Ten days before the draft on Aprill 12th, I wrote an article addressing the Buffalo Bills needs and what they could do at the draft to address them. You can reference the article here: 2010 NFL Draft: How to Fix the Buffalo Bills' Holes .
Now that the draft has been concluded, it's time to go back and take a look to see how well the Bills did at addressing the many needs the team needed to fix.
Taking them in order from the prior article:
1) Who would be the mysterious 4th QB brought into camp with a chance to compete for the starting job?
With a number of more publicized options available, including NFL veterans like Jason Campbell, the Bills opted for a QB from perennial powerhouse Troy University, when they drafted Levi Brown. The Bills now have their quartet set in place.
2) Left tackle —who would be the starter in 2010?
The Bills opted to draft nobody to take over as the starting left tackle from a draft that was supposed to be so deep in franchise tackles. That is a very mysterious omission. Common lore says you need a stellar left tackle to be a successful team, but the Bills did everything in their power to go out of their way to not draft any left tackle with a semblance of skill.
It now appears that Demetrius Bell, who failed to finish the 2009 season due to injury, will be asked to assume the starting role. His backup will be, um give me a second here, oh his name is on the tip of my tongue, oh you know.....nobody. Lovely.
Looking at the Bills killer schedule for 2010, the failure to get a tackle assures the Bills will be in the running for Jake Locker in the 2011 draft.
3) Who will play nose tackle in the new 3-4 defense?
The answer now appears to be a rotation between Kyle Williams and Torrell Troup, the rookie drafted out of Univ. of Central Florida with the second round pick. They should have a rotation in place to keep each other relatively fresh throughout each game and for the season.
4) Who will be the Wide Receiver to line up opposite Lee Evans?
Well the Bills did draft Univ. of Connecticut WR Marcus Easley in the fourth round, but he is more of a project type, so the returning youngsters like James Hardy and Steve Johnson will be battling it out in training camp with Roscoe Parrish and new free agent Chad Jackson for starting roles.
For what it is worth, the Bills did sign local product Naaman Roosevelt, a wide receiver fresh from the Univ. of Buffalo, to the roster, as well as Donald Jones from Youngstown State, although according to Buffalo Bills.com, the latter is not confirmed as of yet.
5) Right tackle replacement for the retiring Brad Butler?
This was another position that we all assumed would be addressed at the draft, but it is too soon to tell if Ed Wang will be able to unseat veterans Cornell Green or Jamon Meredith to become the starting right tackle. Kyle Calloway was drafted in the seventh round, but he is seen as a guard going forward, to provide depth to Eric Wood and Andy Levitre.
6) Would the Bills be able to shore up the depth of the defensive line for the new 3-4?
The answer is yes, the Bills did. They picked up Alex Carrington in the third round from Arkansas State and after the draft was concluded they also added Auburn defensive end Antonio Coleman. The two rookies will add some needed depth to the defensive line, to help out with rotations and keeping players fresh.
7) Who would serve as the change of pace scat back that Chan Gailey wanted?
This was the easiest question to answer as the Bills addressed this one loud and strong with the number nine overall selection of Clemson multi-talented C.J. Spiller. Spiller will become a monster in the Bills attack, from offense to special teams to trick plays. Get this kid the ball in open space, and watch out.
8) Adding Linebackers for the 3-4 and for special teams .
The Bills did that by drafting two linebackers in round six: Arthur Moats from James Madison and Danny Batten from South Dakota State. These guys will have a chance to learn from the veteran Bills linebackers, in addition to having a chance to get their feet wet on special teams.
9) Bills return game - when will we see a return TD again?
That question was also answered in the first round with C.J. Spiller. Enough said.
10) How will Bills fans react to Chan Gailey if they start losing in 2010?
Since the article was written, the Bills schedule for the 2010 season has been announced. The schedule alone is something that makes expecting a winning season to be pie-in-the-sky, and when you factor in the lack of adding quality tackles to the offensive line, it appears that the Bills will still be in heavy rebuilding mode during this season.
How well Gailey weathers the abuse, and how patient Bills fans will be with him and Buddy Nix remains to be seen. Now that we have tried to digest the draft, it appears that there could be some bright spots in 2010, but this could be a very long year again in Orchard Park, New York.