in the books, so it's time to look towards a 2012 regular season that promises to be full of excitement.
By the time that the Bills play their first game, the team will need to figure out who the last 53 men on the roster will be.
Though it's tough to predict, here's an early stab at the final 53. (UPDATED WITH COMMUNITY FEEDBACK AS OF MAY 15).
Who will make it: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Vince Young, QB Tyler Thigpen
Analysis: I'd say that all three of Fitzpatrick, Young and Tyler Thigpen are locks to make the roster, though the Bills would have a lot money invested in backup quarterbacks. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting quarterback, and I can see Chan Gailey making both Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen into serviceable backups.
Who will make it: RB Fred Jackson, RB CJ Spiller, RB Johnny White, RB Tashard Choice, FB Corey McIntyre
Analysis: Chan Gailey will go with four running backs in 2012, and I figure that fullback Corey McIntyre will make the roster. Jackson, Spiller and White will certainly make the team, and I predict that Tashard Choice finds a spot.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Who will make the roster: WR Stevie Johnson, WR David Nelson, WR T.J. Graham, WR Marcus Easley, WR Donald Jones, WR Naaman Roosevelt, TE Scott Chandler, TE Lee Smith
Analysis: The Bills take six receivers here, which makes sense considering their prolific spread offense and need for a constant rotation of receivers. Coach Gailey doesn't use many tight ends, so he'll only give spots to Chandler and Smith here.
UPDATE: Community elects to cut Brad Smith in favor of CB Justin Rogers. Done!
Who will make the roster: T Erik Pears, T Chris Hairston, T Cordy Glenn, T Zebrie Sanders, G Mark Asper, G Andy Levitre, G Kraig Urbik, G Chad Rinehart, C Eric Wood
Analysis: The Bills won't have a great group along the offensive line, especially after losing Demetress Bell in free agency. With enough depth at guard, the team doesn't need to take back-up center Colin Brown.
Who will make the roster: DE Mario Williams, DE Mark Anderson, DE Chris Kelsay, DE Shawne Merriman, DT Kyle Williams, DT Marcel Dareus, DT Torell Troup, DT Alex Carrington
Analysis: This unit should be one of the best in the NFL. A combination of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson on the outside is already good enough that whatever the team gets from Shawne Merriman is a convenient bonus. On the interior line, Buffalo should have success, too.
Who will make the roster: LB Nick Barnett, LB Kelvin Sheppard, LB Nigel Bradham, LB Tank Carder, LB Kirk Morrison, LB Arthur Moats
Analysis: Behind a stout defensive line, the Bills look to feature a group of sound tacklers at linebacker. The team should be able to play a number of young players, as Kelvin Sheppard, Tank Carder and Nigel Bradham all look to see time.
Who will make the roster: CB Terrence McGee, CB Leodis McKelvin, CB Stephon Gilmore, CB Ron Brooks, CB Aaron Williams, CB Justin Rogers FS Jairus Byrd, FS Da'Norris Searcy, SS Bryan Scott, SS George Wilson
Analysis: Much like the linebacker corps, the Bills look to play a lot of youngsters at defensive back. Stephon Gilmore, Ron Brooks, Aaron Williams, Jairus Byrd and Da'Norris Searcy will all play significant roles in 2012.
UPDATE: Community elects to bring back Justin Rogers for another year!
Who will make the roster: K Rian Lindell, K Josh Potter, P Brian Moorman, LS Garrison Sanborn
Analysis: Not much of interest here, though the Bills shake up their kickoff specialist spot. Look for Josh Potter, a seventh-round pick, to make the team.