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Bills release first depth chart (spoiler alert: Watkins is a starter)

Watkins AP

Nothing says football season like the non-binding depth charts teams are required to release when preseason games approach.  Up first in six days against the Giants for the Hall of Fame game, the Bills have issued the first depth chart of 2014.

To no surprise whatsoever, receiver Sammy Watkins is listed as a starter, across from Robert Woods.  Mike Williams, who reportedly struggled in the offseason, appears as the understudy to Woods.  Watkins also shows up as the No. 3 kickoff returner, behind Marquise Goodwin and T.J. Graham.

With left tackle Cordy Glenn still unavailable due to a still-undisclosed illness, rookie Seantrel Henderson is the de facto starter at the fairly important position.  Henderson, who fell to round seven due in part to off-field issues, could end up being a steal, if he can stay on the right path.

In a bit of a surprise, newcomer Bryce Brown appears as the fourth-string tailback, behind C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, and Anthony Dixon.

On defense, Nigel Bradham appears as the starter in Kiko Alonso’s spot at weakside linebacker.  Alonso will miss the entire season with a torn ACL suffered during offseason workouts.

With five preseason games, the depth chart could change a lot before Week One.  But it’s the only tangible hierarchy of any NFL team at this point of the season.

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27 Responses to “Bills release first depth chart (spoiler alert: Watkins is a starter)”
  1. patsarethegoat says: Jul 28, 2014 7:28 PM

    Bills are a QB and a secondary away from being a 12 win team

  2. cavington says: Jul 28, 2014 7:43 PM

    The secondary is fine and is somewhere in the middle of the league talent wise. QB is the issue and will always be the issue for teams that struggle. I don’t think E.J. is the answer but I hope he is.

  3. hockeyfan28 says: Jul 28, 2014 7:45 PM

    Buffalo looks like they finally might be a playoff contender after thanksgiving this year…..whether or not they make it depends on development of their qb Manuel

  4. captainwisdom8888 says: Jul 28, 2014 7:48 PM

    Sammy Watkins is a very talented WR, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other rookie WRs such as Brandin Cooks and Jordan Matthews outperform him during the upcoming season. Playing with Drew Brees will undoubtedly make Cooks very dangerous, a homerun threat on any given play. As for Matthews, he possesses a very formidable combination of size, strength, and speed. He can jump, he catches everything, and he’s someone who imposes his will on defenders while blocking downfield for the run game. The Eagles haven’t had a WR this big and this talented overall since Terrell Owens.

  5. polkhigh4life says: Jul 28, 2014 7:53 PM

    Might be less than that…. Secondary’s going to surprise a lot of people….very deep at corner…and if teams gave up on struggling 1st season QB’s the hall of fame would be awfully small… There’d be no Manning either of them, Young, Brady, etc….not saying EJ will be Peyton, but how do you GM’s know a bust after 10 games??….where he played pretty damn well for only having 3 good OL-men….and a 1st yr head coach, system…10 games??? Really…

  6. ccc23454 says: Jul 28, 2014 7:55 PM

    we don’t want to rely on mike Williams, hopefully Henderson pans out like everyone is saying, freddy is well freddy (pencil him in for 1k yards) that dude just doesn’t age, and we got a track meet at WR. its all about EJ and his development, like to see around 3800 yards 27-12 td/int but see a improvement in decision making and health, play all 16 games! if that happens fighting NE for division and around 10 wins…

  7. hockeyfan28 says: Jul 28, 2014 7:57 PM

    Cooks and Matthews aren’t even in the same stadium with Watkins just youtube the orange bowl the guy almost by himself beat Ohio State

  8. docboss says: Jul 28, 2014 7:57 PM

    The Rams will regret not drafting Watkins, but they could not fill all their needs this year. Good luck to the Bills vs. the hated Patriots.

  9. micknangold says: Jul 28, 2014 7:58 PM

    Left Tackle is just “fairly important?”

  10. therillest says: Jul 28, 2014 8:25 PM

    The Jags have Bortles and the fans have been guaranteed that he will be a franchise QB. So take that Buffalo with your stinking WR!

  11. whodey83 says: Jul 28, 2014 8:31 PM

    That’s a solid roster.

  12. kgun80 says: Jul 28, 2014 8:36 PM

    Glenn will be back and he played well at LT last season..I like that Henderson is getting reps and playing time. He’s got a ton of talent. If he can get past his college issues he can be a big steal. I’m glad Watkins is getting all the pub. I think Woods can have a good season he played well as a rookie and if EJ plays well he’s gonna be a big part of it. Even without Byrd and Alonso the D is still strong and has an underrated defensive backfield. If Gilmore can stay healthy he will be the #1 with McKelvin and a lot of depth behind them.
    GO BILLS!!

