The NFL draft comes but once a year, and the Buffalo Bills are primed yet again to pick within the top 10, a place coveted by all the teams in the NFL. But who do they take with their top ten pick?
The Bills, by all accounts, do not have any glaring holes in their line-up, and will most likely be looking for a player that will get them over the hump of their 14 year playoff drought. They need someone that can come in and be a long term answer to the losing culture that has permeated the Bills for recent memory, and help get them back to the glory days of Jim Kelly and the Superbowl years.
So what are the real needs for the Bills? Before Free Agency, I would have said the two biggest weaknesses were at Linebacker and Offensive Line, particularly the Left Guard position and the Right Tackle position. The Bills greatly suffered in two areas on the field, the first being on defense in stopping the run, and the second being on offense in blocking for the big time running back duo of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller. A third area of need was a big, strong Wide Receiver.
Looking back at the off season moves by the Bills shows that the organization saw those same holes (How could they not? They were pretty apparent). To help with their inside offensive line woes, they signed Chris Williams. He wasn’t a big name, but certainly he is an upgrade at the position. To stop the run they signed Brandon Spikes, a heralded run stuffer in New England. There are concerns with his ability to be a three down inside linebacker and his ability to drop back and cover, but he will certainly help the run defense and allow them to move the smaller, more athletic Kiko Alonso to the outside. To add more competition to the receiver room they acquired Mike Williams in a trade with Tampa Bay. Mike Williams isn’t huge, but he plays big, and if he can keep his off the field issues in the past, he can be a huge addition for the team.
That leaves the Bills with the ability to go into the draft and pick up the BPA (Best Player Available) with every draft pick, excepting their need at Right Tackle …
There are three big names in the draft for right tackle, all of whom are considered top ten talent and potential difference makers: Greg Robinson from Auburn, Jake Matthews from Texas A&M, and Taylor Lewan from Michigan. If any of the three of them are there at number nine, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them taken by the Bills, especially considering that their head coach Doug Marone is a former NFL Offensive Lineman. If they don’t take an offensive tackle at number 9, they must address it in later rounds, where the skill level and potential drops significantly.
Judging by the off season moves made already by the Bills, they are in perfect position to take one of those three top talent tackles. It is almost assured that at least one of them will be there at number 9, and having an anchor for the next ten years will be too tempting to pass up.