With most big free agent names gone and NFL draft season approaching, the Buffalo Bills still have some positional needs they need to address
The NFL Draft is set for April 27-29 and the Buffalo Bills have a few needs — both on offense and defense — that they need to cover. With most big free agents off the board, the Bills will need to use the draft to add players.
With only 6 picks as of right now, it’s going to be crucial that they hit gold on all of them. Let’s take a look at the positions that still need to be filled out.
Cornerback is currently a huge need for the Buffalo Bills entering the draft. The Bills already had a need for one, even after cutting Robey-Coleman and Corey Graham. Part of that reason was star cornerback Stephon Gilmore signed with the New England Patriots.
The Bills currently only have Ronald Darby, Kevon Seymour, Marcus Roberson, Leonard Johnson and Charles Gaines as the cornerbacks on the roster. Not exactly a star-studded cornerback depth chart.
With those five, it would most likely be Darby and Seymour starting with Roberson and Johnson adding backup depth while playing special teams as well. The Bills will need to draft at least one cornerback to add more competition and depth to the position that is currently lacking depth.
The Buffalo Bills look poised to fill this hole through the draft and maybe another cheap free agent. With Whaley’s history drafting defensive backs and McDermott’s love for the position, finding capable players shouldn’t be hard.
Linebacker is a huge need for the Bills entering the draft. Currently on the roster, the Bills have Reggie Ragland, Preston Brown, Max Valles, Ramon Humber and Lorenzo Alexander — if you count him, but I count him as an edge rusher.
It is a bit concerning as Valles and Humber are mostly special teams players and Ragland is coming off a torn ACL and has yet to play an NFL down. Finding a linebacker will be crucial in McDermott’s defense, noting that in Carolina he had Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis anchoring his great defense.
If the Buffalo Bills can bring back Zach Brown, it would be great help to this linebacker core that desperately needs it. The Bills need a linebacker who is good in coverage and can play sideline to sideline, similar to what Zach Brown did last season. Unfortunately, the chances of bringing him back are slim, as he is weighing his options between the Dolphins and Raiders.
It should almost be a guarantee the Buffalo Bills use on of their six selections on a linebacker. It seems likely the Bills fill this need via the draft and potentially sign another linebacker to add competition.
Entering free agency, this was a bigger need than it is now. The Buffalo Bills lost Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin early in free agency, leaving a huge gap in the depth chart. They did sign some very capable receivers for affordable contracts that can easily replace Woods and Goodwin’s production by a committee.
The Bills also signed Andre Holmes, Philly Brown and Jeremy Butler, with the hope one would emerge as the 2nd receiver opposite of Sammy Watkins.
However, it is looking more and more likely the Bills use the 10th overall pick on a receiver — either Corey Davis or Mike Williams. Not only can both be productive starters from day one, but they can relieve a lot of pressure off Sammy Watkins and minimize the amount of double teams used on him. We all know what Watkins can do one-on-one and making that happen needs to be a priority.
Not to forget, Watkins has dealt with several injuries the past couple seasons and if it happens again, Davis or Williams can easily step in right away and be that number one receiver. There wouldn’t be as much faith in Holmes, Brown or Butler.
The draft seems the best way to take care of this need.
Even after signing the potential two new starters in Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, depth is an issue much like the other positions talked about.
The Bills don’t really know what they will get from Poyer, who is coming off an injury and hasn’t started much in his NFL career. As for Hyde, that was a huge signing who we know will add stability to the secondary and is very versatile — able to play safety and corner.
The backups are the problem because the Bills would project to have Colt Anderson, Jonathan Dowling, Joe Powell and Shamiel Gary as the backups. The depth is an issue as Anderson is coming off an injury, Dowling haven’t shown much in his NFL career, Powell hasn’t played an NFL down and Gary has only played 9 NFL games, but did start one in Miami.
The Bills seemed destined to draft a safety and Budda Baker has come up a lot for the Bills with their second round pick. We’ll see come draft day.
Ah, the revolving door of last season until the Bills claimed eventual starter Jordan Mills.
Jordan Mills is going to enter training camp as the projected starting right tackle once again, with Cyrus Koundajio as the primary backup. The depth wouldn’t be so bad, but Seantrel Henderson is facing a 10-game suspension — which he still owes five games — for using medical marijuana to treat his Crohn’s disease.
The Buffalo Bills may enter the 2017 season with no clear answer to who the right tackle of the future is and part of the reason is the offensive line draft class isn’t particularly strong.
Maybe Mills will have to do for one more season, and then next off-season they find the answer.
The Buffalo Bills‘ search for a franchise quarterback continues, even with the Bills restructuring Tyrod Taylor’s contract. There is now no pressing need to add a quarterback as they have another season to see if Taylor can lead this team to the promise land (the playoffs).
The projected backup is Cardale Jones, who is a capable backup that needs a little more time to develop. Josh Woodrum is nothing more than a camp body, which is why the Bills need to add a 3rd-string quarterback, or possibly another development quarterback.
Or perhaps the Bills bring in a veteran to mentor Jones and to a lesser extent Taylor. Whatever the Bills do, they need to at least add another backup/3rd string quarterback.
Which position need do you think is the most important to score on? Leave your comments below!