College All-Star Games have come and gone, but for NFL hopefuls, the draft process is far from being over. As the gears change to more individual workouts and preparations for the combine, NFL teams are combing through the hundreds of prospects declaring for the May draft.
The Buffalo Bills have had another offseason full of turnover with one-and-done coordinator Mike Pettine leaving to become the Cleveland Browns head coach. Pettine lured defensive coaches away to join him on the other side of the lake, leaving the Bills to pick up the pieces of having multiple vacancies across the coaching staff.
The Bills have responded well to hire replacements quickly and not get too far behind in the scouting process, as the draft is only three months away.
Hiring big-name coordinator Jim Schwartz to command the defense continues the Bills' identity as a fast, physical defense. Even though he enters with a slightly different scheme on defense, the Bills' personnel needs on that side of the ball remain the same. Linebacker is going to remain a focal point moving forward, and the Bills would be wise to add one or two guys at the position in the middle of the draft. The rest of defensive needs are more depth, rather than looking for new starters.
Offense has a different set of issues, particularly on the line. The Bills struggled to find any sort of consistency on offense in 2013—partly due to starting three quarterbacks during the season—because of a roughshod group on the offensive line. Left guard needs a complete re-boot, and no one would say no to an upgrade over Erik Pears at right tackle.
Receiving options for 2013 first-rounder EJ Manuel is another debated need for the team. Many fans prefer to add the likes of Eric Ebron or Sammy Watkins in the first round, but is either position worthy of spending a top pick with bigger holes on the roster?
Regardless of what direction the Bills go in, they need to add immediate contributors on both sides of the ball to take another step forward in 2014. Over the next few slides, we will take a look at a few candidates in each round who would make sense for the Bills' continued rebuilding efforts.