The Buffalo Bills are expected to address the quarterback position in this week’s annual NFL Draft, and it’s their biggest need. To be fair, there are also a ton of areas that need addressing on the offensive side of the ball, most notably along the offensive line and at wide receiver.
Though the recent signing of Jeremy Kerley certainly was a positive addition at wide receiver, there is still a need at the position. Kerley has a chance to contribute right away and should (along with Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones) prove to be a solid target for AJ McCarron/Nathan Peterman/one of the rookie QB’s. But Buffalo could certainly use another wide receiver or two.
More concerning is the offensive line, because no matter how talented the quarterback or wide receivers, if they don’t have time to read the coverage/provide protection, all the talent in the world won’t make up for poor play on the line.
Since the team’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card round, Buffalo has lost center Eric Wood to a career-ending neck injury and left guard Richie Incognito to retirement. Oft-injured starting left tackle Cordy Glenn was also dealt to the Cincinnati Bengals. Add it up and 60 percent of the starting offensive line will be new to Buffalo in 2018. That is a major turnover for a unit that led the league in rushing yards per game (164.4) in 2016.
The team did address its vacancies along the line with the signings of Russell Bodine and Marshall Newhouse, but those signings are more about bringing in offensive line depth than providing impact starters.
While Glenn was supposed to start, injuries thrust Dion Dawkins into the starting role at left tackle, as he excelled on the line. Ryan Groy or Bodine should step in and at least provide average play at center, while the right side remains a major question mark.
Jordan Mills and Vladimir Ducasse are back, but while Ducasse’s play (especially in run blocking) improved in 2017, the right side of the line still could use an infusion of talent.
Whether through the use of one of its nine draft picks, through free agency, or through a trade, Buffalo needs to address the right side of the offensive line, while also improving its talent and depth at wide receiver.