Buffalo Bills 53-man roster projection: Who makes the final roster?

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Buffalo Bills Josh Allen and Gabe Davis
Buffalo Bills’ Gabriel Davis, left, celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Josh Allen during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

It’s cutdown day across the NFL as the Buffalo Bills and every other team has to get down to a 53-man roster by 4 p.m. ET.

With the Bills putting together one of their deepest rosters ever as they look to capture their first Super Bowl title, this will be one of the most important and toughest cutdown days we’ve seen in recent memory. 

So who will make the team ahead of the Week 1 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams? Below are my current projections for what the 53-man roster will look like. 

QUARTERBACK (2): Josh Allen, Case Keenum

Cut: Matt Barkley

This hasn’t changed from our first projection. The Bills will undoubtedly want three quarterbacks on the roster, but since Barkley is a vested veteran, he won’t have to go to waivers, which means he can choose to sign with the Bills’ practice squad if the wants. It would seem to be a lock that that’s what happens. 


RUNNING BACK/FULLBACK (5): Devin Singletary, James Cook, Zack Moss, Reggie Gilliam, Taiwan Jones

Cut: Duke Johnson, Raheem Blackshear

When the Bills tried to sign JD McKissic and then signed Duke Johnson, many Bills fans thought it was a lock that the Bills would be moving on from Zack Moss. Instead, Moss has looked great in training camp and the Bills are reportedly cutting Duke Johnson. 

There were rumors that the Buffalo Bills would be looking to trade Zack Moss, but the team said they have “zero interest” in that, which makes sense since he’s playing well and has two more years on his rookie contract. The team will also want to keep Taiwan Jones for his special teams’ prowess, and Gilliam is their versatile fullback.  

Blackshear had a really good preseason, and Bills fans are going to have a hard time seeing him go, but the Bills will have to hope they can add him to the practice squad. 


WIDE RECEIVER (7): Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, Khalil Shakir, Jamison Crowder, Jame Kumerow, Marquez Stevenson

Cut: Isaiah Hodgins Tanner Gentry, Neil Pau’u

I know many people want Isaiah Hodgins to make this final roster, but I just don’t see it happening. Kumerow’s value on special teams is simply too high for a team that is training to be great in all facets so it can win a Super Bowl. Hodgins played really well as a receiver during the preseason and likely will get scooped up by another team, but the consequence of being one of the better teams in the league is that you have too many good players and wind up cutting guys that can play in this league. 

Marquez Stevenson will still begin the year on injured reserve, but if the Bills keep him on the 53-man after today, he’s eligible to return later in the season. If they place him on IR now, he will have to miss the full season. Since the Bills have no punter, they can stash Stevenson on the 53-man and hope to have him back for the second half of the year. 


TIGHT END (2): Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney, Quintin Morris

Cut: O.J. Howard

The Buffalo Bills already cut O.J. Howard, so we pretty much know exactly how the tight end room will shape up. The only question is whether Morris’ hamstring injury at practice yesterday lands him on the IR to start the season. 


OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Dion Dawkins, Rodger Saffold, Mitch Morse, Ryan Bates, Spencer Brown, David Quessenberry, Greg Mancz, Tommy Doyle, Bobby Hart

PUP: Ike Boettger

Cut: Luke Tenuta, Greg Van Roten, Jacob Capra, Alec Anderson, Tanner Owen

This is exactly the group of nine I had in my earlier projections as I believed Cody Ford would be traded. I’ll stick to my guns here. 


DEFENSIVE LINE (9): Von Miller, DaQuan Jones, Ed Oliver, Greg Rousseau, Boogie Basham, Tim Settle, Jordan Phillips, A.J. Epenesa, Shaq Lawson

Cut: Eli Ankou, Mike Love, Kingsley Jonathan, Brandin Bryant, Prince Emili, Daniel Joseph, C.J. Brewer

This is also the same group I had in my previous version. There had been a thought that Brandin Bryant would force his way onto the roster with his strong preseason, but the Bills cut him earlier today and will hope to get him onto the practice squad. 


LINEBACKER (6): Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, Tyrel Dodson, Terrel Bernard, Tyler Matakevich, Baylon Spector

Reserve/suspended: Andre Smith

Cut: Joe Giles-Harris

The early preseason games had forced Baylon Spector onto the team, and he’s going to stay there. Andre Smith is eligible to return in Week 7, so we’ll see what that does to this room then, but a lot can change in seven weeks of an NFL season. 


CORNERBACK (6): Kaiir Elam, Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson, Christian Benford, Siran Neal, Cam Lewis

PUP: Tre’Davous White

Cut: Jordan Miller, Nick McCloud, Ja’Marcus Ingram

Sadly, I think the writing is on the wall with Tre’Davious White starting the year on PUP. The Bills simply have too much to play for this year to rush their star back from an ACL injury before he’s ready. Yes, the team will be short-handed at cornerback, but it’s also possible that a veteran is cut by another team today who the Bills think could be an upgrade on Cam Lewis. Lewis played well in training camp and has shown the versatility to play safety and on special teams as well. Nick McCloud is the toughest cut of this group and will likely be scooped up by somebody else. 

SAFETY (4): Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Jaquan Johnson, Damar Hamlin

Cut: Josh Thomas

This is another open-and-shut case and the same as the first version of projections now that Jordan Poyer has returned to practice after his elbow injury. 


SPECIAL TEAMS (2): Reid Ferguson, Tyler Bass

We all know about the Matt Araiza situation, which has left Buffalo with no punter. They will obviously sign one today or tomorrow but do not currently have one on the roster. Unless you want to hand the job to Matt Barkley, who actually punted well in the last preseason game. 

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2022 Buffalo Bills
Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen (17), center, warms-up before a preseason NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)