Thursday, February 14, 2008

Team Needs: Buffalo Bills

1. Wide Receiver
Lee Evans is fine as the go-to guy and Josh Reed is a solid number three receiver, but Roscoe Parrish is too inconsistent (although he brings value as one of the league's best punt returners and in four-wide sets). With a good offensive line, and a decent running game, all Trent Edwards needs to succeed is a full complement of receivers.

2. Tight End
Ok, well there is one other thing Edwards could use in addition to another threat at wide out and that's a talented tight end: you know, a security blanket. Brady has Watson; Rivers has Gates; Romo has Witten; and Eli has, of course, Kevin Boss. Robert Royal is a fine all-around second tight end, and Michael Gaines will give the Bills depth, but they need to find that number one guy.

3. Weakside Linebacker
Paul Posluszny will be back from injury to start at middle linebacker, while the strongside is all set with Angelo Crowell. But a replacement for Keith Ellison on the weakside is in order.

4. Defensive Tackle
The Bills haven't adequately replaced Pat Williams since he left. They could use a big ol’ nose tackle to take on blockers and clog up the run. They do have some young talent in John McCargo and Kyle Williams. Larry Triplett provides good depth.

5. Cornerback
Terrence McGee is a solid, underrated performer at right corner, but former third-round pick Ashton Youboty has started only 4 games in two years and has not adapted well to the NFL. Jason Webster was placed on IR after one game. He is a free agent and it looks like his first season in Buffalo will be his last. When Webster and then Youboty went down with injuries, Jabari Greer stepped in and played fairly well. He should be an asset as the nickel corner.

6. Defensive End
The Bills paid out a lot of money last year for Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay, but didn't get nearly the production they had hoped to see. A difference maker is needed in the pass rush, and the depth needs to be addressed as well.

7. Guard
The Bills are fine with Derrick Dockery at left guard. Right guard Brad Butler played better as the season went along but might have more value as a versatile backup. Jason Whittle, 33, missed most of the season with a groin injury and is a free agent. The remaining reserves are one-time starter Duke Preston, who enters his fourth season, and Aaron Merz, who enters his third after spending 2007 on IR.

8. Quarterback
I was pretty high on Trent Edwards going into the draft last year, so obviously I'm glad he did relatively well and showed enough to be the starter heading into next season. But with his injury history, Edwards' durability still has to be a concern and not something the Bills front office folks put out of their minds. Whether the backup is J.P. Losman returning for one more season with the Bills, or a veteran free agent, a developmental project should be added in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft as insurance going forward.

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