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Camp Battle Preview: Linebackers.

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)AP

Locks:
Tremaine Edmunds
Matt Milano
AJ Klein
Tyler Matakevich
Breakdown:
The Bills have an All-Pro quality middle linebacker in Tremaine Edmunds. I think Edmunds may play a more important role in this team’s success than even Tre’Davious White. Still only 22, Edmunds has plenty of room for more growth in his game. Matt Milano will keep manning the weak side with a range unmatched by most weak side linebackers in the league. Unless he is beat out by one of the players on the bubble, AJ Klein will take most of the snaps Lorenzo Alexander took last year at strong side. Tyler Matakevich will not play much, if any, defensive snaps. He is a wrecking ball on special teams and you should expect him to be a leader in kickoff and punt coverage.

Bubble:

Corey Thompson

Vosean Joseph 

Tyrel Dobson

Breakdown: 

With four locks at linebacker, McDermott is likely to only keep one more linebacker, maybe 2, and it will come down to Thompson, Joseph, or Dobson. Corey Thompson is the sole returner who took snaps last season, playing in 12 games last year mostly on special teams and 6% of defensive snaps. Coming into camp, it could be his position to lose. Last year’s 5th round draft pick Vosean Joseph who spent the season on the IR may be the dark horse in this group. A strong, quick linebacker, who needed some improvement in overall awareness and football IQ coming out of Florida. If Joseph took his season off to learn from vetern Lorenzo Alexander, he could be in the best position for the backup spot or even push AJ Klein for some snaps at strong side. Dobson put together a strong enough training camp to be placed on practice squad last year but also spent 6 games suspended for a domestic incident. He likely has the biggest uphill climb to a roster spot. 

Longshots: 

Del’Shawn Phillips

Mike Bell

Breakdown:

With the Bills having to cut 8 players before camp starts there is a chance we never get to see these two compete for a spot. With an expanded practice squad Mike Bell becomes an interesting prospect as a former defensive back turned linebacker at Fresno State. 

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