Why Didn’t The Bills Draft An Offensive Tackle Or Safety?
Heading into the 2016 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills had many needs which we previously wrote about. Their top two priorities were on the defensive side of the ball where they needed defensive lineman as well as linebackers. They were able to address those needs with their first three picks of the draft when they selected Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland, and Adolphus Washington.
They took care of lesser needs in the draft when they selected quarterback Cardale Jones in the 4th round and speedy wide receiver Kolby Listenbee in the 6th round who can potentially compete for the WR2 role in the future.
They also made two picks that didn’t fulfill areas of need but were good value picks that added depth to two important positions for the team. Those picks were 5th round pick running back Jonathan Williams and cornerback Kevon Seymour in the 6th round.
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Doug Whaley has been very clear that he believes in a “best player available” approach but despite that mentality one still has to wonder why the Bills didn’t address two of their biggest positions of need at safety and offensive tackle? We’ve even previously speculated that offensive tackle could be the Bills biggest position of need heading into the draft so it seems especially odd that they didn’t add an offensive lineman during the draft.
If Aaron Williams can return from a neck injury that he suffered last year without any residual effects, and if Seantrel Henderson can get his weight back up after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, these two positions might not that be a big of a need for the Bills but they shouldn’t count on that. NFL teams need to be prepared for the worst and unfortunately, at these two positions the Bills are thin even if both players return to being healthy and productive members of the team.
It’s hard to knock Doug Whaley’s draft because he absolutely hit a home run on his first three picks. But not adding key players to these positions of need leaves the Bills in a tough spot should they suffer injuries at either position.
The Bills seem to be playing a bit of Russian Roulette unless they are truly convinced that Corey Graham can improve his play at safety after his performance dropped off the second half of last season. Or maybe they are convinced that their signing of Robert Blanton in free agency was enough to bolster their talent at the position. If Aaron Williams is unable to play, having Corey Graham and Robert Blanton as the teams starters would be a terrible situation for the team.
The Bills are also relying on Seantrel Henderson, Jordan Mills or Cyrus Kouandjio to step up and be able to solidify the right tackle spot the way Cordy Glenn takes care of the other side of the line. All three players have big questions marks surrounding their play and two of them have health concerns which may prevent them from contributing to the team. Out of the three, Henderson has been the best but he has had his ups and downs and that was before he discovered that he had Crohn’s disease.
The team is in quite a predicament at both of these spots and if the Bills do not make the playoffs this season it could be because of their lack of depth at both positions. Buffalo has a deep roster in some areas but they are razor thin at right tackle and safety and they did not do very much to improve either position in free agency or in the draft.
Only time will tell if it ends up having an effect on the outcome of their 2016 season but we could be looking back at the 2016 Draft scratching our heads as to why Doug Whaley did not take a player at either position.