Buffalo Bills 2022 training camp preview: Defensive line

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Buffalo Bills 2022 training camp kicks off on July 24th. With camp just around the corner, Bills Wire will examine the Bills roster position-by-position. We’ll analyze the new additions and departures to each position group, and provide a glimpse into the future for the team.

Next up is the defensive line unit.

Depth chart

(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Defensive tackles

Name

Year

Ed Oliver

4

DaQuan jones

9

Jordan Phillips

8

Tim Settle

5

Eli Ankou

6

Bradin Bryant

1

CJ Brewer

R

Prince Emili

R

Edge defenders

Name

Year

Von Miller

12

Greg Rousseau

2

AJ Epenesa

3

Boogie Basham

2

Shaq Lawson

7

Mike Love

2

Kingsley Jonathan

R

The big storyline

(AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The defensive line went through the biggest roster changes of any unit for the Bills. Buffalo moved on from Harrison Phillips, Star Lotulelei, Vernon Butler, Jerry Hughes, and Mario Addison.

The Bills made a major splash in free agency, signing veteran Von Miller to a massive contract. Buffalo added to the interior of their line by signing DaQuan Jones and Tim Settle to bolster the one-tech spot.

The Bills also brought back some familiar faces, signing Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson after each struggled in their time away from Western New York.

Buffalo is hoping that these changes will be enough to put pressure on the high-powered offenses that they will face this year. After all, the Bills were one defensive stop away from winning in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.

The Bills are putting quite a bit of stock in this unit improving and being more consistent. In addition, Buffalo is banking on some of their young players to take a major step forward. Greg Rousseau, AJ Epenesa, and Boogie Basham must play well in training camp and continue their growth throughout the season.

Jones and Settle were brought in to help anchor in the interior of the line. They should be an upgrade over Lotueleli, and both will be expected to eat blocks at the line of scrimmage.

Miller is the big-ticket free agent signing. His 114.5 career sacks and Super Bowl rings give him clout in the locker room. Buffalo hopes that Miller’s presence will further create space for Rousseau, Oliver, and company to attack quarterbacks.

Prediction

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The changes on the defensive line will ultimately create more chaos against opposing offenses. Jones and Settle will hopefully free up Oliver to be consistently dominate opposing offensive lines. With more room to work, Oliver will hopefully set career bests with sacks.

The additions will allow head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to dial-up more complicated blitz packages. The improvements on the line will also benefit the remainder of the defense, as the secondary won’t have to cover receivers as long.

The Bills have not had a player reach double-digit sacks since Lorenzo Alexander in 2016. Miller has the best chance to end that streak. However, Rousseau also has a shot to make some major noise as well.

The Bills were the best defense against the pass. The upgrades on the interior of the line will help with the 13th-ranked rush defense. It’s scary to say, but the defensive line will help improve upon a defensive unit that allowed the fewest points in the league least year.

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