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Joe B. All-22 Review: Bills Season Report Card

Joe B. All-22 Review: Bills Season Report Card
Posted at 3:26 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 15:26:33-05

The 2015 NFL regular season is over and done with, and now 20 of the 32 teams have shifted their minds into offseason mode. Before we totally get there, first we need to review the season — and there’s only one way to do it.

Each and every week, WKBW.com reviewed the tape, and brought you how each player graded out in the previous week, with the help of the Game Pass app on NFL.com. Before we get to the rankings, first, an explanation of how they were done.

Every Tuesday, when the All-22 film becomes available, we went through and watched each play and every player on each play as many times as necessary, to assess a letter grade for that game to the player. It is subjective analysis, and it’s important to note that we did not know the play calls and full responsibilities. With that written, the grades stem from technique, outstanding efforts, and presumed liability.

Only players that take a snap on offense or defense were accounted for.

Season-long grades have been tallied and documented, with each individual game’s grade being weighted for how much the player was on the field in a given week.

Without further ado, the season-long grades and rankings, with a synopsis for each player that took at least 150 snaps in 2015:

1) DT Kyle Williams
2015 Season GPA: 3.32
2015 Snap Percentage: 31.68%
- The season for Kyle Williams was over after just six weeks, and there may have been only two other injuries that could have changed the Bills’ season as much. In the first week of the season against Indianapolis, Williams was the best player on the field — and he did it without Marcell Dareus, who was suspended for the first game of 2015. He was a standout player in five out of six weeks that he was available to the team, displaying that quickness off the snap, his ability to set his linebackers up to make a play against the run, and ripping through one-on-one matchups to make stops of his own. Some fans will wonder if Kyle Williams should be released ahead of the 2016 season because of the potential savings on the salary cap ($5 million). However, if Williams bounces back from his knee injury well enough, and the Bills are doing everything in their power to make the playoffs in 2016, the defensive tackle should be on the roster. At the very least, they should give him training camp just to make sure the 32-year old hasn’t lost a step.

2) DT Marcell Dareus
2015 Season GPA: 3.29
2015 Snap Percentage: 69.33%
- It was a tight race all year long for Dareus, and for the most part, he maintained the top spot in the rankings. It wasn’t until a five-week stretch (Week 12 through Week 16), that Dareus gave up ground and carried a 2.90 GPA — well below his normal playing ability. He turned it around in the final week of the season against the New York Jets with one of his strongest performances of the season. Dareus was outright dominant against the Tennessee Titans in Week Five, and against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week Seven. Other high points of his season included Week Three against Miami, Week 10 against the New York Jets, and Week 11 against New England. Were his sack numbers down this season? Yes, they were. Is that a good indicator of how successful a player he was this season? No, it is not. Dareus routinely took on double teams against the Bills’ opponents, and once Kyle Williams went down with a knee injury, that approach only increased. If there’s a one-on-one to be had, odds are that Dareus will win that matchup. It wasn’t quite the same season as he had in 2014, but it wasn’t a down year by any stretch of the imagination. He can be a dominant player in the league.

3) WR Sammy Watkins
2015 Season GPA: 3.28
2015 Snap Percentage: 66.42%
- The first eight weeks of Sammy Watkins’ season was marred by injury, a lack of importance from the coaching staff set forth on force-feeding him targets, and a first-year quarterback just trying to gather his bearings. Once the bye week hit in Week Eight, though, Watkins was off to the races. Over those final nine games, the second-year wide receiver was consistently one of the best players on the field for the Bills, and carried a GPA of 3.38 over those nine games. He truly became the receiver that the team wanted him to be over those last nine weeks, and now the sky is the limit for 2016. He has the physicality, the speed, the route running, the leaping ability, and the hands. He is truly a five-tool wide receiver, and if he stays healthy and is utilized correctly, he will be a breakout player in the NFL in 2016.

