As a buffalo bills fan of only 17 years now i have really no knowing of how it feels to be a winner. I wish i did, but I just can't say I do. The bills are coming off a season that had them a 6-10 and in dead last of the AFC East. Because of the dread full season that the Bills had last year they have a top 10 draft pick. Again.
This article is part 1 of 2. This will mainly focus on the players that the Bills currently have and FA's who are out there that I'd like to see the Bills sign or who I think they have a chance of signing.
Lets start off with the Bills only bright spot from last year, their pass defense. They are returning all of their starters from last year. With the addition of Leodis McKelvin, who in my opinion will be our #1 CB in 2-3 years. There are some problems though in the secondary of the Bills. The main problem they need to address is Donte Whittner. Whittner who since being our first pick in 2006 has been decent at best. Also with the emergence of Jarius Byrd it seems as if he has lost his starting position at SS for good. To add on to that last statement there are some people who think we will start Donte at FS. Hold on not so fast! George Wilson has been plying very well lately and I think will take the starting job at FS leaving Donte as the odd man out. Now this brings up the question what do you do with him. Do you keep him in case of injury, which we all know the Bills are very injury prone, or do you trade him away for some value or another player, rumors are going around that we trade Donte for Jason Campbell. I personally wouldn't mind trading Whittner. He is aging and soon his value will drop dramatically. Other than the Donte Whittner issue the secondary will hopefully be as solid as it was last year.
Now lets talk about whats going on for the front 7. The Bills are moving to the 3-4 defense. In my opinion this should of happened a while ago. The Bills changing defenses doesn't mean the end of our problems for stopping the run. The Bills had one of the worst run defenses to compliment their stellar pass defense last year. The main problem was injury. What a surprise. But probably the biggest problem for them this year as far as front 7 goes is finding someone to fill the role at NT. WE all know that the Bills don't have one DT one their roster capable of occupying two blockers like what is needed for a NT. So as of right now it seems likes the only answer to this is to go to the draft. Now as for the DE spot this will be a little easier to find someone to fill the spot. The bills have two undersized NT in Stroudd and Williams who are both very capable of playing DE in the 3-4 scheme. I see both of them being the starters on opening day of course that is one of them get hurt. Now at the LB spot we are pretty set except for maybe one spot. At OLB we will have Maybin who in my opinion will excel there considering he is built to be a 3-4 OLB not a 4-3 DE. At the ILB position we have both POZ and Mitchell returning to fill those gaps which i believe they can do and can do quiet well. The only real concern here is at the other OLB postion and who will play there. With the potential retirement of Aaron Schobel this could leave a gap there. But in my opinion we will take a 3-4 OLB in the first 3 rounds.
Now for the offensive side of the ball. Lets start at our biggest problem and we all know what that is, the o-line. With the bright spot of the line last year being a rookie guard, no offense to how Andy played, we need some serious help. The fact that the Bills haven't done much this off season to try to upgrade their line besides signing Cornell Green, a great player if your looking for holding after holding calls, it seems as if the Bills will look to the draft to get some help. In my opinion the bills are in some serious trouble for next year with this line no matter who you draft specially since Wood might be on the DL the whole year. We need to address both tackles (now that butler retired) most likely one of the guards and center. The draft has only so much offensive line talent in it and as we all know the Bills aren't the best when it comes to trying to pick the right offensive line...Mike Williams cough cough. The next issue on the Bills radar is the quarterback position. With mediocre play at best from our QB's last year we need the straighten out who will be the start ASAP whether this means drafting someone, trading for someone (before mentioned Campbell), or trying to groom one of the QB's that we have now (Brian Bhrom). As for wide receiver they won't be helping out our struggling QBs anytime soon with us losing 2 of our top 3 WR in Reed and Owens. We have way to many concerns to address in the draft to be picking a WR in the first 5 rounds. As for our bright spot on offense the running game. We NEED to figure out something, anything to get Lynch off our roster. He keeps getting arrested and his skills have diminished greatly. He is of no use to us anymore as we have Fred for another 2 or 3 years before we need a new one.
Now as for possible FAs out there id like to see us go after or who would fit in well with our team. At tackle id like to see the Bills take a shot at Flozell Adams. He would be a great improvement over what we have now. At QB id like to see them give Marc Bulger a shot i mean he was good for a while and once again can't be worse than what we have now so why not? One last player i wouldn't mind us signing is Laveranues Coles he is a decent WR and would give us much help there.
As for the Bills this coming year looking at their schedule i see them going about 7-9 or 6-10 again all depending on how their offensive line holds up. It seems as if we are in store for another mediocre season.