Post 530 – NFL Draft Needs: Buffalo Bills

The Bills do not have a first round pick after trading it to Minnesota for Stefon Diggs. They made the playoffs with a 10-6 record and making the playoffs. They were better than I thought they would be and look like they are building something good. 

The Bills have seven picks in the draft: no first, a second, third, fourth, fifth, two sixths, and a seventh. As mentioned, the first round pick went to Minnesota. Their two sixth round and their seventh are not their own, but picks acquired in trades. 

I list the needs below, including major, for depth, and areas they are unlikely to look at. I may add categories for a particular situation. 

Major Needs (No Particular Order): 

Running Back: Devin Singletary had a good rookie year, taking over for the now unsigned Frank Gore throughout the last half of the season. He gained 775 for the year, but 603 came in his last eight games, while averaging 5.13 yards a carry for the year. Depth behind him is a question. The only three others on the roster are TJ Yeldon, Christian Wade, and Taiwan Jones. When the fullback is used, they turn to Patrick DiMarco. What’s needed is another back to complement Singletary and I can see it happening in the middle rounds.  

Offensive Line: The line was a big factor in last year’s success, much better than it was in 2018. But there is a need to keep upgrading and the only positions where the same body is guaranteed to be there is Rahway alum Dion Dawkins at left tackle and Mitch Morse at center. Cody Ford, last year’s second-round pick, will start: most likely at right tackle and possibly at guard if they can get another tackle. The two current guards are Quinton Spain and Jon Feliciano. Daryl Williams was signed from Carolina and he could potentially start at guard or tackle and is two years removed from a bad injury. Guard Evan Boehm was also signed in free agency. Reserves include Ty Nsekhe, Ike Boettger, and Spencer Long. LaAdrian Waddle left in free agency. Count on two linemen being drafted, as the Bills keep looking for help.  

Defensive Line: The biggest need here is a pass rush and they received some help by signing Mario Addison as a free agent from Carolina. He will help some, but the Bills will keep looking for more. Right now, Addison will pair with Jerry Hughes. Off the bench is Trent Murphy, who started last year. On the roster are Jonathan Woodard, Darryl Johnson, and Mike Love. The interior is strong and Ed Oliver, last year’s #1, is on his way to perhaps a big second season. Next to him is Star Lotulelei. Off the bench will be two free agent signings: Quinton Jefferson and Vernon Butler, a former top pick from Carolina. Challenging are Harrison Phillips and Vincent Taylor. Jordan Phillips left in free agency for Arizona and Cody Liuget is unsigned. More pass rush is needed if Buffalo is going to take the next step in the playoffs.  

Linebacker: In the middle, Tremaine Edmunds is becoming one of the game’s better inside guys. Matt Milano provides quality on the strong side and AJ Klein was signed from the Saints to start on the weak side.  Tyler Matakevich is a free agent signing, coming over from Pittsburgh. Corey Thompson is a reserve and Vosean Joseph, a fifth round choice, missed the season. Lorenzo Alexander retired, while Mo Alexander and Julian Stanford are unsigned. They need depth and while the Klein signing may help, someone who can challenge for a starting job is desired.   


Quarterback: Josh Allen improved in his second year, but has not put it all together and the Bills hope he continues to make progress. The backups on the roster are Matt Barkley and Davis Webb. Don’t be surprised if a developmental quarterback is chosen. 

Wide Receiver: The biggest move the Bills have made was trading for Stefon Diggs from Minnesota in a deal that included trading their top draft pick. John Brown and Cole Beasley carried the load last year and they will form a nice trio with Diggs. Isaiah McKenzie and Duke Williams are backups, along with others. They have made strides here and will continue to do so with a receiver being taken somewhere. 

Tight End: Dawson Knox progressed faster than expected and had a good rookie year. Tyler Kroft was signed last year and he provides some depth, but he is injury prone. Lee Smith, Don Bosco alum Tommy Sweeney, and Jason Croom are also on the roster. If a tight end is the best player available when they pick, then I can see one being picked in the mid-to-late rounds.

Cornerback: They are good, but not in great shape here. Tre’Davious White made the Pro Bowl in his third season. On the other side, Josh Norman will probably be the starter to begin the season, but Levi Wallace remains and will challenge him. Norman is not the player he was several years ago and was released by Washington. Taron Johnson plays the slot corner and backups are EJ Gaines and Cameron Lewis. A cornerback should be taken for depth in the middle rounds.

Safety: Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde form a good pair. There is depth in Siran Neal, Jaquan Johnson, and Dean Marlowe. Kurt Coleman is unsigned. I only see a best player available scenario for a safety to be picked. 

*Information from various sources, including Pro-Football Reference, Sportac, and ESPN. 

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