4) DE Jerry Hughes
2015 Season GPA: 3.21
2015 Snap Percentage: 92.38%
- Don’t let the sack production and the penalty issues from 2015 fool you with Jerry Hughes, he was very good for the Bills this season. Far and away, he was the best pass rusher that the team had to offer, and won a lot of one-on-one matchups versus some good left tackles in the league. Not only that, he has really developed some poise and patience as an edge defender against the run — a skill that he lacked when he first got to the Bills in 2013. There were certainly times that he relapsed to his old habits against the run, but he was fairly dynamic for the majority of time. The penalty issues need to be corrected, and he can’t lose his cool like he did at times in 2015. However, for a player that got to the quarterback for pressures more than anyone else on the Bills roster this year, offsides penalties are bound to happen — and shouldn’t necessarily be discouraged. He also was one of the best “fits” to Rex Ryan’s defense, and will be the primary pass rushing option in 2016 and beyond.

5) HB LeSean McCoy
2015 Season GPA: 3.19
2015 Snap Percentage: 55.63%
- When LeSean McCoy was healthy, there is little debate that he was one of the most dynamic players on the field. Despite all the carries he’s had in his career, he still showed that same movement ability he had throughout his tenure in Philadelphia, and except for a handful of times, avoided big hits in 2015. To try and avoid a lot of the stout defensive lines the Bills went up against, they featured an east-west rushing attack that allowed McCoy to diagnose where he needed to go, make one cut, and rush it back upfield with the defenders’ momentum moving the other way. If he remains healthy in 2016, the threat of him, Sammy Watkins, and the mobile element to Tyrod Taylor can truly keep defenses guessing in 2016. The health of those three, however, is imperative.

6) LT Cordy Glenn
2015 Season GPA: 3.18
2015 Snap Percentage: 98.51%
- After it was revealed that Cordy Glenn had a kidney removed shortly ahead of the 2014 season — a year in which he struggled to find the same success he had in his rookie and second seasons — it made his accomplishments from the 2015 season that much more impressive. Glenn turned in the best season of his career, and was on the field for all but 16 snaps this season. The Bills went against a bevy of quality pass rushers, and Glenn stood up to all of them. He was a truly dominant player in Week Nine against Miami and in Week 12 against Kansas City, having earned an ‘A’ for both of those performances. His only poor performance of the season came in Week 17 against the Jets which knocked him out of the top five. However, Glenn is only 26 years old, and still improving. Based on his age, potential, and current playing ability, he should easily be the top priority of the Bills this off-season.

7) LG Richie Incognito
2015 Season GPA: 3.14
2015 Snap Percentage: 100.00%
- The Bills weren’t sure what they were going to get from former NFL outcast and guard Richie Incognito, but, they ended up getting one of the best guards in the league for their trouble. Incognito was the most consistent offensive lineman, never seeing a low grade below a “B-minus.” He was one of only two players on the entire roster to play every single snap on one side of the ball, which makes his season-long performance that much more impressive. He took to Greg Roman’s blocking scheme like a fish to water, often being utilized as the pulling guard and delivering key blocks during the Bills’ rushing success in 2015. The Bills will likely make a push to re-sign Incognito, but how much he’s given will be an intriguing thing to track this offseason, seeing as how he will be 33 by the time next season starts.

8) CB Stephon Gilmore
2015 Season GPA: 3.08
2015 Snap Percentage: 72.82%
- Even though his season was cut short by an injury, Gilmore’s ability was on display all season long for the Bills. Having more responsibility than ever in man-to-man coverage, Gilmore stood tall to all challengers. He made clutch plays on the ball, and set a season-high for passes defended with 18. Gilmore also tied his top interception mark for a season, matching his 2014 output with three picks in 2015. His size helped, but the physicality at the line of scrimmage was as good as it has been for the cornerback since he entered the league in 2012. Heading into a contract year in 2016, the 25-year old Gilmore looks primed for a pay day in 2017 — whether it be in Buffalo or elsewhere.

