With the 2018 NFL Draft complete (finally), the Buffalo Bills clearly addressed some positions of need. Some spots where it looked like the team had roster holes weren’t addressed, meaning the Bills have faith in who they already have in place.
Here’s a list of Bills who will probably be on a new team next season and some guys that McBeane has faith in going forward
Winner: LB Matt Milano
With the Bills drafting 19-year-old linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, it adds an extreme athlete to the Bills defense. Although there’s still some questions to where Edmunds will play in the Bills defensive scheme, if he ends up at linebacker that will help Matt Milano and the LB corps immensely. It will also be great for Edmunds to learn alongside Lorenzo Alexander before his retirement. They didn’t draft any outside linebackers, which means Milano is entrenched as the other starter.
Loser: QB Nathan Peterman
The Bills obviously drafted Josh Allen to be the quarterback of the future, a role some people thought was Peterman’s after they took him in the 2017 NFL Draft. But after some not so great performances in 2017 the Bills brought in AJ McCarron and drafted Allen. I suppose all three could compete to be the starter, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Peterman is inactive for many games in 2018.
Winner: Shaq Lawson and Jerry Hughes
After the signing of Trent Murphy and two other free agents, many thought it might signify Lawson or Hughes was on the outs. They didn’t get traded over draft weekend and Buffalo didn’t pick any defensive ends.
Loser: The secondary depth players
Buffalo clearly made an effort to go after young defensive backs in the draft, adding two in the middle rounds. The players the Bills drafted all have a ton of versatility so if one starter goes down, it will likely be easy for head coach Sean McDermott to plug and play one of the new guys. The guys that were here already got bumped down a notch.
Winner: running backs
While many expected the Bills to add a running back of the future, Buffalo seems content with the aging LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory carrying the load and the depth players they have behind them.
Winner: Jeremy Kerley
Loser: the rest of the depth receivers
Receiver was, and still is, a major position of need in Buffalo. The Bills addressed it by taking two receivers under six feet tall. Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud has a lot of versatility and speed, but isn’t expected to help much down the field. Zay Jones and Kelvin Benjamin are going to have to step up in their second years with the team, or else it could be rough. Also one of the largest flaws in the new QB the team drafted is his accuracy, so that’s not ideal for receivers either. Newly-sign Jeremy Kerley looks to have the inside track to major playing time but folks like Brandon Reilly and Rod Streater have a crowded meeting room right now.