Here's the Bills news of note for Thursday May 25th.
**1 - Frazier believes Ragland could play outside
**Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier didn't have a lot to work with when it came to evaluating Reggie Ragland to see how he'd fit in Buffalo's new 4-3 scheme. All he had was training camp tape from last summer before Ragland tore his ACL.
"We were going through the evaluation process and we were trying to determine where guys were so with Ragland we went back to his training camp tape and we saw some good things," Frazier said in an appearance on the John Murphy Show.
Frazier and his defensive staff haven't had the opportunity to see him in a team practice period all spring, so it's allowed Preston Brown to man the middle linebacker role with the starting unit without any real competition.
"He's only been able to do individual work," said Frazier of Ragland. "We haven't gotten him in any team work yet. They haven't cleared him for that. In the individual drills you can see the athletic ability. You can see the talent that's there. In the meetings you know he's a smart football player who can really try to run things. We've been impressed in the little work that he can do. It's unfortunate we can't get him in the team periods yet."
When asked if Ragland could play outside should the team choose to leave Preston Brown as the team's middle backer, Frazier thought he could.
"We think he could potentially play outside," Frazier said. "We have a limited sample size based on his rookie season and that was just training camp so you have to look at his college tape and project. Based on our projections we think he could play the middle linebacker position and one of the outside positions."
The strong side would seem a bit more likely than the weak side, which has far greater coverage responsibilities. That's not to say that Ragland can't cover. He just might be better suited to holding the edge in the run front on the strong side.
Frazier currently has Ramon Humber as his starting weak side linebacker, and said he's doing a good job. They also have a couple of other outside linebacker candidates.
"We think we have some pieces in place," Frazier said. "You're always looking to create competition at the positions. We've drafted a couple of guys in Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo and both of them have shown that they're capable of playing that outside position. We're creating some competition, but we really won't know where we are until we get to put the pads on and get into some preseason games."
2 - Offensive tackle pictureThe picture of competition changed at the offensive tackle position for the Bills following the release of Cyrus Kouandjio Wednesday.
Kouandjio was not participating in OTAs anyway, but here's what's left at offensive tackle for Buffalo.
There are currently six offensive tackles on the roster. The projected starters, for now, are veteran Cordy Glenn and Jordan Mills the two incumbents from last season. In line to be the swing tackle at the very least is rookie second-round pick Dion Dawkins.
Seantrel Henderson looks fit and healthy after dealing with a medical condition for much of last season, but he's got five games of a league-imposed suspension to still serve when the 2017 season opens.
The fifth and sixth offensive tackles are Michael Ola and Cameron Jefferson. Ola was a midseason signing last year and appeared in six games for the Bills at offensive tackle.
Jefferson has spent time with Chicago and Denver, but did not appear in any regular season games over the past two years.
With Glenn not participating in OTAs yet, Dawkins has seen the majority of the reps at left tackle with the first unit. Ola has rotated in at left tackle with Dawkins with the starters at times. Jordan Mills has been the right tackle with the ones.
Ola has been the second team left tackle while Cameron Jefferson and Seantrel Henderson have split time as the second team right tackle. Jefferson then flips to the left side with the third unit while Henderson mans right tackle with the third group.
We'll see if these roles shift and change as OTAs wear on and spill into mandatory minicamp in mid-June.
3 - Sporting News concerned about Bills roster depthThe Sporting News is already assessing team's rosters even though the Bills are one of a handful of teams expected to do some roster tinkering right into the summer months with a new GM in Brandon Beane and new head coach in Sean McDermott trying to shape the team in their preferred image.
That being said, in breaking down the 2017 Bills, The Sporting News expressed concern over the lack of depth for the club at a few positions like linebacker, defensive end and safety. Here's an excerpt from their take on Buffalo’s 2017 prospects with the roster as it's currently constituted. * *
The Bills' roster as a whole features a handful of Pro Bowl-caliber players but hardly any solid depth, so health will be even more important than usual.
Given a new coaching staff implementing a fresh culture, a front office in its infancy and a work-in-progress roster, don't expect Buffalo to pull an upset and reach the postseason in 2017. But don't expect more of the chaos for which the organization has become known, either.