Posted: Sunday, 28 July 2013 2:33PM

Projecting the Bills roster: Pre-training camp



(WGR 550) -- As the Buffalo Bills approach their very first training camp practice of 2013, the 53-man roster is completely in the air.

A new coaching staff means old favorites are no longer in those cushy spots. Veterans have to earn their keep and try to fend off the rookies that the new regime thought enough of to bring in to camp.

In an extremely premature look at who might make the roster, let's take a gander at how it might all shake out. Take this with a grain of salt, however, because there hasn't even been a practice to this point in time.

Throughout camp and the preseason, be sure to check back for updated projections as the players start to shine or flop on the field.

QB (2): Kevin Kolb, EJ Manuel
- With other positional needs that need more attention than the quarterback position, the Bills likely can afford to cut Jeff Tuel and then sneak him on to the practice squad for his first year in the league. Then, if an injury occurs, they still have their man.
Cuts: Jeff Tuel

HB (4): CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson, Tashard Choice, Kendall Gaskins
- It came down to whether or not the Bills would keep three or four running backs. Tashard Choice and Kendall Gaskins could be battling for the third spot, but also keep an eye on Zach Brown. He's going to get a lot of touches throughout training camp.
Cuts: Zach Brown, Drew Smith

FB (0): None
- With the type of size Kendall Gaskins has at the running back position, he could be a bit of a hybrid running back and fullback if they so choose. To this point, we've yet to see or hear how important the fullback position is to the team in the sense of needing a prototypical one. We'll find out as the practices rack up.
Cuts: Frank Summers

WR (6): Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, T.J. Graham, Da'Rick Rogers, Brad Smith
- Brad Smith is the last man in thanks to his brand new restructured contract. That decision puts him at better odds of making the roster, to which Chris Hogan and Marcus Easley can't be pleased. It will still be a tight competition regardless.
Cuts: Chris Hogan, Marcus Easley, Brandon Kaufman, Kevin Elliot, DeMarco Sampson

TE (4): Scott Chandler, Lee Smith, Chris Gragg, Mike Caussin
- With the way Mike Caussin looked during the spring practices, right now he has the leg up on making the roster over Dorin Dickerson. They very well could just part ways with the seventh round tight end Chris Gragg, but considering he was the first tight end they brought in under Doug Marrone, money is on him sticking around the roster.
Cuts: Dorin Dickerson

OT (4): Cordy Glenn, Chris Hairston, Zebrie Sanders, Sam Young
- Zebrie Sanders and Sam Young both make the cut over Thomas Welch mainly due to Sanders' youth and upside, and Young's newfound versatility. If they keep four, that likely comes down to Welch vs. Young.
Cuts: Erik Pears, Thomas Welch, Hutch Eckerson

OG (3): Kraig Urbik, Doug Legursky, Colin Brown
- No surprises here. With Chris Scott already out the door, the Bills keep the two men directly in the left guard competition, with the loser being the swing interior lineman should anything happen to Kraig Urbik or Eric Wood.
Cuts: Keith Williams, Zack Chibane

C (1): Eric Wood
- With the versatility both Colin Brown and Doug Legursky provide, there is little incentive to keeping either David Snow or Ryan Turnley on the roster entering the season.
Cuts: David Snow, Ryan Turnley

DL (6): Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Alan Branch, Alex Carrington, Jay Ross, Torell Troup
- The first four names shouldn't surprise anyone, but Jay Ross and Torell Troup make the cut over the likes of Jarron Gilbert and Corbin Bryant. Ross has caught the eye of the new coaching staff during spring practices, meanwhile Troup is basically on his last stand with the Bills after an injury-plagued first three seasons.
Cuts: Jarron Gilbert, Corbin Bryant, Izaan Cross, Aaron Tipoti

OLB (5): Mario Williams, Manny Lawson, Jerry Hughes, Marcus Dowtin, Jamie Blatnick
- The Bills keep three of the stereotypical pass rushers (Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes and Jamie Blatnick) while keeping two players that can play the strongside linebacker position (Manny Lawson and Marcus Dowtin). Keith Pough is an interesting case and one that will get a chance to make the roster, but he has to beat out special teams incumbent Chris White for the roster spot.
Cuts: Keith Pough, Kourtnei Brown

ILB (5): Kiko Alonso, Nigel Bradham, Bryan Scott, Arthur Moats, Chris White
- With the first four names making the cut being no surprise, White is likely the biggest bubble name. At this point, the 10th linebacker spot looks to come down to White vs. Pough.
Cuts: Brian Smith

CB (6): Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin, Justin Rogers, Crezdon Butler, Ron Brooks, Nickell Robey
- Although there are five names that at this point look like to have a solid shot at making the roster, the cornerback position is the most enigmatic on the roster from a talent standpoint. There will be room past the first five for an undrafted rookie to make the roster. With the way he played in spring, it's hard not to think Nickell Robey is the man for that designation.
Cuts: T.J. Heath, Jumal Rolle, Kip Edwards

S (4): Jairus Byrd, Da'Norris Searcy, Aaron Williams, Duke Williams
- With the big assumption that Jairus Byrd will report at some point before the regular season, the Bills will hang on to both Aaron and Duke Williams to back up the starting duo. Fifth-round pick Jonathan Meeks would have to really show something on special teams or on the defensive side of the ball to warrant keeping five safeties on the roster. It could happen, but he might be a better fit for the practice squad.
Cuts: Mana Silva, Jonathan Meeks, Dominique Ellis, Jordan Dangerfield

K (1): Dustin Hopkins
- With youth, a smaller contract and a bigger leg on his side, it appears Dustin Hopkins would have to really screw up training camp and the preseason to lose the job to the incumbent Rian Lindell.
Cuts: Rian Lindell

P (1): Brian Stahovich
- A competition that has no favorite at this point, Stahovich showed off a big leg during spring and definitively put Powell on alert to bring his A-game.
Cuts: Shawn Powell

LS (1): Garrison Sanborn
- One of the best in the game at his position has no competition with the Bills in 2013.
Cuts: None

Practice Squad (7): Jeff Tuel, Chris Hogan, David Snow, Corbin Bryant, Kourtnei Brown, Keith Pough, Jonathan Meeks

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

All photos courtesy of AP