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State of the Bills: Defensive backs strong and getting stronger

A scenario in which they don't add to their safeties or corners in the NFL Draft is essentially unthinkable.
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As with just about all other position groups, the Bills have standout players in a cohesive secondary that has played a major role in getting them to the playoffs in three of the last four seasons and to the AFC Championship Game in January.

In this final installment of a series detailing the strengths of each of the team's position groups heading to the NFL Draft, we take a look at where the Bills stand and how their draft plans may unfold.

Cornerback Tre'Davious White has made the last two Pro Bowls and in 2019 was a first-team All-Pro, when he led the NFL with six interceptions.

Safety Micah Hyde also has a Pro Bowl on his resume. And he plays alongside a similarly experienced and savvy veteran in Jordan Poyer, who has had 13 interceptions since joining the Bills along with Hyde and White in 2017, Sean McDermott's first year as head coach.

Cornerback Levi Wallace came the following year, sticking with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama and becoming a fulltime starter on the outside the next season.

Then there's nickel corner Taron Johnson, whose 101-yard interception return for a touchdown was the biggest play in January's tight playoff win over the Baltimore Ravens.

But keep in mind that nothing lasts forever. Poyer and Hyde are each 30 years old and entering their ninth seasons. Wallace was re-signed after last season, but only to a one-year deal, and he is expected to compete with 2020 seventh-round pick Dane Jackson for the other starting job on the outside.

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What this all means is that by the end of this year's three-day draft and undrafted free-agent signing period that immediately follows, the Bills almost certainly will have added safeties and perhaps some cornerbacks as well.

And then the future will intersect with the present as soon as they all get together on the field.

In fact, the Bills' website has discovered in tracking more than 130 mock drafts that the favorite position for them to draft in the first round is cornerback.

"One position I've really been sort of focused on with the Bills in the mock drafts that I've done is corner," The Ringer's Danny Kelly said. "I think you could get a starting-caliber corner in the late first round this year, so if they want to improve the depth of the cornerback spot. I think they don't have any glaring holes, but I think everybody needs more corners."

Added Rob Rang of Fox Sports: ""I think the one everybody's kind of buzzing about is Greg Newsome II from Northwestern. Northwestern kind of has a reputation of being really smart guys, but not necessarily great athletes. Newsome is smart, as well as a terrific athlete. One of the reasons why I believe he could still be on the board, is that he has struggled with durability over his career. So you're talking about a top-15 talent that because he's missed a couple of games each of his last three seasons, he might be available."

The Bills could even trade up from their starting position of No. 30 in the first round to get a cornerback that probably would be gone by then. South Carolina's Jaycee Horn and Florida State's Asante Samuel Jr. could fit that description.

Almost nothing is out of play for a roster that despite its strength across the board is always in flux.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.