2013 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills needs list

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

The Bills have six picks in this week's draft; these are their top six needs.

We're now just two days away (give or take a few hours) from the start of the 2013 NFL Draft. While most draft-related talk surrounding the Buffalo Bills is focused on the team's most glaring need, we thought it would be prudent to re-set the team's needs list as we sharpen our focus heading into Thursday night. Buffalo has six picks in this draft (at the moment), so we'll limit the needs list to six positions.

1. Quarterback

With a new direction being charted in the front office by President/CEO Russ Brandon and a brand new coaching staff, there won't be a better time for the new regime at One Bills Drive to take their quarterback than this weekend - and the sooner, the better. The Bills have the makings of a veteran competition in place, but clearly, a long-term solution is needed.

Pos. # Starter # Backup # Reserve
QB 4 Kevin Kolb 7 Tarvaris Jackson 3 Aaron Corp

2. Wide Receiver

I mean, just look at the depth chart below: you have one quality player, one or two quality projects and a few journeymen/depth types. Depth is a major issue - they'll need three or four more bodies for camp - but a player that can contribute right away would be excellent, as well.

Pos. # Starter # Backup
SE 13 Stevie Johnson 81 Marcus Easley
FL 11 T.J. Graham 18 Kevin Elliott
SL 16 Brad Smith 15 Chris Hogan

3. Linebacker

We're sort of lumping two needs into one here, because not only do the Bills need three-down capable linebackers that can run, hit and cover, they also need another pass rushing option from the position. The bottom line, however, is simple: the Bills have better players along the defensive line and in the secondary than they do at linebacker. Help is needed.

Pos. # Starter # Backup # Reserve
Rush 94 Mario Williams 93 Mark Anderson 67 Jamie Blatnick
SLB 91 Manny Lawson 52 Arthur Moats 56 Kourtnei Brown
MLB 55 Kelvin Sheppard 51 Chris White 59
58
Greg Lloyd
Brian Smith
WLB 53 Nigel Bradham 43 Bryan Scott 54 Marcus Dowtin

4. Tight End

Their semi-productive, athletically limited starter is coming off of late-season ACL surgery, and there isn't an established, athletic receiving threat to be found on the roster. Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett would love to get a seam-stretching tight end that can move around the alignment, as exemplified by the team's sniffing around those types of athletes in free agency.

Pos. # Starter # Backup # Reserve
TE1 84 Scott Chandler 82 Dorin Dickerson 80 Mike Caussin
TE2 85 Lee Smith 49 Joe Sawyer

5. Safety

The star free safety hasn't signed his franchise tender and may be contemplating a holdout, while the team's two third-year developmental players are a converted cornerback and an in-the-box type that's still unproven. Buffalo could use a fourth safety at minimum, and they crave more versatility here, as well.

Pos. # Starter # Backup
FS 31 Jairus Byrd 30 Mana Silva
SS 23 Aaron Williams 25 Da'Norris Searcy

6. Cornerback

One struggling cornerback has been moved to safety, and another was re-signed to a moderate contract to be a starter this year. Depth is unproven, as is the team's well-regarded top corner. Depth is always a concern at this position, and that remains the case for the Bills, who could use one more viable option at this position.

Pos. # Starter # Backup # Reserve
CB1 24 Stephon Gilmore 29 Crezdon Butler 47 Dominique Ellis
CB2 21 Leodis McKelvin 44 T.J. Heath
Slot 33 Ron Brooks 26 Justin Rogers
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