With Tre’Davious White still not back in the lineup, the Buffalo Bills have been going with a pair of young cornerbacks for their starting boundary spots throughout training camp. The duo of first-round pick Kaiir Elam and third-year player Dane Jackson haven’t been up to the challenge, and it’s time to wonder if the Bills could bring in some help.
When Ryan Talbot of NYUP.com writes that Gabe Davis was “unguardable” on Friday night, when could just as easily also be saying that the cornerbacks weren’t good enough. That’s exactly the line Joe Buscaglia used The Athletic.
“It’s a bit of an understatement, but the young cornerbacks struggled mightily,” wrote Buscaglia Friday night, noting that it’s not a one-time occurrence. On Thursday, the Bills posted video of Jackson getting juked so bad, he fell over in a route.
The top two have been so lacking, sixth-round pick Christian Benford has played his way into the starting lineup despite coming from Villanova. Yeah he’s played well, even drawing praise for tight-lipped head coach Sean McDermott, but sixth rounders from FCS schools are usually fighting for a roster spot, not a starting job.
The linchpin here is White’s ACL surgery rehab. If they think he’ll be 100% for the season opener, they don’t need anyone. I’m of the belief that while he might be activated before the season opener, he won’t be 100% until the midway point of the season, if he even gets there in 2022.
Also something to consider, do the Bills cornerbacks look bad because Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis are that good and the MVP quarterback is making them pay? We may have to wait and see until after the preseason opener next week, when the Bills play the Indianapolis Colts. Their QB/WR trio isn’t at the same level as the Bills’.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden has been publicly recruited by DE Von Miller, WR Stefon Diggs, and S Jordan Poyer this offseason. The former All-Pro, first-round pick, and multi-time Pro Bowler is 33 and perfectly fits the one-year rental they would be looking for to bridge the gap if they can agree on compensation.
That’s the other thing; the Bills would have to clear some cap space to sign anyone. There are a few easy ways to do that, though. There are plenty of older cornerbacks with starting experience available if the Bills want to go that route.