There won't be room for everyone in the end, of course, but it has been clear all offseason that the Buffalo Bills want to bolster the defensive line, and Tuesday's announcements that they had added free agents Nazair Jones and Eli Ankou to their 90-man roster reaffirmed that philosophy
Their signings bring the total of defensive tackles to nine. This, after using their first two draft picks this year to select defensive ends Gregory Rousseau and Carlo Basham, respectively, and signing free-agent defensive end Efe Obada.
Jones is a classic reclamation project. A third-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, he played in just 20 games in his first two seasons before a knee injury sustained during training camp in 2019 kept him out for two straight seasons.
Ankou is a journeyman with his fourth team since breaking into the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2017. From there, he went to Cleveland in 2019 and Dallas last season.
The Bills also placed defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. on injured reserve after he went down during mandatory minicamp with an Achilles tendon injury that likely means he will miss the entire 2021 season.
Still, they have all kinds of numbers on the defensive front, with eight ends joining the nine tackles to compete for what probably will be no more than 10 active roster positions. And many of those are locks with veterans A.J. Epenesa, Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver, Harrison Phillips and Vernon Butler.
Lotulelei opted out of last season due to COVID-19. The former first-round pick of the Carolina Panthers hadn't misssed a start in his previous four seasons, including 2018 and 2019 with the Bills.