9) WR Percy Harvin
2015 Season GPA: 3.01
2015 Snap Percentage: 22.33%
- The Bills took a chance on Percy Harvin this offseason, and at the beginning of the season, it clearly paid off. Offensive coordinator had a clear plan to use Percy Harvin everywhere on the field as one of the Bills’ most versatile weapons. And then, his hip injury came back and ended his season prematurely. Not having Harvin was one of the toughest adjustments for the Bills in trying to figure out how to have their offense be at its optimal level. He was a big part of their plans, and was taken away from them after just five weeks — which leads you to believe that the Bills could potentially look for a better secondary option at wide receiver at some point in the offseason.

10) DT Corbin Bryant
2015 Season GPA: 2.99
2015 Snap Percentage: 58.13%
- Filling in for Kyle Williams as the starter from Week Seven to the end of the season, Bryant performed admirably in his best season in the NFL, and really showed up well on tape all year long. Once buried on the depth chart, Bryant fit the defensive scheme quite well and won his fair share of one-on-one matchups, while limiting the times that he was easily controlled by an offensive lineman. Bryant turned a standout training camp into a quality regular season, and if the Bills even considered cutting ties with Kyle Williams, he would be the direct reason for doing so. The 28-year old will figure prominently into the defensive line rotation in 2016.

11) HB Karlos Williams
2015 Season GPA: 2.99
2015 Snap Percentage: 22.60%
- In his first season in the NFL, it was hard to ignore second-string running back Karlos Williams. With his size, speed, and punishing running style, he quickly became a fan favorite of Bills fans. However, despite punishing defenders when he was on the field, he punished his own body in the process. Williams ended up missing five games in 2015 due to a rather severe concussion, as well as a shoulder injury late in the season. Williams then suffered a knee injury in the final week of the season. He’s still developing his vision, and needs to learn how to protect himself a bit more — but it’s hard to deny his impact on the roster when he was on the field this season. He’ll be an important piece in 2016 as the backup running back to LeSean McCoy once again.

12) CB Ronald Darby
2015 Season GPA: 2.97
2015 Snap Percentage: 83.84%
- After an impressive first 10 games of the season, rookie cornerback Ronald Darby — like so many rookies do — hit a proverbial wall in his performance on the field. Through the first 10 weeks, Darby carried a season-long GPA of 3.15, and was easily one of the best players on the field on a weekly basis. Over the final six games, in which he sat out one due to a groin injury, Darby carried a GPA of 2.57 — a below-average mark which sunk the fantastic start to his season. Now that he understands the rigors of a full NFL season, the Bills have to be encouraged about his ability in Rex Ryan’s defense, and excited about pairing him with Stephon Gilmore for at least another season.

13) DE Alex Carrington
2015 Season GPA: 2.92
2015 Snap Percentage: 15.98%
- It was a rather interesting season for Carrington, who was inactive for four straight weeks near the beginning of the season, and then became an indispensable rotational player before suffering a season-ending injury. The first time the Bills really entrusted Carrington with a large role, it was Week 10 against the New York Jets in place of the ill Mario Williams. In that week, Carrington had his best performance of the season, carrying an ‘A-minus’ grade on 43 snaps on the field. He’s more built in the five-technique mold as a defensive end in the 3-4, which would likely make the Bills think about re-signing him. However, the unrestricted free agent will be 29 years old and coming off a season-ending injury, which doesn’t exactly bode well for his chances.

14) DE Mario Williams
2015 Season GPA: 2.85
2015 Snap Percentage: 81.27%
- The curious season for Mario Williams came to an end with an above-average output — specifically against the run — but so many missed chances otherwise. Williams just never took to the scheme, and the scheme never adapted to him either. It was especially glaring when the Bills began moving Jerry Hughes to whichever side that presented the best matchup to get to the passer, and instead moving Williams inside against a guard. He was not at his pass-rushing best, and rarely got heat on the quarterback in 2015. Was it only his fault? No, it certainly wasn’t. However, he didn’t help himself, either. His likely last season with the Bills will go down as his worst of his four seasons with the team.

