With draft day nearing, like everyone else, I am dying to see who the Bills pick. It’s one of my favorite days/weekends of the year. Heck, I even got excited when we drafted Justin Geisinger. Whatever happened to that dude? Anyway, after reading many of the mock drafts, it seems like there's consensus that OLB and CB are the top needs. But, I see a couple other sore spots that I’d like to steer the conversation toward.
Last year’s defense was like one of those hand-held plastic toys I had as a kid where you move the numbered tiles around until you get them in the right order. We had safeties playing linebacker, ends playing tackle; guys moving all over. And, with the switch back to a 4-3, there will be even more juggling this year. Here’s how I see the line-up roughly shaking out if the season were to start today. And, I will grade each group on a scale of 1-10 (1=we must address this mess; 10= simply awesome).
Starters: M. Williams, Kelsay/ Anderson
Reserves: Carrington (I believe he could be a Mario-like player), Merriman.
GRADE: 8.5 (deep and high quality)
Starters: Dareus, K. Williams (coming back from injury)
Reserves: Spencer Johnson (seems more like a big body in the middle than a pass rushing end or OLB), Troup (who I think is vulnerable to get cut), Heard (who I don’t know enough about).
GRADE: 7.5 (very good starters, then a drop-off)
Reserve: C. White (wasn’t he drafted as a MLB?), anyone else?
GRADE: 7 (promising, young, lacking depth. This position wouldn’t be helped much by drafting another young guy)
Reserves: Scott, Moats (he seems fluid enough to cover TEs).
GRADE: 6.5 (I don’t know a lot about Morrison, but this position looks dodgy)
Reserve: Batten (Moats here, too)
GRADE: 8 (very good starter, decent back ups).
Starters: Florence, McGhee
Reserves: McKelvin, A. Williams, Rogers.
GRADE: 7.5 (I guess I like this group more than most Rumblers. I trust McGhee to come back healthy and hungry; Florence is scrappy; A. Williams has a ton of athletic upside; Rogers held his own; and McKelvin is gonna make the team- probably as a big part of the return game)
Starters: Byrd, Wilson
Reserve: Scott (Am I missing someone? +++Searcy - thanks trufflepig)
GRADE: 7.75 (good/very good players)
That’s 24 players. Room for one more draftee before cutting some familiar names. Already, I dropped Dwan Edwards (because as an 8 year vet, his production is going to diminish soon, and his salary is high). So, to finish my original point, I see the NEED SPOTS as follows
2. MLB (but probably not a draft need)
3. CB, DT
+++ Error: Sorry fellas, I forgot about Da'Norris Searcy as a safety. Therefore, my original conclusion about safety being a higher need than CB this season doesn't stand up.