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Bills post-draft roster reset: Defensive ends

5/17/2015

Taking a look at the Buffalo Bills' roster, which stands at 90 players following the draft and undrafted free-agent signings:

Position: Defensive end

Veterans: Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Bryan Johnson

Drafted rookies: None

Undrafted rookies: Cedric Reed, Erik Williams, B.J. Larsen

Rookie camp tryouts: None

Early thoughts: Rex Ryan's base defense is a "4-3 under," which means -- by traditional definitions -- there are effectively three defensive tackles, one defensive end, one outside linebacker and two inside linebackers on the field. Williams fills that lone defensive end role as well as any player in the NFL, just as Terrell Suggs did for Ryan with the Baltimore Ravens. Hughes wasn't part of Mike Pettine's base defense in 2013, but if Williams were to get injured, Hughes would be a perfect fit at defensive end. As long as Williams is healthy, Hughes will either have to find a home at outside linebacker (where Manny Lawson played in 2013) or play strictly in sub packages, as he did in 2013. The Bills could keep Johnson or one of the undrafted rookies on the 53-man roster, but all are more likely practice-squad candidates as they look to develop their pass-rush skills.