I wasn't surprised by the poll results today that showed OT was far and away the #1 perceived need by Rumblers. It been a common theme in fanposts and comments. But I was hoping there was more faith in Chris Hairston.
Ever since Hairston's first preseason game (he missed the first two, as I remember it) I was impressed. He started 7 games, played in 13 and he only gave up 4 sacks – AS A ROOKIE. Stats aside, I was just impressed by watching the guy. He gets out of his stance quickly, has great length to push edge rushers and he's big and strong. Like any O-lineman, if he gets through a game without me cursing his name then he's good in my book – and Hairston blended in quite nicely.
The line didnt have problem until BOTH he and Bell were hurt. So my question: what did you, or didnt you, see in those 13 games that did not make you confident he could be serviceable or better as a second year starter?
Don't confuse this with me saying the Bills don't need to draft a tackle – they do and Nix has already said they will. But Hairston showed a lot of promise as a rookie and I think its nuts to waste a first or even second round pick on competition for him. I'd rather see them draft someone in the mid-rounds and add a veteran (Locklear?). I'd be really disappointed if they took a tackle in the first round – but I doubt they will. Its against Nix's history, he and Gailey have complimented Hairston, and if the Bills are going to find a receiver thats open when he's covered they are going to have to do it at #10. They desperately need someone that can stretch the field -teams (specifically remember the jets) were blanketing receivers in the short and intermediate routes towards the end of last year. Finding someone that can make plays more than 10 yards down the field seems much greater need to me than trying to improve on a second year player that proved adequate in his rookie year.