Williams is now under contract until 2016.

Bills Need an Elite Talent with #3 Pick

The most distressing thing about looking at the current Bills roster is the lack of truly elite talent. Take a glance at the Bills’ depth chart – is there a single player who you would rate as even one of the top five players at his position?

Certainly none of the offensive skill players. I love Fred Jackson, but he’s not a top-five back. Lee Evans is paid like an elite receiver, but his 578-yard, four-touchdown 2011 season says otherwise. Stevie Johnson needs a few more 1,000-yard seasons to be considered elite.

The offensive line is (and this is being generous) average across the board. Eric Wood could get to the elite class, particularly with a move to center, but isn’t quite there yet.

On defense, the only player who could even really be considered elite is Kyle Williams. Williams had a tremendous 2010, and just might have been the best interior defensive lineman in football last season. But with a possible permanent switch to a 3-4 defense looming, who knows if Williams will manage to keep up his stellar production.

No one else on defense is even close to elite at the moment. Jairus Byrd had a pronounced sophomore slump last season. Shawne Merriman has been an elite pass-rusher in San Diego, but we’ll see if he even survives training camp healthy before we ask too much there.  Terrence McGee is a solid veteran when healthy, but nowhere near a top-five corner.

Even Brian Moorman,  Buffalo’s most outstanding player in the past decade (which says a lot about the last 10 years),  had a down year in 2010 and really wasn’t close to being a top punter.

This lack of top-flight talent on the roster (and the undesirability of Buffalo for elite free-agents) makes the impending draft even more important for Buddy Nix and company. The #3 pick represents a rare opportunity to land a first-tier talent. If the Bills are going to make any sort of ground up on the Patriots and Jets, the talent gap needs to be closed. A (rare) successful first-round selection would be an excellent place to start.

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  • Patrick Allen

    Welcome Brad! You arrived just in time.

    I think this is going to be a really important draft for the Bills. As a Chiefs fan, I am familiar with Chan Gailey and his Pistol Offense. I am really hoping the Bills take Cam Newton because I would love to see what Chan could do with a player that talented. He made Tyler Thigpen look good and Thiggy doesn’t have half the talent that Newton does.

    Could be an exciting season for the Bills.

  • Patrick Allen

    And as I type this…ESPN’s Adam Schefter says “80 percent” chance #Panthers take Cam Newton at No. 1 overall. http://bit.ly/gKIdAY

  • Brad

    Completely agree that Newton could work well with Gailey. Newton is terrifying, but it’s hard not to dream of the potential of Newton running wild in Gailey’s offense.

  • DAVE

    If the Bills take that chump scam newton – they will lose 80% of their fans. No one wants him here and Fitzpatrick was more than capable as QB – give him a good left tackle and he will be even better. Bills need DEFENSE – and if we dont here Darius, Von Miller, or Peterson with 3rd pick – gaileys days are done. We dont want an overpaid bench sitting problem child – Buffalo is working class city – Newton would never fit in. 2nd round – defense, 3rd round tackle or te, 4th round more defense, 5th round defense, 6th and 7th rounders are a crap shoot.

  • Brad Andrews

    I’m not quite as down on Newton as you are, but I’m with you on the fact that the Bills should be all about defense in this draft. If I’m in charge, I agree – I’m taking Darius, Miller, or Peterson.

    Newton has tremendous talent though, and I think Gailey would come up with something to fit his strengths.

    We’ll see. If Adam Schefter is right, the Panthers are taking Newton and we won’t have to worry about it.

  • Kevin

    If the Bills like want a QB who could excel in the “Gailey Offense” they should forget Newton and focus defense on days 1 and 2. On Saturday Tyrod Taylor will be in the 5th round. Newton benefited from having Malzahn as his Coordinator (granted against a better conference)

    Yards 2743
    Comp. % 59.7
    TDs 24
    INTs 5
    Rating 154.80

    Yards 2854
    Comp. % 66.1
    TDs 30
    INTs 7
    Rating 182.05

    I’d rather have Marcell Dareus in the 1st and Tyrod Taylor in the 5th than Cam Newton in the 1st and the best DL left in the 5th. Dareus is a more sure thing and will play from day one. Newton has a higher bust potential.

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