Players on the Bills' 90-man roster were separated into three categories: locks or near locks, on the bubble and long shots. Each player "on the bubble" was assigned a percentage chance of making the final roster.
With the Bills trimming their roster to 51 players Saturday, let’s evaluate my predictions from July:
Locks or near locks: 37 of 38 made the 53-man roster or were placed on a reserve list.
Where we missed: RB Fred Jackson
Analysis: I floated a scenario in May, while evaluating the running back position after the draft, in which Jackson could get cut. I wrote at the time that the Bills could save about $2.5 million by releasing Jackson, "and with their 2016 cap space already thin, that space could be carried over into next season and help the team down the road." However, I didn't see regression from Jackson or enough of a push from other players during organized team activities and minicamp to put Jackson on the roster bubble for this piece in July. Perhaps I should have considered it more.
On the bubble, 50 percent chance or greater: 13 of 19 made the 53-man roster.
Those who made it: RB Boobie Dixon (80 percent chance), TE Nick O'Leary (80 percent), RB Karlos Williams (75 percent), OT Seantrel Henderson (75 percent), LB Randell Johnson (75 percent), S Bacarri Rambo (75 percent), TE MarQueis Gray (70 percent), DL Alex Carrington (65 percent), LB Tony Steward (60 percent), CB Ron Brooks (60 percent), TE Matthew Mulligan (55 percent), WR Marquise Goodwin (50 percent), K Jordan Gay (50 percent)
Those who missed the cut: G Cyril Richardson (75 percent), QB Matt Cassel (60 percent), WR Dez Lewis (60 percent), CB Ross Cockrell (55 percent), S Jonathan Meeks (55 percent), LB Michael Buchanan (50 percent)
Analysis: Richardson was the biggest miss from a percentage-chance standpoint, although he might have been pushed off the roster by Dalton Freeman, a late-waiver claim this week who was later released Saturday. Otherwise, the rest of the players released were right above the 50-50 mark, so I was close on my projections.
On the bubble, less than 50 percent chance: 5 of 12 made the 53-man roster.
Those who missed the cut: G Chris Williams (45 percent), LB Jimmy Gaines (40 percent), FB John Conner (35 percent), DT Andre Fluellen (30 percent), WR Deonte Thompson (25 percent), TE Clay Burton (25 percent), S Kenny Ladler (25 percent)
Analysis: There were specific factors that led to each of the five players making the roster despite a less than 50-50 chance. Gragg was helped by the Bills' decision to keep five tight ends; Tarpley got an assist from a season-ending knee injury to Powell; Brown was a direct beneficiary of Jackson's release; Thigpen's punt-returning duties were needed because of McKelvin's injury; and Butler played well throughout the summer and got a bump because of McKelvin's injury.
Long shots: 0 of 20 made the 53-man roster.
Analysis: Well, I guess that’s why they call them long shots.