Buffalo Bills, Finally Ready to Move Forward

Posted: May 2, 2013 in Draft, NFL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been following this offseason a lot closer than I’ve followed any of the previous ones, and there have been a few teams that have caught my eye, the Buffalo Bills are one of them. The Bills made headlines last offseason after their splashy signing of Mario Williams. This season is was the draft where the Bills made their splash by making EJ Manuel the only QB taken in the first round.

While I don’t know that he was worth the first round pick, I was a big proponent of the Florida State QB as the most underrated passer in the draft; especially early in the process when his name got lost under the hype surrounding Geno Smith and Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib. Manuel has the size and arm strength to be a superstar. That said, I really hope he isn’t forced to be the week 1 starter. The way the 49ers brought along Colin Kaepernick should serve as the model here. Give him a year holding the clipboard and learning how to play in the NFL. Ideally you’d like a stronger mentor(s) than Kevin Kolb and Tavaris Jackson, but hey a poor man’s Colin Kaepernick is a heck of a lot better than Ryan Fitzpatrick.

My biggest concern with the Bills offensive is the offensive line. They still haven’t quite addressed the hole left at guard by Andy Levitre’s departure and they could still use another tackle to pair with Cordy Glenn, but as far as the skill positions are concerned I think the Bills have set themselves up nicely. I’m really looking forward to seeing this passing attack as Buffalo managed to grab 3 of my favorite prospects from this wide receiver class. I think Robert Woods is a great hands guy to compliment Stevie Johnson and Marquise Goodwin may need some coaching, but he’s already a great speed guy. Then they added Da’Rick Rogers shortly after the draft who, if he keeps his nose clean and stays out of trouble, will also be a key contributor. I’m not sure what Buffalo’s current cap situation is, but if they have the space, I still think they should look into the addition of LT Brandon Albert via trade, that the Chiefs have Eric Fisher. Or if the team’s comfortable with Cordy Glenn playing LT, adding free agent RT Eric Winston could be a cheaper option, reuniting him with former Texans teammate Mario Williams and keeping him off the rival Dolphins roster. Solidifying that line could make this offense very scary, very quickly.

On defense things also seem to be trending upwards. Kiko Alonso adds a big bodied presence to the middle of the field and I like the signing of Manny Lawson to play outside linebacker. I also think the team will benefit from the switch to a hybrid scheme. I’m disappointed the secondary wasn’t better addressed with such a deep class at cornerback, and really the whole back half of the draft leaves something to be desired, at least on paper, but the two safeties they drafted seem to have some fan support from their college careers and Dustin Hopkins could be this year’s Blair Walsh or Greg Zuerlein. Regardless, this is a Bills team that’s got a lot of promise, and while they’re probably still a year or two from challenging for the division title, if they get the line sorted, and some rookie and sophomore players come along quicker than expected, this is a team that could surprise some people.

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