Which Bills players can receive the NFL’s ultimate recognition?
By: Caleb Holfolth
The Buffalo Bills had a fantastic season in 2020 with a total of 15 wins throughout the duration of the season that ended in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Last season the Buffalo Bills had five All-Pro players which tied them with Indianapolis and Kansas City for second behind Green Bay who had six. Those players were Stefon Diggs (1st Team), Josh Allen, Cole Beasley, Tre’Davious White, and Andrew Roberts (All 2nd Team). Allen, Diggs, and Beasley were all named All-Pro’s for the first time after they led the Bills to the third-best passing offense in the National Football League. After making it to the AFC Championship last season the Buffalo Bills aim one step higher to compete for a Championship. The Bills return a largely identical team that adds a solid draft class and a few mid-level free agents. The Bills are largely referred to as the third-best team behind the previous two super bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills are bound to be competitive and with that success comes player recognition. Here are three Bills players who have the best chance of being named All-Pro’s after the 2021 season.
Tre’Davious White, CB
A first-team All-Pro in 2019 Tre’Davious White took the slightest step back from being one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL to one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL who is now just a second-team All-Pro. Tre’Davious White is and has been one of the best corners in the league since his first season in the NFL. Last season, White had a very small drop in statistical production with 3 INT’s and 11 Passes Defended which is down from the 6 INT and 17 Passes Defended he had in 2019. Despite his statistical drop off White allowed eight fewer receptions bringing the number from 45 in 2019 to 37. White also added 1.5 sacks, 4 pressures, a Forced Fumble, and 2 Fumble Recoveries to his season in 2020. White an All-Pro level player the past two seasons can replicate what he did in 2020 and likely be named an All-Pro again. With the NFL turning more and more to throwing the ball every year White is one of the few corners in the NFL who can handle that change. White is a leader on this Bills team and Sean McDermott’s first-ever draft pick. Expect White to have a “bounce back” year and compete to earn a spot on the first team in 2021. White was a bright spot on a Bills defense that struggled a little in 2020 but with the team’s top two draft picks spent on Defensive lineman and a couple of defensive signings White will surely benefit from the addition of talent on the Defense.
Prediction: First-Team All-Pro
Josh Allen, QB
There is no need to go into detail about the massive jump from 2019 to 2020 that Josh Allen made because every football fan is aware. If you are somehow not aware check out this quick synopsis of Allen’s career.
Allen is now a force to be reckoned with and one of the most talented quarterbacks in the entire NFL. Allen will not only be in the thick of the race for a position on the All-Pro teams but also for league MVP. Allen has a really solid group of players around him that can help him take even another step in the direction of the first team or MVP. With Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, and the entire offensive line group from last season back paired with the additions of Emmanuel Sanders and mid-level signings Jacob Hollister, Matt Breida, and Forrest Lamp Josh Allen has an above-average supporting cast around him giving him no excuse to take a step back from his 2020 season. While teams may play Allen differently due to how dangerous he has become as a passer Allen is talented enough to still be a top player in the League. Where Allen may fall short is that players like Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers may have better statistical seasons because of how their team success is so reliant on how they play. Just like last season Allen will not only have to have a great year to finish first-team All-Pro or as the MVP he will have to have the best season without question. Because of this Allen will likely be a dominant force in the league but finished as a second-team All-Pro again.
Prediction: Second Team All-Pro
Jordan Poyer, SS
While still widely underrated by the entire NFL and its fans Jordan Poyer has been half of one of the best safety duos in the NFL for the past three seasons. While being a part of that half Poyer has elevated his game every season since joining the Bills. Last season Poyer set a career-high in tackles with 124 and added 2 INT and 2 FF. Poyer has been one of the best and most undervalued safeties in the NFL since joining the Bills in 2017.
Surprisingly, Poyer has still never made a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team in his career. Despite the lack of media attention and recognition Poyer has gotten so far in his career it all leads up to this 2021 season where the Bills are in prime position to improve on a season that ended in a run to the AFC Championship. Poyer is a great all-around safety, and this will be his last year where he lacks recognition. It is only a matter of time until the rest of the NFL sees the value, he brings to the Bills defense. If the Bills defense can return to its 2019 form it will be hard to make against Poyer who is one of the main leaders and contributors on that Defense to not make the All-Pro team. While he may not come close to scraping a spot on the first team it would be hard to imagine that Poyer cannot outplay players such as Jamal Adams and Jessie Bates.
Prediction: Second Team All-Pro
Honorable Mentions: Stefon Diggs, Micah Hyde, Dion Dawkins
Longshots with Potential: Ed Oliver, Matt Milano, Cole Beasley, Tremaine Edmunds
It will be shocking if Buffalo only has three All-Pro’s after the season is over which means that players like Stefon Diggs or Dion Dawkins could easily be included on this list. However, they are not so it is obvious what you are thinking… “No Stefon Diggs?” Stefon Diggs is an All-Pro talent and that can never be argued. However, there are solid arguments that Diggs will not repeat as an All-Pro. The first argument is that Buffalo will run the ball more in 2021. The second argument is that Emmanuel Sanders and an increased role for Gabe Davis will take several receptions from Diggs. The third argument is that teams will emphasize stopping Stefon Diggs because of what he is capable of doing to a defense opening more opportunities for other Bills receivers. This is not a question of Diggs’s talent and how dominant he is. Wide Receiver is arguably the most competitive position for the All-Pro status because there are so many top guys. With Julio Jones and Michael Thomas both healthy in 2021 and potentially other players in the list Diggs will have to replicate his season which is certainly possible. It certainly is a hot take putting Poyer over Diggs for an All-Pro spot, but when you look at the season Stefon Diggs will have to have to repeat it makes a little more sense.