Last week, the Buffalo Bills let Jarius Byrd sign with the Saints. It was a move that the whole Bills fan base saw coming, but one that they wanted to surely avoid. With the loss of Byrd, many expected the Bills to be pretty conservative for this years free agency period, but boy were they anything but.
The Bills made one move that I've said from day one they needed to make, sign a run-stopping linebacker. Well, check that off the list as Brandon Spikes is now a Buffalo Bill. The move also helps the Bills, as it allows Kiko to be moved to the weak side, instead of being in the middle. With that move, the Bills now bolster one of the best front sevens in the league. You have three pro-bowlers on the defensive line, and two young studs at the linebacker spot, in Alonzo and Spikes.Brandon Spikes, signing his new contract with the Bills.
The Bills weren't only satisfied with the addition of Spikes, but also went out and signed Corey Graham. Graham gives the Bills secondary much-needed depth, something that they didn't have much of last season. Now, you have Gilmore and Mckelvin as the starters, and then Robey and Graham doing the extra work. Add all these moves in with the addition of a great defensive mind, Jim Schwartz, and the Bills look to be set on the defensive side of things.
With all that said, that brings me to my main point, where do the Bills go from here? Well, moving forward it looks like the rest of free agency, and the draft will be dedicated to the offensive side of the ball. The Bills also signed Chris Williams last week, who, like it or not, it's an upgrade at the guard position that the Bills desperately needed. The one move left that needs to be made by the Bills during free agency, is bringing an experienced signal caller. Last year, the team suffered because of the backup quarterback situation. Jeff Tuel, was, well he wasn't good, and Thad Lewis was marginal at best. The Bills missed out on Josh McCown, but that doesn't mean that they still shouldn't bring in some extra help for EJ Manuel.
All that being said, that brings us to the N.F.L. Draft. In years past, the Bills have had pretty great drafts, and young talent that excels early on. This year can be no different, as the team holds the number nine pick in this years draft. The question now becomes, who do they take?
Many paths can be taken this year, and hopefully the team choses the most promising one. Let's just get this out-of-the-way right now, if Khalil Mack is there, you take him. Can you just imagine that linebacking core of Alonzo, Spikes, and Mack? Scary, right? Anyway if he is not available, as it isn't likely he falls that far, look for the Bills to target the offense.
The team just re-signed tight end Scott Chandler, so don't expect them to take Eric Ebron, from North Carolina. However, if they do, let's just say I'd be ok with the pick. Ebron offers a huge boost to the passing game, and would only be an extra security blanket for Manuel. Don't all young quarterbacks enjoy security blankets? I think so.
Staying with the passing game, once again if Sammy Watkins is there at number nine, the Bills need to take him. Watkins is an electrifying playmaker, who is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. That allows the Bills to have a much more open passing game, as Watkins speed would be able to stretch the field vertically.
The last path that the Bill should approach, is the offensive line. The Bills are set on the left side, with Cordy Glenn. On the right side however, not so much. This is where Jake Matthews. Matthews is the top offensive line prospect in this draft, and if he falls to the Bills, he's an option they need to seriously consider. The Bills seem focused to add players who fit in areas of need on the team. One of the more demanding areas of need the Bills face this year, is the offensive line.
Overall, if the Bills want to keep on improving, they need to make the right choice in this years draft, and keep on adding helpful pieces in free agency.
A lot of options can be taken at that number nine pick, let's just hope the Bills make the right one.