BUFFALO, N.Y. — When Kyle Williams retired at the end of last season, the Bills lost more than just their most tenured player.
They lost 657 snaps that they’ll have to account for in his absence in 2019, a player who was on the field just under 65 percent of the time. The expectation is that workload will fall to ninth overall pick Ed Oliver.
Oliver comes lauded for his penetrating and pass-rushing skills, which fit exactly into the role Williams was playing. It’s a lot to ask of a first-year player, but Oliver has the pedigree to believe he’ll be up to the task.
Next to him, Star Lotulelei remains anchored and ready to clog the middle in much the same way he did in 2018. In his first season in Buffalo, Lotulelei played all 16 games factoring into 15 tackles and defended a pass, but he’s really here to open up space for everyone else.
Rotating in were rookie Harrison Phillips, who put together a solid if unspectacular first year as a pro, and Miami Dolphins castoff Jordan Phillips, who seemed to find a home upon landing in Western New York in Week 5.
The Bills will also bring Kyle Peko, Robert Thomas, and L.T. Walton to camp, but it will be difficult for anyone to break into the established top four rotation.
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