Buffalo Bills: How Aaron Williams Moving to Safety Affects Bills Draft Plan

Brandon CroceAnalyst IApril 18, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins catches a pass during their NFL game as Aaron Williams #23 of the Buffalo Bills defends at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills could have tipped their hand about their plans for the upcoming NFL Draft without talking about any prospects. Joe Buscaglia, the Buffalo Bills reporter for WGR 550, tweeted earlier this week that Aaron Williams will be moving to safety this season.

When the Bills released George Wilson earlier this year, many thought safety could be an option for the Bills with their first round pick. This train of thought was validated a little more when the list of pre-draft visitors included five safeties out of the 30 players brought to One Bills Drive.

However, with Jairus Byrd back with the franchise tag and Da'Norris Searcy playing well the second half of last season, there won't be much playing time for any player outside of these three. Generally, teams who draft in the Top 10 hope to find a player who can have an immediate impact starting at Week 1. If the Bills were to go with a safety it would be hard to believe there would be enough playing time to justify the move. 

By moving Williams to safety, it also sheds some light on why the Bills were so quick to bring back Leodis McKelvin earlier this offseason. It seems like the Bills were not joking about their belief that McKelvin could be a starting cornerback.

The transition for Williams though makes sense as it plays to his strengths of being a sound tackler and being a force in the run game. It also minimizes his weakness of being able to play the ball once in the air. Over the past two seasons, he only has one interception and 12 pass defended in 20 games.

With the Kevin Kolb signing and Aaron Williams moving to safety, Buffalo is cutting down on positions of need and can draft the best player available in the beginning rounds of the NFL draft. Buddy Nix, Doug Marrone and the rest of the Bills staff have done a good job of not being handcuffed in having to draft a position and forced to reach on a player.