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2013 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills needs list

In 2012, the Bills drafted a player at every position at which they brought in a pre-draft visitor. Will history repeat itself in 2013?

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

Last year, the Buffalo Bills used three draft selections to pick players they brought in for pre-draft visits. More importantly, Buddy Nix and company targeted certain position groups in those visits that they also chose in the 2012 NFL Draft.

It's notable when looking at Buffalo's draft class that every position addressed was well represented in the team's 30 pre-draft visits. With the exception of kicker John Potter, the Bills brought in multiple prospects at each position group they ended up selecting.

Buffalo brought in six cornerbacks a year ago, and ultimately chose two in the draft - first-round pick Stephon Gilmore (among the pre-draft visitors) and fourth-round pick Ron Brooks. Similarly, four offensive tackles were brought to Buffalo, and two were drafted. Cordy Glenn was among those visitors before being taken in the second round, with Zebrie Sanders (fifth round) taken later. Elsewhere along the offensive line, one guard was brought in, and Mark Asper ended up being selected in the fifth round. Three linebackers came through the doors before the draft and the Bills took two - Nigel Bradham in the fourth and Tank Carder (a pre-draft visitor) in the fifth. Two wide receivers were in on visits, as well, but with both off the board before their second pick, Buffalo drafted T.J. Graham in the third round.

Pre-draft visitors aren't always an indicator of the team's leanings, though. Seven defensive ends and one defensive tackle came in, but Buffalo didn't select any defensive linemen in the draft. All but two were off the board by the time the Bills made their second selection, and only one was left in the third. Four quarterbacks were in for pre-draft visits; the Bills had at least two shots at each of them (except Ryan Tannehill), but didn't take any.

When applying these ratios to Buffalo's 2013 pre-draft visits, it helps boil down where the team's needs are. Nine quarterbacks have been to One Bills Drive this off-season in anticipation of the draft. It's no secret that the team will likely take one of them in the first few rounds of the draft. Six wide receivers came to town, three outside linebackers, four inside linebackers, five safeties and two tight ends came to town with one fullback. Looking back after the draft, it's likely you'll see a large contingent of those positions drafted: QB, WR, TE, OLB, ILB and S, in no specific order.

It also gives you an indication of how the team feels at other key positions. Buffalo won't be looking at too many offensive linemen (despite a seemingly glaring need at left guard), running backs, defensive linemen and potentially even cornerbacks.