By Ryan of The Sportmeisters
By the time this is published, Buffalo could have made three or four more moves. The Bills have been one of the more active teams in the off-season, signing WR Terrell Owens and trading disgruntled LT Jason Peters.
Does going from one headache to another help much? For a team that went 7-9, including 0-6 in the AFC East, it doesn’t hurt to try a change. The Bills looked competitive early in 2008, starting 4-0. However, losing eight of their last ten will keep a team home in the postseason any day of the week. With two first rounders, Buffalo has the option of solving two holes, or potentially making a deal for another first rounder in 2010.
Buffalo Bills Draft Picks:
Round 1, Pick 11 (11)
Round 1, Pick 28 (28)
Round 2, Pick 10 (42)
Round 3, Pick 11 (75)
Round 4, Pick 10 (110)
Round 4, Pick 21 (121)
Round 5, Pick 11 (147)
Round 6, Pick 10 (183)
Round 7, Pick 11 (220)
Team Need 1: TE
This need over the O-line is based on the picks that Buffalo has. Now with two first rounders, they can look at the best overall TE, Brandon Pettigrew. He can block for Marshawn Lynch, and his soft hands should help him grab a lot of dump-off passes from Trent Edwards.
If opposing teams decide to double up on Terrell Owens, lining up Pettigrew on that side should allow him to grab plenty of balls. Buffalo could also hold out, use both first rounders to solve offensive line issues, and grab Cornelius Ingram in the second round. Ingram doesn’t have the blocking ability Pettigrew has, but is a great receiving TE.
He has the Dallas Clark-style ability that many teams are using with their TEs. Beyond that, there aren’t too many prospects worth investing an early pick in.
Team Need 2: OL
Without Peters, Buffalo has a lot of holes on the offensive line. They should easily look to upgrading the left tackle slot in the first round, with either pick. If they go TE first, they can look at Eben Britton with their second selection in the first round.
Considering they need to fill the hole left by Peters, it would be hard to imagine them getting out of the first round without a tackle. With depth a concern, they could use their second first rounder (assuming grabbing a tackle at 11) on Alex Mack, a Center from California, to challenge free-agent pick up Geoff Hangartner. Either way, Buffalo will need to use at least one of their two first-rounders on the offensive line.
Team Need 3: DE
The Bills had a team total of 24 sacks in 2008, and former stud Aaron Schobel has gone from 14 two years ago to just one in an injury-riddled season. He will be back, but the team needs help, as it is doubtful Schobel can return to his 2006 form so quickly. Chris Kelsay and Ryan Denney won’t draw too many double teams on the other side.
This is another top heavy selection, considering Buffalo can’t waste too much time on the development side. There are about eight different options within the first two rounds Buffalo could look at, dependent upon how they factor their other team concerns in. Possible options of those eight are Robert Ayers from Tennessee, Michael Johnson of Georgia Tech, or Everette Brown of Florida State.
Buffalo is in a rare position with two first rounders. Make the right choice, and they could be looking at a team with a lot of potential in 2009 and the years to come. Make the wrong choice, and Head Coach Dick Jauron could be looking for a new job. Either way, Buffalo has to set themselves up by fixing the glaring holes above before anything else.