The Buffalo Bills are in a unique position with the offense. With voids of talent at wide receiver, offensive line, and tight end, Buffalo can mold its offense into whatever it needs to be.
The Buffalo Bills have the most important piece of the offense (and franchise) in place in quarterback Josh Allen. It has been extremely well documented what it took to get Allen in a Bills uniform and how the team failed to surround him with ample talent in year one.
Despite that lack of talent, Allen progressed after coming back from an elbow injury that caused him to miss some time and finished out the season strong, showing major signs of progress as a passer and runner.
That leads us to now. Nearly $80 million in cap space, 10 draft picks, a top-three defense, a smart offensive coordinator, and a promising young quarterback on a rookie deal. With all of the holes throughout the offense, the Bills have plenty of areas to address but have the opportunity to make their offense whatever they want it to be.
This is a massive opportunity to surround Allen with talent that can help him succeed and make the Bills offense a dangerous one. With that, the team should look at the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs in terms of personnel.
What Kansas City and Philadelphia have done is use their players to create mismatches all over the field. In the middle, the two teams have utilized the tight end position like few have in the NFL.
Travis Kelce (Kansas City) and Zach Ertz (Philadelphia) are two of the top three tight ends in the league and serve as their team’s number one receivers. Not only can they block, but they are both so big and athletic that they are nearly impossible to defend over the middle.
On the outside, Philadelphia has a big body in Alshon Jeffery who wins one-on-one battles and can be an issue for smaller corners on the outside. Jeffery is a very good receiver and probably a top-20 to top-15 receiver in the league, but isn’t one of the elite receivers in the NFL. That is okay as he does his job and is still a big threat in the passing game.
As for Kansas City, they have Tyreek Hill. His speed is a difference maker and no team and no player can keep up with what he offers on the outside. His rare abilities allow for him to run the ball as well, increasing the pressure the team puts on a defense.
At the running back position, each team has such creative play calling that they can plug players in and get production. Prior to his release, Kareem Hunt was one of the better backs in the league and the top option in the Chiefs backfield. However, their offense is so special that players such as Damian Williams, Spencer Ware, and others can step in and be productive.
In Philly, the team had Jay Ajayi before losing him to injury and were then able to get production out of players such as Corey Clement, Josh Adams, and Wendell Smallwood – all players that were not high draft picks.
While the Chiefs and Eagles have some elite talent at the skill positions on offense (Kelce, Hill, and Ertz), they have predicated their games on mismatches. Buffalo needs to find a way to acquire players they can create mismatches with.
It is clear that the team needs improvement at the wide receiver, tight end, and running back positions, but that doesn’t mean they need to sign, draft, or trade for elite players at each of those positions. They simply need to find players that fit their schemes and can work within their system to create a successful offense.
There are players at both the tight end and receiver positions that are considered elite in this draft class such as wide receiver D.K. Metcalf from Ole Miss and tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson from Iowa that the Bills could take at No. 9.
Personally, I believe adding an elite tight end can help the run and pass games improve and be a huge target/mismatch in the middle of the field for Josh Allen.
When the time comes, Buffalo should be concerned about adding the right fits for their team. Following models of Philadelphia and Kansas City of athletic tight ends, mismatches on the outside, and running backs that fit the system could help take the Bills offense to a new level.