We are now less than a week away from the Bills reporting for training camp at St. John Fisher.
As we near the start of the 2022 NFL season, we take a look at the roster Brandon Beane has built for Sean McDermott. In many ways, an embarrassment of riches.
Today’s preview is the offensive line.
Strength: Priority Positions
If there are two spots where you want to be good, it’s left tackle and center. That’s where this Bills O-line is best.
Dion Dawkins is coming off his first Pro Bowl and is solid as it gets protecting Josh Allen’s blind side. Mitch Morse is the smart, veteran, even-keeled, athletic center most teams covet. They aren’t superstars (Dawkins might be one notch below), but the foundation on this line is excellent.
Weakness: Pass Blocking
It’s really hard to pinpoint a weakness. The likely five starters have a wide variety of skill sets. Dawkins, Morse and Roger Saffold are all very experienced. Spencer Brown and Ryan Bates are still relatively new starters.
When it comes to the pass game, Dawkins and Morse are solid to excellent. Brown and Saffold, on the other hand, are both coming off terribly rated seasons as pass blockers.
Bates has such a small sample size, it’s hard to know exactly what he is yet. Allen may have to do extra bobbing and weaving early in the season.
X-factor: Class of 2021
There’s a good argument that new O-line coach Aaron Kromer is the answer here. He could be, but I think it’s safe to assume the change here will be a plus move even if former offensive line boss Bobby Johnson was not terrible.
Brown will be a huge lynchpin to the success of the O-line. He’s likely to improve going year one to year two and Kromer’s tutelage should help. The Bills need it.
Tommy Doyle was on the field a chunk of plays last year as the 6th lineman and he’s the only decent depth at tackle, which means the Bills will depend some on him as well. And don’t overlook his ability on the tackle-eligible play. The Patriots are still wondering how he got so open in the wild card game.