Draft needs: Buffalo Bills


With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. Next up is the Buffalo Bills, whose record secured them a pick in the Top 10 for the fifth straight season. They have seven picks to use in an attempt to avoid the same fate next year.

Wide Receiver: Adding Mike Williams in a trade brought some more talent to the position a year after adding Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, but the Bills could still use a true No. 1 to top the group. That’s not Stevie Johnson anymore, if it ever was, and E.J. Manuel could use the help in his second season. Texas A&M’s Mike Evans looks like he can be that kind of receiver, which may mean he’s off the board before the ninth pick comes up in the first round. Buffalo could try to move up to assure they get him or take a shot later in the draft on a different member of a deep receiver group in order to add some depth to their own group.

Tight End: The Bills re-signed Scott Chandler, their leader in receptions in last season. Chandler is a solid, if unspectacular, player, but the quest for a more productive receiving corps could lead Buffalo to someone who could make more highlights at the position. North Carolina’s Eric Ebron jumps immediately to mind as a top talent who should be on the board when Buffalo hands in their first selection, although there could also be room for Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro down the line.

Safety: Jairus Byrd has departed for New Orleans, leaving a competition between the unproven Da’Norris Searcy, Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks to play next to Aaron Williams. Given how much Byrd meant to last year’s opportunistic defense, the Bills might prefer to add a name to that mix. It would be unlikely to happen in the first round unless the Bills decide to trade down for the second straight season, but picking up an extra pick or two to go with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix wouldn’t be the worst way for things to play out in Buffalo.

Tackle: Cordy Glenn is set at left tackle and Erik Pears returns at right tackle, but this is a spot where the Bills could look to upgrade. Pears is entering the final year of his contract, makes $2.9 million and didn’t play particularly well last season so the Bills could choose to pick a young tackle to challenge and/or replace him. Or, if they should happen into a top prospect like Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews at No. 9, they could move Glenn to the right side and potentially upgrade the line in two spots at once.

Defensive End: One thing you notice when running through the Bills roster is that they don’t have a lot of glaring holes. They need Manuel to come through to make any kind of dramatic progress, but quarterback won’t be a pressing need unless Manuel fails to improve this year and the spots listed above pretty much round out their most pressing immediate needs. One spot where they could stand to get a bit deeper is defensive end, especially if they find a mid-round addition to bolster a pass rush that was very good last season.

17 responses to “Draft needs: Buffalo Bills

  1. “One thing you notice when running through the Bills roster is that they don’t have a lot of glaring holes.”

    …and yet this is a team that is consistently losing, year in and year out…and has the 9th pick this year courtesy of having the 9th worst record last year…

    So is coaching staff that bad?

  2. The coaching staff is hard to judge at this point as well as Doug Whaley and the front office…I still think we should bring in Kevin Costner as a front office consultant at the very least.

  3. I’m still not sure that WR is the pressing need. Is the passing game dismal because of the WR’s, the QB, or the play calling?

  4. No glaring holes? How about QB? Buffalo has a good defense but absolutely no one is afraid of E.J. Manuel. A franchise QB he is not. Matt Schaub or Carson Palmer would have been a big improvement. He may have a long career as a back up but don’t plan on the playoffs when he is your #1 signal caller.

  5. They need to be a better team on the road and stop turning the ball over when in position to win the game. They were 2-6 on the road last year and 4-4 at home. (That ATL game would have made it 5-3 if not for the Johnson and Chandler fumbles.)

  6. Pack up the pom-poms in Buffalo, because the Bills will be playing without the support of their official cheerleaders this year. All five cheerleaders said they had to take a ”jiggle test” so that the president, could assess their physiques.

    Stay classy there Buffalo.

  7. The pick will be offense. OT, WR, TE probably in that order of preference if I had to guess. If Matthews/Robinson or Evans aren’t there, trading back is certainly a possibility unless they’re smitten with Ebron.

    EJ has too good of a work ethic to flop; he and all of Bills nation just want to see the guy play 16 games in a row. Having a new RT to block for him and one of the league’s top rushing duos will only help out even more.

  8. I guarantee that this season we will see a huge improvement in Manuel. He will be better at his reads, pocket presence, deep ball and him protecting his body with slides and getting out of bounds. I doubt after going through all of the injuries that he did in his first year, that we will see him fighting for that extra 1 or 2 yards anymore, you know, unless the game is on the line.

  9. It’s way too early write off Manuel. He played like a rookie without a complete meltdown so that’s a positive.

  10. You’re insane if you think a team will give up a second or third round pick for Stevie Johnson.

  11. The main problem with the Bills over the past 13 years is that when they try to fix 1 problem they end up creating another.

    Starting with Donahoe. They had to a major salary cap problem. They fixed it by mass purging of expensive and older talent and a new coach. This was the right step to take. After a first really poor season they started to re-build the team.

    They went all out to fix the offense in the second season. Brought in Bledsoe and some offensive lineman. They started off on fire, but the defense was so bad that they just kept losing in shoot outs. They decided to be more conservative on offense to try and help the defense out. That just made them a really bad team.

    So the following year they let most of their offensive talent go in an effort to improve their defense. Well since their one big play threat (Eric Moulds) got injured, guess what happened. The offense stunk while the defense improved.

    Since they regressed from the year before they decided, well it must be the coaches and QB’s fault. It could not be the fact that they had no talent on offense outside of the QB. What do they do? Draft a young QB, bring in an offensive minded coach and bring in some offensive talent. They stick with the veteran QB and they fight for a playoff spot.

    Being the Bills however, despite the improvement, they decide it’s time to get rid of the veteran QB and go with the young guy. As you could expect, the team has a drop off in record. They bring in a new general manager who gets rid of the coach and they start all over again.

    The new coach is conservative and defensive minded. He tries to win on defense and with a solid ground game. They become too conservative and they ruin 2 young QB’s that had shown potential at one point in time. This was the coach that got the most years at the helm and was probably the one that was actually most at fault for the team losing. His coaching style is perfect for being mediocre and that’s exactly what the Bills were.

    Because of this the Bills decide to bring in an offensive minded coach. Unfortunately, that coach hitched his wagon to Ryan Fitzpatrick who was the QB that was actually the one most at fault for the team being mediocre.

    Basically it goes like this, the first 5 years of the losing streak they were clearly devoid of talent because of the purge in the first year and yet they blamed the QB and coach for failure and never had the patience to develop the team. Then they spent 4 years with a coach that was obviously holding the talent back. Then they spent 3 years with a QB that was obviously not good enough.

    It’s not one thing that has kept the Bills back. They just continuously do the wrong thing and a lot of it has went hand in hand with what the majority of fans were clamoring for. It was the fans that blamed Bledsoe, Gregg Williams, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, Chan Gailey when they should have been blaming Donahoe, Jauron and Fitzpatrick. Donahoe for focusing too much on one side of the ball in each season. Jauron for being too conservative and Fitzpatrick for sucking. Although, Gailey and Buddy Nix have to take some blame for not replacing Fitz.

  12. in response to the fist poster….i’m not sold on hackett as an OC, and i think he’s on thin ice considering they brought in a qb coach….to his credit, he ran the ball a lot in 2013, but i liked gailey and fitz’s passing game better.

    this team was 6-10 with a rookie qb and rookie coaching staff, it should expect 8-8 or 9-7 this year, it all has to do with EJ, can he stay healthy and can marrone / hackett let him be a bit more of a gun slinger this year

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