Young Players Might Be Asked To Step Up, For The Buffalo Bills Defense, In 2019.
My series covering every NFL team continues with this one taking a look at the Buffalo Bills, but with a slight modification. It was brought to my attention that with my current three part breakdown of every team, I wouldn’t finish anytime soon.
So, with that, I am condensing the three parts into one or two parts, in hopes of getting through each team quicker. I will still be identifying a couple of players that I would consider adding or trading for ahead of the 2019 season. Also included will be my recommendations on what it might take to acquire each of these players.
Harrison Phillips, Defensive Tackle:
With the retirement of long time Buffalo Bills defensive tackle, Kyle Williams, Buffalo has a spot to fill. The team could fill that with in house candidate, Harrison Phillips. Phillips, 23, is coming off a very solid rookie season. He ended 2018 with 20 solo tackles, and one forced fumble across 16 games.
If he wins the job out of camp, then he has a great chance to build on last years production. While, I imagine Phillips will face some competition in camp from rookies or camp invites. Having a year under his belt will give him a nice leg up.
Harrison Phillips should be found on your wavier wires, but if not, then he won’t cost more then a late round pick.
Matt Milano, Outside Linebacker:
He was having a great start to his 2018 season, before suffering a fractured fibula, in week 14. Matt Milano, 24, was terrific in both pass coverage and run defense, emerging as a pillar on that defense. He finished 2018 with 52 solo tackles, three interceptions, and seven pass deflections. Milano and second year linebacker Tremaine Edmunds look to be a nice one-two punch that will be hoping to build on their 2018 success.
This third year linebacker is the perfect buy low in my mind. He’s coming off of an injury and he might have been overshadowed by the strong play of Tremaine Edmunds. I think you could feel confident about offering a third round pick to get the conversation going. If needed you could also play up Milano’s injury in hopes of acquiring him.
Taron Johnson, Cornerback:
Taron Johnson, 22, was having a nice rookie season, before a shoulder injury cut it short. He was serving as the Bills primary slot corner. His season ended with him totaling 34 solo tackles, one interception, one sack, and three pass deflections. Johnson did start two games in 2018 and I anticipate him starting more in 2019. The reason for this is his familiarity of the defense and whoever starts opposite Tre’davious White, should see lots of opportunities to make plays.
In IDP leagues I always like to target corners that are playing opposite established shut down corners. Johnson makes for a great buy low, with high upside. With him coming off of an injury, that only helps in what it should cost to acquire him. I think you can start with a mid round pick and if your able to get him with a late round pick, then go for it.
This Buffalo Bills defense finished 2018, ranked second in yards per game, but does have some question marks going into 2019. I think all of these guys have the potential to answer some of those questions. It depends on your team needs, but I would rank these players in the following order.
First, Matt Milano, second Taron Johnson, and third Harrison Phillips. Hopefully, you find these recommendations helpful in your quest to build that championship roster for 2019. Please keep an eye out for the Carolina Panthers.