The Battle of the Ends: Defensive or Tight?

Jeremy PikeCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2009

With the Buffalo Bills currently sitting at No. 11 in the upcoming National Football League Draft, they have a lot of choices with what to do with that pick. The biggest debate ranges around what I call the “Battle of the Ends.”

It seems like every Bills fan falls into one of these two camps

Proponents for tight end argue that quarterback Trent Edwards needs a receiving tight end who also can block to continue his development since second round pick James Hardy has barely shown anything.

However, most wide receivers take until about their third year in the NFL to really come into their own. The NFL is simply a tougher place to play week in and week out for rookies. The talent level is the best of the best when it comes to football. I still would not discount the possibility of Hardy coming around.

Plus I was impressed with fellow wide receiver rookie and seventh round pick Steve Johnson. I liked him coming out of college even though he was a raw talent and his hands are phenomenal. He has good size as well.

I also like the two young tight ends the Bills have on their roster, Derek Schouman and Derek Fine. Derek Fine showed that he blocks just as well, if not better, than Royal. Also, both Schouman and Fine have shown they are simply better receivers than Royal.

When it comes to defensive end play this past season, we all can agree the Bills desperately need help. Will Aaron Schobel’s return from his Lisfranc injury be enough? Color me skeptical.

I like Schobel and I think his return will be helpful. However, our best defensive end last year appeared to be Copeland Bryan with Ryan Denney coming in at a close second. That scares me right there, especially with the contracts Schobel and Kelsay have.

Yes, Schobel was injured. What’s Kelsay’s excuse? He simply costs too much for what he is. He is a good backup, not a starter.

So that’s the current status of the Bills roster at the two positions in question. So is a tight end at No. 11 bigger upgrade over Schouman and Fine? Or is a defensive end at the same spot bigger upgrade over Kelsay, Bryan, Denney, and Chris Ellis?

To me, that’s the biggest and most important question. Plus, I’d say that Schouman and Fine did their jobs better this past season than those four defensive ends did theirs.

I’d say the biggest need of the two is defensive end. If I was the one deciding who the Bills choose at No. 11, I'd be looking for Florida State Seminole defensive end Everette Brown followed by Penn State Nittany Lion defensive end Aaron Maybin. More on them to follow.


This is the second version of the Battle of the Ends. The first version was written for on Feb. 3, 2009 and can be seen here. The piece has been modified due to changes at One Bills Drive since it was written.