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Buffalo Bills

Stadium: Ralph Wilson Stadium | Coach: Rex Ryan
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense13th152.0 (1st)208.9 (27th)
Defense19th108.1 (15th)248.2 (18th)


Recent Schedule Unavailable


New England12-4-04-2-0
New York10-6-03-3-0
Bills' Shaq Lawson: Day 1 starter
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Bills GM Doug Whaley says that Lawson (shoulder) will start at outside linebacker, opposite Jerry Hughes, The Buffalo News reports. "He can set the edge from the outside, he can rush speed-to-power, and that gives us two nice rushers off the edge. And then you've got the push in the middle with our defensive tackles," said Whaley. "I think this is a guy that has the versatility, too, when we go nickel or sub, he can go inside and use his quickness on those interior offensive linemen. So I know Coach (Ryan) is ecstatic about it just because of what he brings, first day, off the bus, he's starting. And his mind is going crazy over different ways he can use him."

Both the team and Lawson are also refuting a Mel Kiper report that Lawson will need shoulder surgery at some point, something that would sideline him 4-6 months. There's some merit to the player's stance, as Lawson injured his right shoulder several years ago as a freshman and seemed to do just fine with it during the last few seasons at Clemson. But we'll at least say Lawson probably runs a slightly bigger injury risk that some of the other draftees from Thursday night. That all said, linebacker was a huge weak spot for the Bills last year, and if the team is serious about switching to more 3-4 looks, than a corps of Lawson, Preston Brown, Zack Brown and Hughes suddenly looks a lot better.

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Bills' Shaq Lawson: Bills select 19th overall
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

The Bills selected Lawson (shoulder) in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, 19th overall.

A slight shoulder concern may have played a role in Lawson falling this far, as he was likely a justifiable pick as high as the top 10. Lawson was the best player on a dominant Clemson defense in 2015, finishing with 60 tackles (25.5 for loss) and 12.5 sacks in 15 games. He has the athleticism to play on the edge for Buffalo regardless of whether the team is in a four- or three-man front.

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Bills' Preston Brown: High hopes for 2016
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Brown, who will start at inside linebacker in what will mostly consist of a 3-4 defense, is excited about the team's simplified playbook for 2016, The Buffalo News reports. "The guys are happy that we don't have as many situations or checks on plays," Brown said. "So guys are excited that we're starting to compromise and going into the season making it simple and as fast as possible."

While Brown picked up 120 total tackles in 2015, the defense struggled for most of the season and Brown - normally a strong student of the game - had a tough time with Rex Ryan's new defense and the calls he had to make to his teammates. Brown is by far the team's best linebacker entering 2016, so expect him to stay on the field in almost all scenarios. A 100-plus tackle season seems like a good bet once again.

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Bills' Zach Brown: Starting opportunity?
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Coach Rex Ryan says that, as of now, Brown is a starter at inside linebacker along with Preston Brown, The Buffalo News reports.

The Bills signed Zach Brown a few weeks ago as a modest free agent pickup. He missed the 2014 season after suffering a torn pectoral in Week 1, but returned to total 77 tackles (55 solo), two interceptions and 0.5 sacks in 16 games played last season. We'll note the Bills may also be eying a linebacker with the 19th overall pick later this month. If the Bills choose an inside guy with either of their top two picks, Zach Brown may be in for some competition this summer, as Preston Brown is the main LB in this defense.

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Bills' Stephon Gilmore: Not yet ready for practice
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Gilmore (shoulder) has not been cleared to participate in practice, The Buffalo News reports.

Gilmore missed the last four games of the 2015 season, but he's expected to be healthy for the start of 2016. He'll start at cornerback across from Ronald Darby (hernia), with the duo forming one of the league's better CB tandems.

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