  13. nupe3 says: Jul 28, 2014 8:50 PM

    The Secondary was one of the best last year if you go off stats. We will miss Byrd but he’s not 9 Mil better than the people we had behind him. That is not the position i would break the bank for. Aaron will make a name for him self. I can’t wait to see what he does with out three pro bowlers playing infront of him. As for EJ all we need him to do is win and we have a team that will keep it close enough for us to that. EJ is a winner, look at his stats four bowl games won, Senior Bowl MVP, he brought FSU back to relevancy and he will the same for the Bills

  14. ccc23454 says: Jul 28, 2014 8:57 PM

    I am fired up and ready for some football finally even if it is the Hall of Fame Game!!! GO BILLS

  15. JackedUpSports says: Jul 28, 2014 9:02 PM

    offense should look very fast, but still need to see step forward from EJ

    also that defense took a huge blow losing Kiko

  16. realfootballfan says: Jul 28, 2014 9:02 PM

    Agree, Manuel could win games with a heavily stacked team, but he’s never going to be the guy imo. He reminds me of how Jacksonville had to win despite Byron Leftwich when they went 12-4 that season. Guy’s got all the tools but just can’t put it all together. Way too cautious, which is why he doesn’t throw a ton of interceptions, but also is the reason he doesn’t get a lot of big plays either, and he’s never been good at anticipation throwing. But I am rooting for him as a former FSU player.

  17. nepatriotslaughatyourpatheticteam says: Jul 28, 2014 9:11 PM

    2 easy wins for the Pats.

  18. buffalo14watkins says: Jul 28, 2014 9:20 PM

    Hey Flirio, you see the number on my jersey that’s how many TD’s I’ll have as a rookie I’m going to take this league by storm.Oh yeah FYI I didn’t come to NFL to go play in Canada ahh.

  19. bonerchamp says: Jul 28, 2014 9:29 PM

    It doesn’t matter because BJ is still their QB.

  20. mackcarrington says: Jul 28, 2014 9:31 PM

    Watched a lot of Bills practice footage on their web site, and Manuel throws a lot of wobbly ducks. He doesn’t seem to throw many tight spirals or “spin” the ball, as coaches like to say. I’m as concerned about this guy as any Bills fan should be.

  21. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 28, 2014 9:32 PM

    Considering that they gave up two high first round picks for him, he should be listed as the starter at both WR spots.

  22. whereyaat says: Jul 28, 2014 9:53 PM

    patsarethegoat says:
    Jul 28, 2014 7:28 PM
    Bills are a QB and a secondary away from being a 12 win team

    =================
    Yeah, what’s up with that secondary? You look at the defensive depth chart, and everything looks solid until you look at the secondary. One has to wonder how they have such an eye for talent for 2/3rds of their defense, and then grossly fail at the remaining third.

  23. poorcalvinisstuckonthecrappylions says: Jul 28, 2014 10:01 PM

    Good luck going against Tillman, Jennings and Fuller. You will be pound into into the NFL Rookie.

    Bears win 38-10 against the Bills in week one, book it!

  24. djshnooks says: Jul 29, 2014 12:19 PM

    You fools…the secondary has 2 top-10 picks, a Super Bowl champion and last years too rated slot CB in Robey.

    Also, when will you idiots stop saying they gave up two first round picks for Watkins?

  25. keepyerstickontheice says: Jul 29, 2014 1:41 PM

    Yep. Sorry man, Bryce Brown is a long way from replacing Fred Jackson on the depth chart.

    Maybe he can move up to #2 after they trade CJ. That assumes he can beat out Anthony “Neat Feet” Dixon.

  26. kgunoffense12 says: Jul 29, 2014 1:45 PM

    Bryce Brown is only #4 because Dixon is specifically a 3rd down/goal line back that we didn’t have last year. They weren’t going to put him ahead of Fred who is the go-to yet may not be able to carry all the reps at his age, and CJ is CJ. I bet we see multiple games where all 4 of our RBs touch the ball. Go Bills!

  27. sbeelz says: Jul 29, 2014 10:38 PM

    The Bills are going to run a lot again this year since Manuel cannot carry them. 3800 yds and 27 TDs seems comical. 3200 yds and 20 TDs seems more realistic. That’s actually more than I’m expecting out of him if (Big If) he could stay healthy. Also the defense has to learn how to tackle a RB. That’s why the Bills pass defense looked good stat wise last year.

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