Tre'Davious White, Zay Jones could be among Bills' new 2017 starters

With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror, and organized team activities and minicamps in full swing, here's a starting lineup projection for the Buffalo Bills:


QB: Tyrod Taylor. He is playing for his job again this season because the Bills can release him before a $6 million roster bonus is due next March.

RB: LeSean McCoy. If he stays healthy, McCoy has a shot at the NFL rushing title after the Bills allowed his top backup, Mike Gillislee, to sign with the Patriots last month.

FB: Patrick DiMarco. The Bills signed the former Falcons fullback to a four-year, $8.4 million deal this offseason to give them a more versatile option than Jerome Felton.

LT: Cordy Glenn. Earning $11.5 million per season, he must get back on track in 2017 after ankle and back injuries sidelined him for five games.

LG: Richie Incognito. Having settled in Buffalo as one of the league's best guards, Incognito should enjoy another solid season before age (he turns 35 in July 2018) and money (his cap number balloons to $7.6 million in 2018) become concerns.

C: Eric Wood. Now 31 and returning from a broken leg, Wood enters the final year of his contract with some uncertainty about the future after Buffalo matched the Rams' offer for his potential replacement, Ryan Groy, this offseason.

RG: John Miller. The Bills' previous coaching staff liked what it saw last season from Miller, who enters his third NFL season.

RT: Jordan Mills. The fifth-year veteran is the incumbent starter but should be pushed this summer by 2017 second-round pick Dion Dawkins.

TE: Charles Clay. He picked up his play over the final four games last season (21 catches, 229 yards, four touchdowns), but the Bills still need more production from him.

WR: Sammy Watkins. After the Bills declined Watkins' fifth-year option for 2018, he must shake off offseason foot surgery and prove himself worthy of a big contract next offseason.

WR: Zay Jones. The Bills selected Jones with the No. 37 pick last month, which should give him the inside track for the competitive No. 2 job over free-agent acquisitions Andre Holmes and Corey Brown.


DE: Jerry Hughes. Perhaps a new defensive scheme will help, because Hughes never seemed to be a comfortable fit within Rex Ryan's system, causing his two-year sack totals from drop from 19.5 (2013-14) to 11 (2015-16).

DT: Marcell Dareus. The Bills' highest-paid player, Dareus is a wild card this season as he adjusts to hard-driving defensive line coach Mike Waufle while facing the possibility of a 10-game suspension if he fails another drug test.

DT: Kyle Williams. He turns 34 next month and is entering the final season of his deal. It would not be a surprise if this is the final season for the Bills' longest-tenured player and a very likely future member of Buffalo's wall of fame.

DE: Shaq Lawson. Sean McDermott's defensive system should cater more to the 2016 first-round pick's strengths, moving him from 3-4 outside linebacker to 4-3 defensive end.

SLB: Lorenzo Alexander. Surely a top choice to be a team captain this season, Alexander turns 34 this month as he begins a two-year deal and must adapt to a scheme that will see him playing more in space than rushing the passer.

MLB: Reggie Ragland. This could be a training-camp battle between the 2016 second-round pick, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, and incumbent Preston Brown. Both lack the ideal speed and range required for this position in McDermott's scheme.

WLB: Ramon Humber. The Bills did not address this position early in the draft, so they can either address it with a late free-agent signing or roll with Humber, who played mostly on special teams last season.

CB: Ronald Darby. After an excellent rookie season in 2015, he slumped at times last season and might slip into a competition with 2016 sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour and veteran addition Shareece Wright.

FS: Jordan Poyer. The Bills gave Poyer a four-year, $13.5 million deal, which projects him to a starting role after he made only 10 starts in four seasons with the Browns.

SS: Micah Hyde. McDermott seems high on Hyde, the former Packers jack-of-all-trades who earned the biggest deal (five years, $30 million) of Buffalo's free-agent haul.

CB: Tre'Davious White. It is too early to say the 2017 first-round pick is a surefire lock to start as a rookie; he could compete with Seymour and Wright.


K: Steven Hauschka. The Bills raised some eyebrows by signing Hauschka to a three-year, $9 million deal this offseason, but when he excelled in Seattle, he was among the league's best kickers.

P: Colton Schmidt. The fourth-year punter had somewhat of a down season in 2016 and will be pushed this summer by undrafted rookie Austin Rehkow.

KR: Brandon Tate. The Bills got Tate back on a minimum-salary deal this offseason after he finished 2016 with the league's seventh-best kick-return average.

PR: Tate. Buffalo might give Hyde a look at this spot, but Tate finished with the fifth-best punt-return average last season.