The Buffalo Bills have the 13th best defensive line in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Bills have consistently added to their defensive front in recent years. Typically that went the NFL draft route with some top picks.
This offseason, Buffalo shot for the moon in signing All-Pro Von Miller. Via the eye test and even some of PFF’s own metrics, Miller still has plenty left in the tank. The Bills will certainly hope so with the massive contract the team handed him.
Here’s what the football analytics outlet said about Buffalo’s defensive line:
General manager Brandon Beane and company have continuously poured resources into their defensive line in recent offseasons, and that didn’t change this year. A 33-year-old Von Miller is the star acquisition, fresh off a postseason run where he led all defenders in PFF pass-rushing grade. However, Buffalo also added DaQuan Jones and Tim Settle to its interior defensive line. Settle had a limited role behind two entrenched starters in Washington, but he’s earned PFF pass-rushing grades north of 72.0 in each of the last two seasons.
There are several younger players, such as Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa, who the Bills will be looking to take a leap, but it’s a well-rounded unit overall.
In terms of a key for the Bills’ defensive line, it’s likely not Miller. Someone else needs to step up and help him or else opponents will focus solely on him to shut down Buffalo’s pass rush.
That could come via Rousseau, Epenesa or Boogie Basham, the trio of young prospects also playing on the edge with Miller. Another option could be Ed Oliver in the middle.
Miller and Oliver flashed a bit already at minicamp. The Bills would wholly welcome Miller and Oliver in the middle as a bit of a dynamic duo.
Overall on PFF’s rankings, the No. 13 spot for the Bills landed in “Tier 3” territory. That was labeled as “Solid, all-around defensive fronts.” Buffalo’s placement was also highest amongst all AFC East teams.
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