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Seven Bills sweating the NFL Draft

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Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Will DT McCargo be a Bill in '09? (photo source)

Prior to the opening of the NFL's free agency period, Brian made a list of Buffalo Bills players whose jobs and roster spots were on the line heading into the opening days of free agency.  Almost immediately after that post aired, one Bill on the list, TE Robert Royal, was given his walking papers.  He also mentioned that Roscoe Parrish could become expendable if the Bills addressed their WR corps.  Low and behold, it seems the Bills are at the very least exploring that very idea.  We have talked at length (and will continue talking at length) about who we could add to this team, but who do they in turn bump off come training camp cuts?  Here are the seven Bills with the most to lose this coming weekend.

FS Ko Simpson
Once considered the future at the free safety position, Ko Simpson has been replaced in the starting lineup by draft classmate Donte Whitner, been arrested this off-season, and done little on the field since his rookie campaign.  There is a strong likelihood that the Bills will draft one safety, and Simpson would be the odd man out in August.

DT John McCargo
He was traded last season, so it's hardly a surprise to see John McCargo's name on this list.  By all accounts, his off-season work has been great at One Bills Drive - he has a new position coach, and may be turning a corner in his lackluster career.  The Bills should be looking at the long-term replacement for the 30+ year old Marcus Stroud.  If the Bills feel he has not made the improvements necessary to get on the field this year and be that potential answer, it's likely he will be replaced in the draft and cut by opening day.

DE Chris Kelsay
Word has come that the Bills are exploring the idea of trading Kelsay.  With the likelihood of adding one or more defensive ends in this year's draft, Kelsay's age, lack of production, and salary make him a prime target for downsizing.  If the Bills add more than one DE, look for Kelsay to be moved to make room in the rotation.  At the very least expect his role to be reduced this fall.

TE Derek Fine
Derek Fine seems well-situated to be the opening day starter at tight end.  Unless the Bills draft another player who could come in and start right away, that is.  Fine has sat and learned for a year, and now when he is on the cusp of taking over the job he may have it taken away from him.  The Bills will add a tight end in this draft, but will it be for depth behind Fine to compete for his starting job?

LB Keith Ellison
Like Fine, Keith Ellison needs to worry about his starting job, but not his spot on the roster.  Ellison provides great depth and special teams ability, but if the Bills spend a high pick on a linebacker he won't be starting anymore.  As an unrestricted free agent following this year, it's Ellison's last chance to make an impression on the Bills or any other franchise willing to give him a nice pay day.  It's hard to do that sitting behind a rookie.

OL Kirk Chambers
Kirk Chambers has been penciled in as the new starting guard since the release of Derrick Dockery.  Now following the trade of Jason Peters, Chambers' name is flying all over the line as he has displayed the ability to play most spots in a pinch.  There is, however, a very real possibility that he could be passed over for a starting job at every spot and remain that "jack of all trades" style backup after this weekend's draft.  While he wouldn't be losing his spot on the team, he certainly could be losing his precarious starting job at tackle and/or guard.

SS Bryan Scott
Already a free agent at the end of the year, Bryan Scott has an opportunity to land a nice contract if he starts and performs well for Buffalo this year.  Perhaps he has the opportunity to lose his starting spot if a rookie is drafted to take his place.  He would likely remain on the roster ahead of other players, but his opportunity to impress before hitting the open market could be limited.