The countdown to training camp is on, and the summer workouts are closer than you may think. We're under two months away to the official start of the 2017 campaign.
The Bills still have to finish the final week of Organized Team Activities and the three-day mandatory minicamp in mid-June, but that's all that's separating them from the start of a brand new season. And with a new head coach and general manager, there have been wholesale changes up and down the roster.
As we begin to get closer to training camp, WKBW.com will take an enhanced look at the roster, and who you need to know about as we get closer to late July.
We've examined both running backs and cornerbacks to this point, but up next is a position that the Bills attempted to improve this offseason
A look at the offensive tackles on the Bills roster:
- As has been the case for the past several years, the Bills don't have much to worry about at left tackle. Cordy Glenn has been everything the Bills could have hoped for out of a second-round pick and more, consistently locking down his side against talented defensive ends throughout his career. At the moment, he's rehabbing an injury and hasn't taken any snaps during team drills at OTAs, but there won't be any cause for concern unless that bleeds into training camp and the preseason. For what it's worth, he has been doing work along the sidelines and even joined the offensive line for individual drills during the second week of OTAs. Glenn is an outstanding player, and consistently one of the best on the roster.
Fighting for Starts
Dion Dawkins, Jordan Mills
- Over at right tackle, on the other hand, does not have a definitive answer. Over the last season-and-a-half, Jordan Mills has been the starter at the position and struggled mightily for the Bills. He struggled to the point that the Bills believed it was a priority to add a right tackle at some point in the offseason -- at first swinging and missing on free agent Rick Wagner, and then eventually moving up in the 2017 NFL Draft to get Dion Dawkins in the second round. In terms of what we've seen, Dawkins has only lined up at left tackle -- albeit with the first team -- and not at right tackle. That is directly linked to Cordy Glenn while he rehabs his injury, but it is worth noting. Dawkins has gotten a healthy helping of going up against Jerry Hughes, who remains one of the best practice players on the Bills roster. Once Glenn gets healthy, I expect Dawkins and Mills to battle it out all summer long. And with how Dawkins has held his own during OTAs at left tackle -- along with the struggles of Mills -- I think Dawkins has a great shot to win the starting right tackle job outright. It is a different side of the line, but Dawkins moves fairly well for his size, and you'd have to think even a tie in the competition goes to him.
- With games still to go on his suspension handed down from the 2016 season, we don't really know what the future holds with Seantrel Henderson as a member of the Bills. It seems like he's thinned out a bit in the offseason, he struggled against some non-starting players during OTAs, and then, of course, there's the looming suspension hanging over his head. The Bills are now on their third head coach since Henderson came on board as a seventh-round pick, and a brand new blocking scheme comes along with the current coaching crop. It's hard to ignore his height and length as a potential prototypical player, but unless a drastic improvement happens from spring to summer, it could be the beginning of the end for the once promising offensive tackle in Buffalo.
Michael Ola, Cameron Jefferson
- With Cordy Glenn and Dion Dawkins on the roster, it's likely a tall task for one of these players to outperform Jordan Mills during training camp this summer -- especially considering all the playing experience that he has. They'd also have to jump Seantrel Henderson on the depth chart, though given his obstacles, that might not be as daunting as outplaying Mills. Either way, although Mills struggled last year, it's hard to ignore both his experience and familiarity with the rest of the offensive line.