Bills Camp Preview: Defensive Tackle

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91) celebrates after stopping Baltimore Ravens’ J.K. Dobbins in the backfield during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Strength: Depth

The position starts with Ed Oliver, who is still really good. We’ll talk more about him in a bit. Star Lotulelei is back from opting out and he’s one of the league’s top run stopping nose types.

On top of that, the Bills have Harrison Phillips who, hopefully, is 100 percent healthy now two years removed from his ACL injury. There’s also Vernon Butler and Justin Zimmer who each flashed often last season.

There’s a decent chance Sean McDermott has to cut a really solid player…

Weakness: Fear Factor

Defensive tackles accounted for only seven sacks last year. That’s just one more than the corners and safeties combined. No exactly Aaron Donald East.

There’s nothing here that scares opposing offenses or forces them to alter game plans. Unless…

X factor: Ed Oliver

This is the prime candidate for a big jump on defense. The third year pro had a decent, but still disappointing sophomore year. There were dominant moments, but not as many as his rookie season.

Oliver is still a top ten pick with big time disruptive potential. Realizing that potential is probably one of the two or three best ways for the Bills to go from Super Bowl contender to Super Bowl favorite.

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