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Bills positional needs as draft prep winds down

by Kevin Plinzke-THE STYLUS
Tue, Apr 11th 2017 10:00 pm
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

 Having a top 10 pick is a luxury that the Bills can't afford to waste. The right pick could shoot them ahead to the playoffs, the wrong pick could cement them in another year of playoff-less hell.

  The Buffalo Bills did quite an effective job at filling teams positional needs using free agency, but this is a team that still has quite a number of holes to fill on the roster. Without further adieu, let's get into what I believe are the greatest positional needs following free agency.

WIDE RECEIVER: With the departure of established wideout Robert Woods to play with the Los Angeles Rams, and the departure of the speedy deep threat, but also injury prone Marquise Goodwin to San Francisco, the Bills Wide Receiving Corps, has taken some definite hits in depth. Of course, they did a nice job bringing in some guys to fill the depth chart, in Jeremy Butler from San Diego, and Corey "Philly" Brown from the Carolina Panthers. They even signed another player who could probably make a huge impact in former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes.

However, beyond Sammy Watkins, the Bills lack a true outside wideout in my opinion. Holmes would probably be capable, but wouldn't you rather see the Bills have someone awe inspiring out there so Holmes can do some damage from the slot? There are a number of good wide receivers in the draft that would make good choices, and I would be thrilled to see the Bills go with a guy like Mike Williams out of Clemson University or Corey Davis out of Western Michigan University.

SAFETY: The Bills also made some nice moves to bring in some talent at safety this offseason. Perhaps my favorite of all of the moves the Bills made, was the signing of established Green Bay Packers play making safety Micah Hyde. He has always been a fun player to watch and a guy who will make plays on the ball, and on the receiver. The Bills also brought in the underrated Jordan Poyer, who will likely compete for a starting role in Head Coach Sean McDermott's defensive scheme.

With the addition of talent, it begs the question, "why is safety a need?" Well,  Buffalo parted ways with both of its starting safeties in the effective, but aging Corey Graham, and in fan favorite Aaron Williams. This drastically creates need at this position for the Bills. In addition, upon doing some research on McDermott's defense, it is commonly believed that you will need three starting safeties at times, as opposed to the regular two starting safeties most defenses employ. There are a number of extremely capable safeties in this draft class, and I would be a fan of just about any of them, however Jabrill Peppers from Michigan is my favorite.

CORNERBACK: With the long awaited, and anticipated departure of long time starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore (to New England of all teams) the Bills have an immediate need for a starting cornerback to put opposite a capable third year man Ronald Darby. Some believe Kevin Seymour, from last years draft class will be ready to step into a larger role, but I think building depth would be a great idea, and if there could be a potential starter available at 10, I would think that would be at least considered by Bills Brass. Another scenario that is definitely on the crazier side of reality would be the acquisition of All Pro cornerback Richard Sherman from the Seahawks in a trade. I don't think this is likely, but they are indeed shopping the Stanford graduate, and the Bills have been known to take chances on guys with character issues, and have been known to make some gutsy trades, like the one they made to score the best player on the team, Pro Bowl running back, Lesean McCoy. If the Bills can't score Sherman, look for them to consider drafting a CB at 10.

LINEBACKER: This is another one that is more about depth, but the Bills will need plenty of it in McDermott's defensive scheme. With Veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander coming back, and a second year Reggie Ragland coming off of an ACL tear that robbed him of his rookie season, and Preston Brown coming back, the Bills appear to have their starters lined up. Now, it's about adding depth. Buffalo was hoping to get stud linebacker Zach Brown back after he was second in the league in tackles in 2016, but he unfortunately chose to sign with the Rams (at least he didn't sign with a division rival). The Bills have to increase the amount of depth they have at linebacker so they can keep their young legs fresh and ensure they will improve on what was an embarrassing effort on defense in 2016.

If the Bills can improve on any of the positions listed in the draft, or through the rest of free agency, I will be a happy Bills fan. Look for mock draft's from me in the coming weeks as the time before the big day draws to a close.


kplin1@brockport.edu


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