Apr 26, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix on the field at the press conference for first round draft pick quarterback E.J. Manuel (not pictured) at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Tis’ the season for mock drafts and intense discussion on who the Buffalo Bills should pick in April’s NFL draft. Amidst the speculation and rumors, most people are just talking out of their you know what. Many people do not understand how a good draft is created, but luckily for you, I am not one of those people.
In order to get the most out of their picks in the NFL draft, the Bills need to analyze four things. First and foremost is the needs of the team. Obviously the team needs to fill a few holes ASAP and others can wait until next season; for the Buffalo Bills their urgent needs are at offensive line, wide receiver, tight end, linebacker, and defensive back. (depending on contract negotiations with Byrd.) Defensive line can wait until next season.
Once the needs have been realized, the Buffalo Bills must now figure out which holes are more crucial to team success; that is to say which draft picks can get Buffalo to the postseason. These picks are Offensive line, wide receiver, and linebacker. Leodis McKelvin has stepped up to be a solid number two corner and a healthy Gilmore should have his best season next year. A big, redzone threat wide receiver can create enough opportunity to allow the Bills to ignore the inconsistency at tight end.
Now that the most urgent needs have been established, the Buffalo Bills must rank the needs of the team as compared to the depth in the NFL draft at such positions in the first round. This ranking must also be based upon their positioning in the draft as well as any offseason moves they can make to improve their position or any first round picks they can add via trade.
The key to drafting well is getting more “bang for your buck”; in other words, getting more quality out of that pick and minimizing the potential loss from that pick or the deal used to acquire that extra pick. A franchise can run into problems when they begin to reach for players or the opposite, don’t put in enough effort to get the pick you need; this is when a team can have a bad or irrelevant drafting process. A quality NFL draft pick for the Buffalo Bills would be a player who can become an instant impact on the team from day one. Following these terms, a wide receiver or linebacker could be an instant starter on the team and make those around them better.
Now that we have established the philosophy the Buffalo Bills need to enforce as they enter the draft, the order of the picks must be established. Considering the number of quarterbacks that will be drafted by teams ahead of the Bills, the team should focus on adding an additional linebacker to compliment Kiko Alonso while making our outside linebackers better by giving them opportunity to become better players and thus, a better team.
How do you feel about the Buffalo Bills philosophy going into the draft? What do you agree/disagree with from the article?