Buffalo Bills: Reviewing the 2012 NFL Draft Needs
The Buffalo Bills' biggest offseason need was defensive end. That is, until Mario Williams and Mark Anderson both received nice paydays to be bookend D-ends in the new 4-3 front being installed by Dave Wannstedt.
With that, the Bills can comfortably turn their attention to other needs in the draft.
But which of those needs are the most pressing?
The Bills just gave Stevie Johnson a solid contract for the next five seasons, but that doesn't mean they're set at the position. In fact, in Chan Gailey's high-flying offense, they can use all the additional help they can get at wide receiver.
What the team really needs is someone who can win one-on-one battles consistently. Johnson has shown the ability to make big plays, with an average of 13.1 yards per reception over the past two seasons and a combined 17 touchdowns in that time.
Of course, you can have all the talented skill position players in the world, but none of it matters without an offensive line to give the quarterback time in the pocket. That leads me to the next need.
After finishing the 2011 season sixth in the NFL with 20 interceptions as a team, it may look like the Bills don't need help at cornerback. I can assure you that's not the case.
With a defensive passer rating of 90.4, it's plainly obvious that the Bills could use some help in the secondary. Terrence McGee isn't getting any younger, Leodis McKelvin continues to have a hard time developing, and Drayton Florence is more of a stop-gap solution than a long-term fix.
It looks like Demetrius Bell will cash in on free agency, having made a few trips already to visit interested teams. With that, it looks like the Bills are short on talent at tackle.
In fact, between Bell and Eagles tackle Jason Peters, they will have lost two left tackles in three seasons. It's time to find some consistency at the position.
And even if they don't lose Bell, they'll still need a tackle to plug in on the right side.
There's a lot of uncertainty around the offensive tackle position going forward, enough to where the Bills would be wise to address it in the draft.
While the Bills have addressed their needs on the defensive line in the new 4-3, they must now turn their attention to the linebacking corps.
It's a rag-tag group of guys, mainly built for the 3-4, but many of which have experience in the 4-3 alignment.
What the Bills need most of all is linebackers who can run from sideline to sideline. Kelvin Sheppard has shown the ability to do so, but the other outside linebacker spot remains a question mark going forward—one that would be best addressed through the draft.
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