The Buffalo Bills have produced one of the NFL‘s best defenses over the past two seasons despite key losses in their secondary. Like the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo is one of only a select few teams that are built through their ability to win on the defensive line. And the addition of Leonard Floyd is proof that having “enough” is not really ever enough when the team is trying to win a Super Bowl.
Buffalo Bills EDGE Depth Chart
The Bills already had a productive stable of pass rushers on their roster before the addition of Floyd. A healthy Von Miller is likely still one of the best EDGE defenders in the NFL, boasting outrageous bend and technical ability as a pass rusher while remaining one of the top run defenders of anyone at the position.
However, a torn ACL on Thanksgiving (which isn’t “giving” thanks) ended Miller’s season prematurely. This is the second time that Miller has been through an ACL surgery. Although the last one was a decade ago, he was able to return from that injury suffered in January for the preseason in August.
“Ten years removed from that, 2023, I have a whole new outlook, Miller told Mike Klis. “I know exactly where I’m supposed to be at two months, four months, six months, and in the position where I’m at now, I feel great, I feel comfortable. I feel like I’ll be ready to go at the start of the season.”
And while the defensive production didn’t tumble into the abyss without him, things weren’t as steady up front. That is exactly where Floyd will come in handy for the Bills.
Leonard Floyd Pushes Depth Through the Roof
Floyd joins a unit consisting of Gregory Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa, Shaq Lawson, Boogie Basham, and Kingsley Jonathan (formerly Enagbare). And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Buffalo’s investment on the defensive line. There’s more depth on the defensive interior than a two-pack of most NFL teams.
Floyd doesn’t need to necessarily start for the Bills, no matter what his price tag ends up looking like. He’s coming off seasons of 10, 9.5, and nine sacks in Los Angeles. He’s an explosive and bendy pass rusher who, while being a decent run defender for his size, would best be used as a designated pass rusher.
That would still get Floyd on the field for 400+ snaps for the Bills while rotating with a number of other names.
Rousseau missed some time in 2022 with an injury, but he showed growth even from an impressive rookie season. He has prototypical size and length for the position, and has proved to be a strong run defender at the NFL level.
Lawson somewhat unceremoniously returned to Buffalo in 2022 from a production perspective, but he played the second-most defensive snaps of all the EDGEs on the team behind Rousseau.
And that’s partially what makes the Bills so dangerous defensively. They have talent six deep at defensive end, and a season ago, five players played over 400 defensive snaps.
With a never-ending rotation of fresh bodies, there are several ways Buffalo can utilize them all on the field at the same time. Rousseau’s best pass-rushing tape in college was on the interior, although that’s not something that Leslie Frazier and Co. have done much in the past.
And all of these guys get to spend time around Miller, a future first-ballot Hall of Fame pass rusher, which helps the entire room improve.
“Anytime you talk to a future Hall of Famer like Von, there’s always just knowledge that he’s letting loose at all times,” Rousseau told reporters after Miller’s injury. “More importantly, I feel like for us, it’s friendship. Someone to talk to, to chop it up with. It goes deeper than just football.”