15) S Aaron Williams
2015 Season GPA: 2.84
2015 Snap Percentage: 17.54%
- As it was alluded to with Kyle Williams, there were three injuries that could have changed some things for the Bills in 2015. The second of those was with safety Aaron Williams. Although it had some bright spots at times, the safety position featured below average performances for much of the season. In two of his three games on the field, Williams showed quite well and was clearly the best safety the Bills had. When he went down with the neck injury, the Bills went to a combination of Corey Graham, Bacarri Rambo, Duke Williams, and even Leodis McKelvin — but none of the options had the same effect that Williams did. If he can play again in 2016, it’s a humongous addition to the roster.

16) QB Tyrod Taylor
2015 Season GPA: 2.83
2015 Snap Percentage: 85.86%
- Sticking with the “three injuries that could have changed the course of the season” theme, this one is the most obvious — if Tyrod Taylor was able to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bills likely could have had their second straight winning season. They could have even stood more of a chance to upset the then undefeated Cincinnati Bengals the week before, too. Tyrod Taylor’s season was a learning experience for both the quarterback and his coaches. They limited him as a passer, and put him in positions to be successful without fully taking the reigns off. Here was the impressive part: Taylor ditched the penchant to take off and run at the earliest sign of trouble, he displayed an above average ability to hit the deep ball, he fought through some ‘blueprints’ of how to best stop him during different times of the season, and best yet, he limited his turnovers. Combine all that with his mobile aspect, and the Bills had as solid of quarterback play as they’ve seen since the playoff drought started. However, Taylor is not the player that can control the game — which will be vital for him moving forward. The quarterback needs to work on seeing the entire field after the snap happens, and to properly manipulate the defense with his eyes. He has the pre-requirements for what you need in a quarterback: accuracy, good arm, mobility, work ethic. Now, he needs to have a more relaxed feel and slow the game down. If he does that, the Bills will have something. If he is unable, then the Bills shouldn’t try to force the issue of Taylor as the franchise quarterback they’ve been waiting for. His progress in 2016 will be fascinating.

17) WR Chris Hogan
2015 Season GPA: 2.78
2015 Snap Percentage: 56.93%
- Stepping in once Percy Harvin went down, Hogan was used primarily as the slot receiver for the Bills and made his most significant contributions when a run play was called. Hogan was a very good blocker all season long, and helped open up additional yardage once run plays got to the second-level. His problems with securing the football from training camp bled into the regular season, which must make the Bills pause before willingly putting him on the field for a significant amount of time if they had the choice not to. Injuries necessitated Hogan’s time on the field, and he carved out a depth wideout role for himself. However, he is nothing more than that, despite his blocking prowess.

18) TE Charles Clay
2015 Season GPA: 2.77
2015 Snap Percentage: 71.07%
- Perhaps the biggest disappointment of 2015, outside of the defense’s inability to bring down the quarterback, had to be the output from starting tight end Charles Clay. Outside of his Week Three output against his former team in Miami, Clay was blatantly average whichever way you slice it. He didn’t provide the added boost to the offense that they had hoped for, and was “just a guy” more often than not. For how much he was paid, he needed to be a dynamic pass-catching option — which he was in Week Three against the Dolphins. Whether it was due to the play calls, the quarterback, or Clay himself, the receiving output just wasn’t where they needed it to be for a player making as much as he is.

