At the end of the July, the Buffalo Bills will embark upon something they haven’t gone for in quite some time — as they’ll attempt to make it to the playoffs for the second consecutive season. With head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane at the helm, the team is almost completely different than what it was two years ago.
As the Bills maneuver through the offseason workouts, 7ABC will take a look at the team on the field — and more specifically, the top talent that exists on the roster that can help the Bills get back to the postseason. You’ll be introduced to the Bills’ ‘Top 20 Talents’ for the upcoming season in 2018
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. 16 - CB Vontae Davis
Age: 30 (DOB: 5/27/1988)
Why he’s here:
- Just turning 30 on Sunday, Vontae Davis joined the Bills this offseason primarily to be the complementary cornerback to Tre’Davious White in Sean McDermott’s zone-based defense. Last season, both from an injury and on-field perspective, was a bit of a struggle for the once-dominant Davis — but that was also within the confines of a man-to-man cover scheme. The cornerback certainly possesses instincts, and the desired ability to tackle — the latter of which is a prerequisite for McDermott. Only signed to a one-year deal, Davis is on a bit of a ‘prove it’ year in a cornerback friendly scheme — hoping that his performance can help him cash in either in re-signing in Buffalo or during free agency one last time. The talent has always been there with Davis, and now it may just come in a different form in Buffalo.
- At this point in Davis’ career, a switch to a zone-based scheme could be the catalyst for renewed success in the NFL. He certainly has shown the ball skills during his eight-year career, bringing in four interceptions for half of his seasons in the league. If you match the playmaking with his instincts and plus-tackling ability, he could be a dynamic fit with the Bills -- especially with three top-notch players in the secondary along with him. The Bills showed a tendency to stick now second-year player Tre’Davious White with the opponents’ top receiver down the stretch of last season, and if that trend continues, that will lead to Davis having even a better chance at renewed success in this new defensive scheme.