I was killing some time today, and started sketching out an offseason priority list. Here's my plan to get the Bills back to the playoffs next year:
A. Trade a 2nd round pick, our extra 5th round pick, and JP Losman to the Lions for Roy Williams. Williams is supposedly on the block, and while I've been wanting to see the Bills spend their top pick on a WR, the truth is that Williams is the best-case-scenario for whatever WR we draft (big smart and talented, with a nose for the end zone and game-breaking abilities). The fact is that drafting WRs is by and large a crapshoot--I don't mean in the first round, I mean drafting them period. For some reason, there just seems to be an inordinate number of WRs that never pick up the nuances of the game. Williams immediately becomes our number 1, and takes a ton of pressure off of Evans, letting him run free on the deep routes. I'm curious to hear feedback on whether or not that's a reasonable offer--I can't see anyone giving up a first round pick, but this still represents a pretty good haul for the Lions pick-wise, and given that Drew Stanton is still an unknown, I can see them taking a flier on a young talented quarterback.
B. Sign a top TE--either Dallas Clark or LJ Smith. We've got the cap room to make this happen, and again, this is a position where developing talent is kind of a crapshoot, so I don't mind paying for more of a sure thing. Given how much Edwards loves to check down, getting him a reliable safety valve is a must.
C. Structure the draft as follows:
- Keith Rivers, OLB, USC. Guy's the prototypical WLB in the draft--great coverage skills, good blitzing ability, and a bit of a playmaker streak. Isn't bulky, but is really fast, which fits the organizational philosophy.
- (Traded in the Roy Williams deal)
- C (Ideally, Steve Justice from Wake Forest drops here)
- Huge DT--I've seen Texas's Frank Okam in this range in a few mocks
They've got a potentially top-notch defense at that point--LBs and Safeties are the key to the cover 2. DiGiorgio and Ellison are nice depth players, but replacement-level starters at best. Replacing them with Posluszny and Rivers and teaming those two with Crowell will give us an elite LB corp a year or two down the road, and go a long way towards fixing the defense. It also addresses the team's main offensive shortcomings, giving Edwards a reliable safety valve/zone busting TE, and a red zone threat go-to WR who lets Reed and Parrish play in the slot and takes some heat off of Evans.