Bills Sign Mark Anderson: Why the Pass-Rush Must Continue to Be a Focal Point

Bobby DaleContributor IIMarch 21, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Mark Anderson #95 of the New England Patriots reacts against the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Bills signed Mark Anderson in a move to further augment what was quite possibly the most ineffective pass-rush in the NFL last season. It might be hard to predict what to expect next season based on a scheme adjustment and also an influx of pass rushing personnel. One thing is for certain: expectations are high.

Mario Williams will be expected to terrorize quarterbacks, Mark Anderson is supposed to be his complement from the right end position. Chris Kelsay is supposed to have a role as either the starter on the right side or be supplanted by Mark Anderson. Inside, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams are expected to handle business like Spartans.

With all this being in place, the Bills must hedge their bet in the draft. They have to go after a defensive lineman in the draft in one of the first three rounds. If you were amongst the fans who rolled their eyes as you were overwhelmed watching the Giants draft defensive lineman after defensive lineman, you see what those efforts brought about. Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul were all drafted after 2001.

Why is that fact significant? In 2001, defensive stalwart Michael Strahan set a league record with 22.5 sacks.

The NFL is a copycat league, and in order to do things right, the Bills should invest in a pass-rusher. But what is the prototype based on the Giants model?

Well, here is a hint: He better be around 6'3" or taller, no more than 280 pounds and he should be able to run a 40-yard dash in less than 4.7. If the guy has those kind of measurables and has actually shown the ability to get after the passer, he would be a facsimile of what the Giants trot out in Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck.

Three guys in the draft the Bills should take a look at are Clemson's Andre Branch, Illinois' Whitney Mercilus and USC's Nick Perry.

Thankfully, Buddy Nix and company have already shown interest in Mercilus, and hopefully, the defensive line will continue to get nastier.