Draft season is fun for Bills fans for two reasons.
First, with the team so far removed from any type of regular-season success, there isn't much to talk about once the calendar year turns. Add in the fact that high-profile free agents rarely stick their necks out to take a chance on the blue-collar town, and the draft becomes the main source for the infusion of talent into the roster.
Doug Marrone hit a near home run in his first draft as an NFL head coach, selecting probably Defensive Rookie of the Year Kiko Alonso in the second round while supplementing with starters at wide receiver in Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. First-round selection EJ Manuel still has a long way to go before proving worthy of his draft slotting, and unfortunately for Marrone, his coaching career is now tied to the success of his young quarterback.
Their record aside, the Bills took several steps forward in Marrone's first season—including drastically improving their pass rush and coverage on defense—but they will have to continue to build a foundation in the 2014 draft if the head coach wants to stay for the long term.
Quarterback, running back and defensive line are obvious areas that the Bills will likely not address early in the draft this offseason. Left tackle, center and cornerback are locked up long term too, but depth is a concern at all of those spots. With that said, a majority of the other roster spots are open for rookie competition.
The Bills will look to add a big target—at receiver, tight end or both—early in the draft. Guard and linebacker are potential early targets too, considering how badly the two respective units played for a majority of the season.
Which prospects make sense for the Bills in the first few rounds when considering need, talent and fit? Let's take a look at five incoming rookies who could make the biggest impact for the team in 2014.