19) WR Robert Woods
2015 Season GPA: 2.72
2015 Snap Percentage: 72.00%
- Along the same lines as Hogan, Robert Woods stood out most when he was out in front of a running play blocking for his teammates — which is both good and bad. While it’s good that he can help a run-first offense as an added weapon as a blocker on the outside, it’s also bad because that was his most notable addition to the season. The only time Woods stood out in the receiving game was against Jacksonville, where he brought in nine receptions for 84 yards — a game that coincidentally Sammy Watkins was unavailable due to injury. He’s a good pass catcher, but doesn’t offer much in yards after the catch, doesn’t have the speed to blow the top off a defense, and doesn’t have the leaping ability that can win a jump ball. For that reason, the Bills can certainly upgrade the other starting spot at wide receiver, and shift Woods into more of a role as a slot receiver.

20) LB Manny Lawson
2015 Season GPA: 2.72
2015 Snap Percentage: 64.46%
- It was a tale of two halves of the season for Lawson, who transitioned himself from one of the lower-ranked and graded Bills starters at the beginning of the season, to an indispensable part of Rex Ryan’s operation by the end of the campaign. After a disappointing and a way below-average first four weeks of the season, Lawson began to turn the corner to be an average player, and then took off as one of the better players on the field over the final four weeks of the season. The Bills love his intelligence and length, even though he provides little as a pass-rusher. With how successful he was near the end of the season, and with Nigel Bradham being an unrestricted free agent, they may be inclined to pair Lawson with Preston Brown when the Bills go into nickel looks and keep him on the field in 2016.

21) CB Nickell Robey
2015 Season GPA: 2.70
2015 Snap Percentage: 61.80%
- Considering how effective Nickell Robey was under the similar scheme run by Mike Pettine in 2013, the expectation was that the nickel corner would be able to come in and resume his role as an X-factor of sorts. In 2013, he was one of the top 10-12 players on the field, and then in a different role in 2014, he carried a similar grade to the one he has in 2015. Under Pettine, Robey was a dynamic weapon used on the blitz to always keep offense’s on their toes. This season, Robey was used more in that capacity than he was in 2014, but it wasn’t the same as his rookie year. Adding to the frustration, Robey’s ability in coverage dipped — especially in both matchups against the New York Jets. He didn’t play poorly enough to be replaced next season, as he is one of the smartest players that lives in the film room, but he needs to be much better than he was as the nickel role continues to evolve.

22) TE Chris Gragg
2015 Season GPA: 2.70
2015 Snap Percentage: 32.28%
- Thought to be on the outside looking in heading into training camp, Gragg stepped his game up during the summer to force the Bills to keep him on the active roster in 2015, and then two injuries along the way pushed him into the starting lineup over the final three weeks of the season. Despite his athletic limitations, Gragg played way above expectations. He had some misses as a blocker, and didn’t make a huge impact on the passing game, but Gragg got the job done when called upon. He’s carved a role as a solid depth player at the position, and if he holds off the disappointing Nick O’Leary again next summer, they could do far worse with their third tight end on the active roster in 2016.

23) LB Nigel Bradham
2015 Season GPA: 2.69
2015 Snap Percentage: 66.94%
- All things considered, Bradham was still a barely above-average player on the season that was shortened by a high ankle sprain, which is good enough as a starter. However, his season was a disappointment because of how much potential Bradham had — specifically with the Rex Ryan defense in mind. With his skill-set: an instinctive, big hitting, and speedy linebacker that can get after the quarterback, Bradham could have become a weapon for the Bills. Instead, they tried to define him too much as a regular inside linebacker that’s in coverage quite a bit, and lost sight of sending him on the blitz for much of the year. To Bradham’s credit, when he was injured, Preston Brown had the worst stretch of his season — which speaks to what he added to the defense. However, it’s clear that Bradham did not properly fit Ryan’s scheme, and in turn, would best be used in a more definitive 4-3 outside linebacker role elsewhere.

24) C Eric Wood
2015 Season GPA: 2.67
2015 Snap Percentage: 100.00%
- After a trying 2014, Eric Wood got back to the consistent play that we’ve grown accustomed to as the starting center of the team. With his 2.67 GPA — a ‘B-minus’ in the terms of letter grades — Wood was consistently average. His best game of the season came against the Miami Dolphins in Week Nine of the season, and also had two high quality starts Week Two against New England, and Week Three again versus Miami. While his playing level may not match the size of his contract, the Bills clearly don’t have a problem with their starting center. He’ll easily continue along as the starter in 2016.

