In under two months, the Buffalo Bills will get to work at St. John Fisher College for training camp and the 2016 season. And this year, with how the team ended things in 2015, is extremely important to not waste the talent that exists on the roster.
So, as offseason workouts continue at One Bills Drive, WKBW will preview the roster — and more specifically, the top talent that exists on the roster that can help the Bills to putting an end to the playoff drought. You’ll be introduced to the Bills’ ‘Top 20 Talents.’
It's a bit of a different 'most talented' list, because it also takes other factors into consideration. The countdown criteria:
- Overall skill level
- On-the-field performance
- Projection based on film study over the past several years
- Age, and improving/declining ability
With that written, on to the countdown:
No. 19 - LB Preston Brown
Age: 23 (10/27/92)
Last year’s rank: 13
Why he’s here
- After a positive 2014 season, Preston Brown hit somewhat of a sophomore slump that didn't meet its lowest point until the final stretch of the season. Brown, who aired some criticism of last year's defense publicly, never seemed to fit in with the hybrid look Rex Ryan was trying to accomplish. Throughout much of the season, Brown struggled to disengage from blockers and never got to the playing level that he reached as a rookie. Still, the linebacker is a 23-year old player that has shown he can do it before, but he'll need to prove that he can play in a 3-4 defense. His spot dropped significantly from last season due to some talented players rising up from last year, and, the entrance of one rookie that could directly impact his 2016 season.
- Brown will begin training camp and preseason locked in as a the MIKE backer in Rex Ryan's 3-4 defense, playing alongside Reggie Ragland, who will play the WILL backer in the system. While Ragland can certainly play the weakside linebacker position, his best fit in Ryan's defense is the spot that Brown will play in the beginning of the season. The third-year linebacker will need to have a strong start to maintain his starting position, specifically with the presence of a more-than-capable weakside linebacker in backup Zach Brown. However, we've all seen the talent and ability that Brown is capable of, he just needs to trust his instincts, and better disengage from blockers in front of him to help solidify the run defense.