The Bills are in awkward position this offseason. They have a lot of talent on the team and "nice" players everywhere else. There is no GLARING need to address (although some may beg to differ). Everybody agrees we need a TE that can make defenses accountable for the middle of the field. We all want a taller WR for possession and red zone opportunities. We all know we could use a playmaker at WLB. We all want a bigger, more physical corner, and a FS that can actually tackle. Our defensive line is loaded with talent, but why can't we get a pass rush or stop the run consistently?
This conglomeration of inadequacies may be a result of each other. Maybe the WR's can't make as many plays because they do not have to respect the TE's, allowing defenses to take more routes away from our receivers. Maybe we can't stop the run consistently because our LB's aren't shedding their blocks quickly enough. Maybe we can't rush the passer because we can't stop the run.
Whatever the case may be, I think each need this offseason is just as important as the other. The offense and the defense BOTH need to be addressed equally. But, the Bills only have one 1st round draft choice. Where, or who, should it be invested in? Stopping the run is absolutely crucial to winning football games, but so is a viable air attack.
When the Bills pick there will be impact players on the board offensively and defensively:
Limas Sweed WR
Malcolm Kelly WR
Adarius Bowman WR
Fred Davis TE
Martin Rucker TE
Chris Ellis DE
Vernon Gholston DE
(Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis will both be gone more than likely at DT)
Dan Connor LB
Ali Highsmith LB
James Laurenitis LB (Junior)
Rey Maualuga LB (Junior)
Jonathan Hefney S
James Harrison S (Junior)
Which of these players will help this team the most. The Bills may even be able to trade back a little and still land many of these players.
Or should the Bills just take the best available player, regardless of need and postion?
If Rey Maualuga does come out early, I think he's a no-brainer. He's a Junior Seau/Ray Lewis/Brian Urlacher once in a generation type of talent. If he were drafted, the Bills would easily have the best LB corps in football within a year. He would also help out tremendously in both the running game and rushing the passer (I don't think I've ever seen such a ferocious blitzer as him). Just my 2 cents, otherwise I would like to see the Bills drop back and take either Martin Rucker, Adarius Bowman, or Dan Connor.