25) DT Stefan Charles
2015 Season GPA: 2.67
2015 Snap Percentage: 21.03%
- Once neck and neck with fellow backup Corbin Bryant over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Charles was completely passed by his fellow defensive tackle in 2015. Bryant earned the trust of the coaching staff over Charles in the summer, and never let it slip. The defensive tackle never seemed to regain the ability to rip through the offensive line in 2015, the one that he showed in the two years before this past one. Perhaps it was the technique the Bills taught him in this defense, but Charles wasn’t the same player that showed immense ability and potential in the two previous seasons.

26) FB Jerome Felton
2015 Season GPA: 2.66
2015 Snap Percentage: 26.51%
- As the fullback position continues to be looked at as a necessity less and less in the NFL, it was curious that the Bills elected to pay Jerome Felton as much as they did in the offseason. And, with such a minimally used player, they didn’t exactly get the return they had hoped for from what they called one of the best fullbacks in the league. Felton played barely over a quarter of the time despite being active for all 16 games, and didn’t clear the way how they hoped that he would when he was on the field. There were times he delivered fantastic blocks that sprung the rusher forward, but in the same vein, he lost his assignment basically just as many times as he made a key block. He isn’t in any jeopardy heading into 2016, but they need a much better return.

27) T Cyrus Kouandjio
2015 Season GPA: 2.64
2015 Snap Percentage: 21.12%
- For the second straight season, former second-round pick Cyrus Kouandjio couldn’t work himself into the starting lineup for the Buffalo Bills. Kouandjio played significantly at right tackle in just two games: Week Six against Cincinnati, and in his start during the Week Seven tilt against Jacksonville. In those two weeks, Kouandjio performed admirably. It wasn’t pretty from a technical standpoint, but for the most part, he kept his quarterback clean. Kouandjio is a much more polished run blocker, and that showed in that two week stint at right tackle. After that, though, he never saw the field again at one of the five usual offensive line positions. Even with Seantrel Henderson going through an illness, Kouandjio was passed by Jordan Mills, and only contributed to the game plan as a heavy-set tight end near the end of the season. Those same knee concerns that popped up ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft are once again a “maintenance issue” for the tackle, which is a major story for him moving forward into 2016.

28) TE Matthew Mulligan
2015 Season GPA: 2.63
2015 Snap Percentage: 18.79%
- A late free agent addition in the offseason, Matthew Mulligan made the most of his opportunity by clearly being the best blocking tight end on the roster through the summer. He clearly only had one job for the Bills, and was viewed as such by opposing defenses as well. In a run-first scheme, Mulligan fit right in during their climb to the top rushing team in the National Football League, but he was never apart of their long-term plans. When a pair of teams threatened to sign Nick O’Leary off the practice squad, the Bills quickly made the move to release Mulligan and give O’Leary a bigger role. Mulligan had his moments as a blocker in 2015, but did not warrant a spot more than any other tight end that ended the season on the active roster.

29) S Duke Williams
2015 Season GPA: 2.62
2015 Snap Percentage: 25.99%
- Once thought as the up-and-coming starter heading into the 2015 season, it was a fall from grace for Williams once the team got to training camp. Williams never fully looked comfortable in the defense during the summer, and Corey Graham passed him by almost immediately for the second starting spot. It was quite telling even when the Bills went through all their injuries at safety, that Williams had even been passed by Bacarri Rambo. His saving grace in 2015 was his ability on coverage units on special teams. That gives him a chance to stay afloat with the Bills heading into next season, but on defense, it was clear that his difficulties in coverage and his inability to pick up the playbook made him a non-option.

