The Buffalo Bills are in a major transition phase.
Head coach: Out with Chan Gailey, in with Doug Marrone.
Quarterback: Out with Ryan Fitzpatrick, in with Kevin Kolb.
The transition is sure to continue with the 2013 NFL draft, where the Bills have a pick in the first six rounds.
Who do the Bills have their eye on? Who is being brought in for pre-draft visits?
Consider this your one-stop shop for all the Bills draft news leading up to the big event.
April 13: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports the Bills hosted Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas for a workout on Firday.
April 12: Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 SportsRadio reports the Bills hosted Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson and SMU linebacker Ja'Gared Davis for workouts on Friday.
April 11: Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 SportsRadio reports the Bills are hosting Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, Rice tight end Vance McDonald, Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and Fresno safety Phillip Thomas for visits on Thursday.
April 11: According to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider, the Bills will host Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a pre-draft visit.
April 10: BuffaloBills.com reports the Bills hosted Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan, Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree and Tennessee Tech wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers for pre-draft visits.
April 8: Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 Sports Radio reports the Bills are hosting WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel, Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter and LSU linebacker Barkevious Mingo for pre-draft visits on Monday.
April 8: USC quarterback Matt Barkley announced via his official Twitter account that he'd be visiting the Buffalo Bills on Monday.
April 5: BuffaloBills.com reports the Bills hosted Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones and Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones for visits.
April 4: BuffaloBills.com reported that LSU linebacker Kevin Minter, Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope and West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith all met with the Bills.
April 3: According to BuffaloBills.com, the Bills hosted North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon, Southern Mississippi outside linebacker Jamie Collins, Clemson safety Jonathan Meeks and LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard all for pre-draft visits.
April 23: According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Bills are among several teams that have inquired about trading down in the first round.
So many needs, so little time.
The Bills opened up a need in free agency by saying goodbye to left guard Andy LeVitre and backup guard Chad Rinehart. They could be targeting guards in this year's draft, and there are two top prospects to consider: UNC's Jonathan Cooper and Alabama's Chance Warmack.
Colleague Andrea Hangst's mock draft roundup reveals a good deal of experts believe Cooper to be the top guard off the board in the top 10, and every single expert had both guards off the board by the No. 18 pick.
The question, then, is will a guard be worth the No. 8 overall selection? As good as those players are, you can probably get a quality guard much later in the draft.
If the Bills really want to go the bang-for-the-buck route at No. 8, they could look to take West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (that is, if they're not targeting Ryan Nassib, but more on that later).
The dominoes have fallen into place for them to land Smith if they desire, as most of the teams picking ahead of the Bills have already found "answers" to their quarterback woes—although most of those answers are not dissimilar in their lack of long-term certainty to the Bills having signed Kevin Kolb.
There's also the possibility they could have their eye on Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. He is the consensus top receiver in this year's class, and presents exactly the kind of vertical threat the Bills lack at receiver.
The Bills are also going under a lot of change on offense and at the receiver position as a whole, where they are kickstarting a new system under Doug Marrone and without receivers like David Nelson and Donald Jones from year's past.
Don't rule out a defensive player, either; defensive end Dion Jordan and linebacker Arthur Brown are both highly athletic players that would fit well in Mike Pettine's hybrid defense.
Jordan doesn't have the sack numbers typical of a defensive end, but he wasn't used as a pass-rusher as much as he should have been. Brown has the rare three-down ability of a linebacker to play stout against the run, rush the passer on the blitz and cover tight ends over the middle.
Those are all possibilities, and there are certainly more, but the one that makes the most sense is Patterson. What better way to get the West Coast offense started than with a receiver who can line up inside and outside, can run all the routes and has the speed to stress a defense vertically?
The marriage, at this point, is preordained. With Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone taking over in Buffalo, and with Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib considered one of the top five draftable quarterbacks in the 2013 class, it seems like a given that the Bills will find a way to bring in the quarterback they're most familiar with.
After all, familiarity is a theme that is consistent with what Marrone has already done this year, having brought with him offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to man the same position in Buffalo. The two paired up to help turn around Syracuse's historically bad football team, leading them to two Pinstripe Bowl victories in four years.
Nassib got better each year—both in the box scores and on the football field. He became more efficient as he showed more and more command of the offense.
That being said, one can never forget that while Marrone knows all of Nassib's strengths, he is also familiar with all of Nassib's weaknesses as well.
Colleague Sigmund Bloom hit us up with a good analysis of how Nassib projects in the NFL. He points out that Nassib "appeared to mesh very well with his coaches and their game plan," but he worries about Nassib's ability to force defenses to respect all parts of the field:
Nassib operated mostly from the shotgun. His quick-acting style along with his so-so accuracy deep probably means that he'll only fit in a west coast system in the pros. He won't be able to legitimately stretch defenses, so teams that want to have a big vertical element to their passing game will pass on Nassib.
If the Bills are going to run a similar offense to the one they ran at Syracuse—and judging by the carryover of the coaching staff, they most likely will—then Nassib is a logical fit.
The Bills are running a brand new look on defense with new coordinator Mike Pettine, and although he has indicated that the nickel package will likely be the base defense, it's still fair to wonder what kind of defensive players the Bills will target.
That is to say, will they target defensive linemen who are better fits in a 3-4, will they continue to look for players to fit the 4-3 scheme, or will they look for scheme-versatile players?
How the Bills construct this defense going forward could give clues as to what they have in mind from a schematic standpoint, especially at the linebacker position where there could be a lot of turnover between 2012 and 2013.
The Bills could also use help on the defensive line, so it will be interesting to see whether the players they pick project as fits for a 3-4, a 4-3 or are versatile.
No matter what direction they go, they need to improve the pass rush. According to Football Outsiders, the Bills pass rush ranked 24th in adjusted sack rate. If Mario Williams continues to play as he did after getting back to full health, the pass rush should be much better in 2013 overall, but will Mark Anderson remain the answer at the other defensive end spot?
The linebacking corps could also be better. There will be some turnover there, with Nick Barnett on his way out. They have a host of linebackers who perform well in designated roles, but they lack any true three-down starting caliber linebackers at present. They ranked 26th against running backs in coverage, according to Football Outsiders, so athleticism is something they could use more of at linebacker.