The Bills made one major move since our last roster prediction, releasing DE Shawne Merriman.
Does this mean the Bills will now keep four DEs instead of five? Possibly.
It could also clear some room for K John Potter. Potter has been impressive on kickoffs and had a 100 percent success rate with touchbacks through two preseason games. Still, it won’t be easy for him to make the opening day roster given the depth chart at other positions.
Throughout the rest of preseason, RapidReports will take a look each week at who could make or miss the final cut.
Stock rising: DE Kyle Moore , SS Delano Howell. Moore has impressed throughout training camp as a pass rusher and his path for making the roster got a whole lot easier after Shawne Merriman was released. Howell has been a physical presence in preseason games and is pushing for a spot.
Stock falling: QB Tyler Thigpen. Vince Young has stepped up his play in recent weeks and Thigpen still lacks consistency as a passer.
QBs -- In: (3) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Vince Young, Brad Smith. Out: Tyler Thigpen. Analysis: Young has begun to pull away from Thigpen in the race to become Buffalo's No. 2 QB. He was outstanding in the team’s second preseason game against Minnesota and would need to really stumble to lose the job. Gailey recently stated that the plan is still for Smith to be the No. 3 QB, leaving Thigpen as the odd man out.
RBs -- In: (4) Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, Tashard Choice, Corey McIntyre. Out: Johnny White, Zach Brown. Analysis: After showing very little as a rookie -- and at the start of camp -- White has made a few more plays as the preseason rolls on. Choice is still the favorite to land the No. 3 role, however. McIntyre has been asked to do more this camp as the team’s starting fullback and has responded well.
WRs -- In: (6) Steve Johnson , Donald Jones, David Nelson, Derek Hagan, T.J. Graham, Ruvell Martin. Out: Kamar Aiken, David Clowney, Marcus Easley, Naaman Roosevelt, Derek Session. Analysis: No changes here at one of the most talked about positions on the team. Jones solidified his spot as the likely No. 2 receiver with a terrific 31-yard catch-and-run TD against Minnesota. Martin is on the bubble but right now looks like he could grab one of the final roster spots.
TEs -- In: (2) Scott Chandler, Lee Smith. Out: Kevin Brock, Mike Caussin, Fendi Ononbun , Dorin Dickerson. Analysis: Onobun has quietly made some plays in practices and may be pushing for one of the final roster spots. Most teams keep three TEs, but it remains to be seen if the Bills feel they have three NFL caliber players at the position. With Caussin set to be placed on the PUP list -- making him eligible to return midseason -- the Bills could simply wait for him to return as the No. 3 TE.
OLs -- In (9): Cordy Glenn, Andy Levitre, Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik, Erik Pears, Chris Hairston, Chad Rinehart, Colin Brown, Sam Young. Out: Mark Asper, James Carmon, Zebrie Sanders, David Snow, Jake Vermiglio, Keith Williams. Analysis: None of Buffalo’s depth players have done much to stand out the offensive line, so there’s no need to make any changes here. Sanders and Asper, two 2012 draft picks, have been disappointments.
DL -- In (8): Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Mark Anderson, Spencer Johnson, Dwan Edwards, Chris Kelsay, Kyle Moore. Out: Robert Eddins, Sean Ferguson, Alex Carrington, Jarron Gilbert, Kellen Heard, Torell Troup, Jay Ross. Analysis: Moore was pushing for the final DE spot even when Shawne Merriman was still around -- now, he looks like he has the fourth spot all but locked up. The Bills could keep five DEs, and Gilbert is making a surprising push after switching from DT to DE last week. Troup continues to fight through a painful back injury and could make a late push, but it may be too late.
LBs -- In (8): Arthur Moats, Kelvin Sheppard, Nick Barnett, Kirk Morrison, Bryan Scott, Scott McKillop, Tank Carder, Nigel Bradham. Out: Chris White, Danny Batten. Analysis: Based on reps at practice, it looks like McKillop will make the team as the backup Mike lineback. Carder and Bradham aren’t getting cut due to their draft status, which leaves the team a bit LB heavy.
DBs -- In (10): Stephon Gilmore, Aaron Williams, Leodis McKelvin, Terrence McGee, Ron Brooks, Justin Rogers, Jairus Byrd, George Wilson, Da’Norris Searcy , Delano Howell. Out: Prince Miller, Cris Hill, Nick Saenz, Nick Sukay, Isaiah Green, Josh Nesbitt. Analysis: Howell, an undrafted rookie out of Stanford, has made a significant push in recent weeks and has stood out in preseason games. The Bills could still look to the waiver wire to add a veteran as their fourth safety, but Howell may get that spot now. The other spots are set in stone barring a shocker.
Special teams -- In (3): Brian Moorman, Rian Lindell, Garrison Sanborn. Out: John Potter , Shawn Powell. Analysis: Potter has done exactly what’s been asked of him thus far by crushing the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs. It may make the Bills keep him as a kickoff specialist, but it’s still hard to put him on the team given the competition for Buffalo’s final roster spot.
For more updates on the Bills follow correspondent Mark Ludwiczak on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLBUF and @MarkLud12.