30) S Bacarri Rambo
2015 Season GPA: 2.58
2015 Snap Percentage: 63.09%
- To sum up Bacarri Rambo’s season, the inconsistencies were rampant. Early in the year, Rambo was one of the worst players on the field through the first weeks of the season. During that six-week stretch, Rambo carried a 2.09 GPA, then, over the next seven weeks of the season, the safety was fantastic. In those games, Rambo was a completely different player and carried a 3.16 GPA over that span. With how well Rambo played over that seven-week span that displayed his instincts, his ability against the run, and with his work ethic and preparation showing up on film, Rambo certainly warrants a spot on the active roster in 2016, and could even push for a starting role.

31) S Corey Graham
2015 Season GPA: 2.51
2015 Snap Percentage: 90.08%
- In his first full season as a starting safety, the results for the veteran Corey Graham just weren’t good enough. Statistically, he led the team in total tackles. However, he was caught flat-footed in coverage way too much, which led to some big plays for opposing teams at clutch times. Graham excelled in run support, and in reading screen plays and swing passes. However, he was often the last line of support, and didn’t recognize the play quickly enough to make a difference. With a $4.675 million cap hit in 2016, and a potential savings of $2.675 million, Graham could be a player to watch as a potential cap casualty. However, he is a veteran player and a trusted voice in the locker room, which may give the Bills all the motivation they need to keep him around. At the very least, his hold on the starting job shouldn’t necessarily be a guarantee in 2016.

32) RG Kraig Urbik
2015 Season GPA: 2.49
2015 Snap Percentage: 40.19%
- The season didn’t start out well for Kraig Urbik, but as John Miller had to miss some time in various weeks, Urbik served as an upgrade over the rookie when he was on the field. The Bills didn’t want to bench Miller because they view him as a player with a lot of potential, but Urbik was the better player in 2015.

33) LB Preston Brown
2015 Season GPA: 2.44
2015 Snap Percentage: 98.16%
- For one of the players that had the highest snap totals in 2015, the Bills needed a lot more from Preston Brown than what they got — specifically near the end of the season. Over the final five weeks of the year without Nigel Bradham in the lineup, the middle linebacker carried a GPA of 1.76 and was consistently one of the worst starters on the field for the Bills. Brown had a promising rookie season, and an average start to the 2015 season. However, he didn’t take well to the “complex” scheme, which raises questions about him as a starter moving forward. He’ll likely remain the starter next season, but it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Bills to either bring in some competition for him, or for Ty Powell to push him for a potential starting role. The once promising linebacker needs to regain what he did well in the 2014 season.

34) CB/S Leodis McKelvin
2015 Season GPA: 2.42
2015 Snap Percentage: 35.63%
- The Bills were without Leodis McKelvin for the first seven weeks of the season, but as they were hurting for some positive safety play in the middle of the year, they pushed McKelvin out on to the field in Week Nine as a safety with less than a week’s notice. The cornerback had never played safety in the NFL before that week. McKelvin was solid, but not spectacular through that stint for the defense. Then, when Stephon Gilmore suffered the injury that ended his season, McKelvin shifted back to a full-time cornerback and struggled immensely in his first two weeks back at the position (Week 14 against Philadelphia, and Week 15 against Washington). Like Graham, McKelvin is another older defensive back on the roster that carries a fairly large cap hit ($4.9 million). If the Bills were to cut McKelvin, they would save $3.9 million. With established starters in Gilmore and Darby, and not a ton of cap room to re-sign their own, McKelvin could be on the short list to be released.

35) RT Seantrel Henderson
2015 Season GPA: 2.17
2015 Snap Percentage: 55.16%
- It was a trying year for Seantrel Henderson, who was in the dog house with the coaching staff during the spring. He regained his starting status during the summer, but then struggled to find any consistency in the regular season, and was one of the worst on the field. Then, Henderson started feeling the effects of an illness (which The Buffalo News reported was Crohn’s Disease), lost some weight, and was lost for the rest of the season. Even with all the adversity, his performance on the field — although he showed some flashes of brilliance every once again — left far too much to be desired. This is the second straight season that Henderson has played well below average, which should facilitate them to look at either free agency or the draft for someone to compete with Henderson, and to potentially upgrade the position.

