Bills' Projected Winners of Key Position Battles

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 18, 2021

Bills' Projected Winners of Key Position Battles

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    Joshua Bessex/Associated Press

    The Buffalo Bills sit in a comfortable spot with their roster heading into the final two preseason games.

    Most of the top part of the roster is set, which allows head coach Sean McDermott and his staff to focus on the back end of the 53-man squad.

    One of the spots McDermott and Co. are set to hand out will come under a ton of focus in preseason and then not be too important unless an injury outbreak happens.

    Jake Fromm is vying with Davis Webb to be the No. 3 quarterback behind Josh Allen and Mitchell Trubisky. The competition is interesting because the 2020 fifth-round pick may lose out on his spot to a veteran player.

    Over the next few weeks, the players catching the most balls from the reserve quarterbacks will be fighting to avoid cuts as well. Jake Kumerow is the most notable player seeking the final wide receiver spot.

    Defensively, Levi Wallace has the edge over Dane Jackson for the starting cornerback spot opposite Tre'Davious White, but Jackson will try to make a late push to earn the job before camp breaks.

No. 3 Quarterback

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    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    Fromm's time in upstate New York could be coming to an end soon.

    Webb outplayed Fromm in the first preseason game against the Detroit Lions. Webb threw for 90 yards and a touchdown pass, while Fromm went 8-for-13 with 65 yards.

    Fromm did not do anything to overly impress the Buffalo coaching staff, which is a bad sign for his future with cuts on the horizon.

    Webb carries a slight edge in experience in the NFL and with the Bills. He has been a part of the organization since 2019. He was with the New York Giants and New York Jets in his first two seasons.

    Neither player is competing for significant regular-season minutes, but with so many roster spots set, this is one of the best positional fights within the franchise.

    Trubisky only threw two passes in the preseason opener. If he continues to play a limited role against the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, Webb and Fromm should have plenty of time to create separation from each other.

    Prediction: Davis Webb

No. 6 Wide Receiver

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    Joshua Bessex/Associated Press

    Buffalo heads into the regular season with one of the deepest wideout groups in the league.

    Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Gabriel Davis, Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie should be the top five on the depth chart. Since that it is basically set, the coaching staff can set its focus on who will emerge as the final WR on the 53-man roster.

    Kumerow has the inside track to the position because of his experience and his current spot on the preseason depth chart. He is listed as a No. 2 wideout behind Beasley.

    Marquez Stevenson made a good case for himself against the Lions, as he brought in three receptions for 50 yards.

    Stevenson and Isaiah Hodgins need to have exceptional performances in their time on the field against the Bears and Packers to make the coaching staff think harder about its decision.

    Kumerow did not play in the preseason opener. If he receives snaps in the next two games, he could further his case to be the last wideout in.

    Prediction: Jake Kumerow

No. 2 Cornerback

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    Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

    Wallace and Jackson are fighting for one of the rare starting spots up for grabs in training camp.

    Wallace is the established starter of the two and should have the inside track to the job regardless of which players showed up at camp. The 26-year-old has not done anything to lose the job through a few weeks of training camp and one preseason game.

    The most important highlight from the Lions game for either player was Wallace’s pass breakup in the end zone in the first quarter.

    His lone pass defense was the only number that showed up in the stat column, but he did well with his positioning and coverage to prevent catches against him.

    Jackson can make progress in the next two games, but he needs a perfect combination of strong performances and slip-ups by Wallace to earn the gig opposite White.

    Prediction: Levi Wallace