2013 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills winners and losers

Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE

Some Buffalo Bills got a vote of confidence over the weekend while others were replaced.

Several current (and now former) players on the Buffalo Bills were sweating it out during the 2013 NFL Draft. Some of their replacements were selected by GM Buddy Nix, while others received votes of confidence. Who were the biggest winners and losers from draft weekend?

Winner - the offensive line

Nix didn't draft a single lineman, and while he signed two as undrafted free agents, the incumbents will get the first crack. Colin Brown, in particular, gets to hold onto his tenuous starting spot at left guard for now. Remember when national folks were mocking guards to Buffalo in the first round?

Loser - Rian Lindell

Buffalo spending a seventh-round flier on a kickoff specialist in 2012 was one thing. Dustin Hopkins is a completely different scenario as a sixth-round pick. The all-time leading scorer in NCAA history will present stiff competition for the aging Lindell.

Winner - Torell Troup

2010 second-round pick Troup finds himself in a much different boat. Despite a back injury that has cost him years of his football career, the Bills skipped over defensive linemen in the draft and signed just one as a rookie free agent. He has every opportunity to see rotational duty at nose tackle if he's healthy.

Loser - Marcus Easley

Bills fans' biggest hope was that Easley would develop into the monster he was in his final year at Connecticut. Buddy Nix didn't share that hope this past weekend. Instead, he drafted two receivers and signed a big name undrafted free agent to compete for playing time at receiver. He'll still get a chance at the roster; Doug Marrone might remember Easley's six-catch, 105-yard performance from 2009 when he scored two touchdowns against Syracuse.

Winner - Scott Chandler

After flirting with a few tight ends during free agency, Nix passed on drafting one until the seventh round. The sooner Chandler can recover from his late-season injury, the better for him in holding off his challengers and adjusting to a new quarterback.

Loser - Kelvin Sheppard

After selecting Kiko Alonso in the second round, Buffalo decided they didn't need the former third-round pick anymore and shipped him to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for pass rusher Jerry Hughes. Picked to be the man in the middle of Buffalo's defense, he will have to earn his stripes elsewhere.

Winner - Tashard Choice

While it was assumed Choice was on the roster due to his connection to Chan Gailey, he has been re-signed and given a vote of confidence by the new regime this off-season. As it stands, he's Buffalo's clear choice as the third running back - and without a surefire fullback candidate on the roster, it helps his chances to stick even more.

Loser - Aaron Williams

A second-round pick in 2011, Williams has suffered through two difficult seasons. He may have thought he was getting a new lease on life when it was announced he was moving to safety - until Buffalo picked two safeties in the fourth and fifth rounds. Now he'll be learning a new position while his new defensive coordinator had a hand in selecting two of his competitors.

Winner - Leodis McKelvin

For the same reason Williams is a loser, McKelvin is a winner. The Bills didn't draft a single cornerback in the draft, plus moved Williams out of the competition. It's McKelvin's job to lose, with 2012 fourth-rounder Ron Brooks his stiffest competition.

Loser - depth cornerbacks

Sticking at cornerback, Buffalo signed four undrafted free agents on Monday. Crezdon Butler, Justin Rogers, Dominique Ellis and T.J. Heath will have their work cut out for them to make the final roster - especially with the big numbers at safety, a hallmark of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

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