36) RG John Miller
2015 Season GPA: 2.16
2015 Snap Percentage: 60.19%
- Miller, in addition to Ronald Darby, was one of the only two rookies to crack the starting lineup for the Bills, and the team is equally as excited about both players. However, while Darby showed extreme flashes of brilliance, Miller really struggled out of the gate. Miller came around and had his best performance of the season against one of the best defensive lines in football, Week Six against Cincinnati, but then struggled to find that same form the rest of the way. It seemed like in different little pockets of games that Miller had it figured out, but then a lost one-on-one matchup would set him back to the same level he was playing at. There is a bit to like with Miller, but there is little doubt that he needs to be much better next season.

37) RT Jordan Mills
2015 Season GPA:  2.15
2015 Snap Percentage: 32.93%
- Playing in relief of Seantrel Henderson, Jordan Mills passed by Cyrus Kouandjio on the depth chart and never looked back — even though his performance on the field didn’t necessarily warrant an extended amount of playing time. Mills had worked with offensive line coach Aaron Kromer in Chicago, which led to more familiarity and trust in him as opposed to the second-year Kouandjio. To Mills’ credit, he performed admirably against Dallas in Week 16. However, in the other four starts as a member of the team, Mills was a clear-as-day below average player, ranking near the bottom of starters on an almost weekly basis over his starting tenure. An unrestricted free agent, the Bills should move on from Mills.

38) QB EJ Manuel
2015 Season GPA: 1.39
2015 Snap Percentage: 14.51%
- Unfortunately for EJ Manuel, his two-game stint as the starter in place of Tyrod Taylor couldn’t have gone much worse. In his first start during the Bills Week Six loss to Cincinnati, Manuel displayed the inaccuracy in the intermediate areas that we’ve come to know from him, and never really gave the team a chance to win the game despite a solid game from LeSean McCoy. Then, in Week Seven against Jacksonville, Manuel imploded over a five-minute stretch in the second quarter, turning the ball over three times — two of which returned for a touchdown — that cost the Bills a victory they should have had. Manuel, although once an intriguing option, is a player that the Bills need to try and upgrade heading into 2016. His future with the team is certainly unclear.

Snap percentages for 2015 Bills players under 150 snaps:
DE IK Enemkpali - 13.41%
CB Mario Butler - 11.75%
HB Mike Gillislee - 10.42%
HB Boobie Dixon - 8.37%
LB A.J. Tarpley - 7.81%
WR Greg Salas - 5.49%
CB Ron Brooks - 4.78%
TE Nick O’Leary - 3.81%
HB Boom Herron - 3.35%
LB Kevin Reddick - 2.94%
WR Marcus Easley - 2.88%
WR Marquise Goodwin - 2.60%
TE MarQueis Gray - 2.42%
DT T.J. Barnes - 2.39%
G Ryan Groy - 2.23%
DT Jerel Worthy - 2.11%
S Jonathan Meeks - 1.47%
LB Randell Johnson - 1.19%
WR Marcus Thigpen - 1.12%
WR Leonard Hankerson - 1.12%
HB Cierre Wood - 0.93%
WR Denarius Moore - 0.93%
WR Dez Lewis - 0.84%
LB Tony Steward - 0.73%
WR Walt Powell - 0.37%
QB Matt Cassel - 0.09%
QB Josh Johnson - 0.00%
HB Bryce Brown - 0.00%
G Gabe Ikard - 0.00%
DE Jarius Wynn - 0.00%
DE Lavar Edwards - 0.00%
DT Andre Fluellen - 0.00%
LB Ty Powell - 0.00%
LB Max Valles - 0.00%
S Josh Bush - 0.00%

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

 

 

 
 

 

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