New coaching staff, new defensive scheme. The Bills are changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in what is potentially a huge mistake. Changing schemes like this will be extremely painful and difficult for personnel that do not fit the scheme.
Marcus Stroud - Left Defensive End
Ten year pro and he's never played this position in his life, fantastic. It isn't like he was a pro bowler at 4-3 DT or anything either. The guy is huge and a great athlete so the odds he succeeds at the position aren't exactly remote but it is still a new system and a new position for someone that was entrenched in the same spot for a decade.
Kyle Williams - Nose Tackle
You guessed it, another player playing out of position in a spot he has never played before in the National Football League. At 6'1 306 he is undersized for the position and will have growing pains. He was really starting to come into his own at 4-3 DT so this switch will be interesting. The Bills have him locked up for at least two more seasons at pretty cheap money. If he excels look for him to want to get his third contract in five years.
Dwan Edwards - Right Defensive End
Whoa, this isn't a typo, Edwards has actually played the position he is destined to start come Sept 12th. He comes over from Baltimore which is great news but any time I hear the words spinal fusion caution is needed. He may be a diamond in the rough this team desperately needs to gel this defense together.
Chris Kelsay - Outside Linebacker
Yes he is really still on the team and a starting OLB in this defense. Beyond pathetic. He is grossly overpaid, has never played OLB in the NFL and has never had more than 5.5 sacks in a season. Why this dude is still on the roster let alone switch positions and starting in this new defense is beyond me.
Aaron Maybin - Outside Linebacker
Since the other Aaron is still waffling somewhere near Houston Maybin is the default starter. He did next to nothing last year after missing training camp beyond getting a fancy haircut. He was never really pegged as a prototypical 3-4 OLB coming out of Penn St and will be forced to learn a new position after barely learning the basics at d-end. Are Arthur Moats or Chris Ellis a better option?
Paul Posluszney Inside Linebacker
"Poz" needs to stay healthy and continue to rack up tackles. His stats are artifically inflated a bit because he is one of the few players other teams would actually want meaning he has some talent. The switch to 3-4 shouldn't be as difficult for him as others but we still don't know for sure.
Kawika Mitchell - Inside Linebacker
Pencil him here lightly. He is a polarizing player who people either like or hate. He is a solid player on a mediocre defense. Switching to the 3-4 doesn't help him but it may not hurt him too much either. The torn knee he sustained last year against Cleveland should be healed but he is 30. Look for Andra Davis to usurp him as the starter in training camp. Here's ESPN's outlook for good measure:
Mitchell will probably be given every chance to beat out Andra Davis for the other spot, Mitchell is the one coming off an injury, doesn't have as much experience as Davis in the 3-4, and wasn't handpicked by the current management group like Davis. Mitchell will get his snaps for sure, but you probably want to avoid him unless he's labeled as a clear-cut starter, or he gets moved to a starting spot in Buffalo's weakly staffed OLB group.Grade C-