1. Top 4 storylines to follow for Bills mandatory minicamp
The Bills concluded voluntary organized team activities last week and enter the next phase of the offseason with minicamp Tuesday through Thursday. These are the top storylines to watch.
Mitch Morse declares himself ready to go
Mitch Morse has been dealing with a core muscle injury and missed the majority of OTAs. Morse was put in a limited position last week and wore a red jersey but still participated.
Morse told reporters that he will be ready to be a full participant during minicamp and hopes to begin developing more chemistry with Josh Allen.
"(I've been) getting the feel for how he is on the field, even if it is just walkthrough. Just seeing where he snaps it and where he prefers the hands," Allen said last week. "Just him being out there talking and communicating with the guys on every given play. So, it’s good for the whole team, especially the offense, when he’s out there. He’s getting used to things and being able to see things from that perspective. We’re going to continue to work on that."
Who will be the starting wide receivers?
The Bills made moves this offseason to help its wide receiving corps with the additions of John Brown and Cole Beasley. Still, Buffalo has a pair of young wideouts hoping to maintain their positions from last season in Zay Jones and Robert Foster.
Week 3 of OTAs was marred by injuries and attendance. Of the projected top four receivers, only Foster was on the field participating last Tuesday. Beasley is working his way back from a core muscle injury and expects to miss minicamp while Jones’ injury is unknown.
Look for Brown and Foster to compete for the role as Buffalo's top deep threat. Foster emerged late last season and Brown is a proven deep-threat in the NFL. Head coach Sean McDermott has shied away from the idea of declaring a No. 1 wide receiver but for now the only position that seems set is Beasley in the slot when he’s healthy.
No. 2 cornerback battle heats up
Tre’Davious White is set as the Bills No. 1 corner but there’s a three-man race for who will begin the season opposite of him. Levi Wallace is the incumbent, E.J. Gaines is the returning vet, and Kevin Johnson is trying to prove himself after the start to his career was derailed by injuries.
Wallace, a 2018 undrafted free agent, played well for the Bills when he received his opportunity at the end of last season. Gaines previously played for the Bills in 2017 under McDermott’s defense and Johnson performed well throughout OTAs getting his hands-on footballs thrown his way.
Offensive line shuffle
The Bills have been getting everyone involved throughout OTAs along the offensive line and for now it seems like the only positions that are set are Mitch Morse and Dion Dawkins.
Buffalo has rotated Ty Nsekhe, Wyatt Teller, Spencer Long, Jon Felciano and LaAdrian Waddle at different positions on the line.
With Nsekhe and Waddle not practicing, and Morse limited, the line last Tuesday featured Dawkins, and Cody Ford at the tackle spots and Feliciano (guard), Jeremiah Sirles (center), Long (guard) inside. But there was constant movement and rotations for positions and starting roles.
As the Bills continue 2019 OTAs, check out photos of each of the 91 players on the team.
2. Brandon Beane on what’s next for Josh Allen
ESPN’s Dan Graziano identified what’s next for each of the 2018 first-round quarterbacks. In a phone interview with general manager Brandon Beane, Beane detailed some of the difficulties last season and where the Bills go in year two with Allen.
The Bills' focus this offseason was to overhaul the group around Allen -- particularly the offensive line. A Bills team that reached the playoffs in 2017 lost Eric Wood and Richie Incognito to retirement and traded Cordy Glenn to the Bengals last offseason.
"So we never were in sync last year on offense," Beane said. "The goal this year was to, first, protect Josh -- he can't do anything if he's on his back -- and then get our running game going."
Graziano feels it would be a detriment to the Bills for Allen to be the team’s leading rusher each season. But Beane has dealt with it before being in the Carolina Panthers’ front office from 2008-16 and dealing with Cam Newton.
"I would say he's a young version of Cam -- not where Cam got to as an MVP [in 2015], but Cam ran more his first year and I think ran less as he went along," Beane said. "We don't want Josh taking as many hits as we probably had Cam take."
There have been questions about Allen’s accuracy, like Newton, but Beane isn’t as worried.
"Probably the biggest thing he has to improve -- outsiders may say accuracy, but I'm going to say decision-making," Beane said. "Josh is a very confident young man who believes he can make any throw, and in Year 1 that may have been to his detriment."
3. Best draft picks on the Bills current roster
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler identified the best Bills’ draft picks on the roster. One from Day 1, one from Day 2 and one from Day 3. The selections only include players drafted by the organization.
The Day 1 selection is Tre’Davious White, Day 2 is Zay Jones and Day 3 is Matt Milano.
After an impressive rookie campaign, White played even better in Year 2. In two seasons, White has started every game and combined for 26 passes defended and six interceptions. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, defensive tackle Ed Oliver or quarterback Josh Allen might take over this spot in the future, but White is currently the Bills’ best homegrown first-rounder.
All three players were drafted in 2017 and the Bills are the only team in the NFL without a homegrown Day 2 pick on its roster prior to 2017.