On paper, the Buffalo Bills have one of the worst and inexperienced offenses in the NFL. Outside of LeSean McCoy, there isn't an established starter on the offensive side of the ball. With 80-something million dollars in cap space for the 2019 season, this free-agency period will be telling as to how the 2019 season will go. There’s a need at almost every position offensively other than...quarterback—the first time we have been able to say that in quite some time.
Listed below are my rankings of offensive position needs for the 2019 season (click on the position group to read our State of the Bills Roster series article):
Russell Bodine, Ryan Groy, Wyatt Teller, Vladimir Ducasse and John Miller aren't cutting it. The Bills struggled with quarterback pressure all season as well as moving the ball on the ground. Josh Allen was the Bills’ leading rusher, and their top two running backs combined for just 899 yards.
Dion Dawkins had a very promising rookie season and looked like he would be the left tackle for the next 10-15 years. Dawkins admitted that he got complacent over his second season and his play declined. I don't think we can write him off for the future, but he is one to keep an eye on going into his third year. Jordan Mills, on the other hand, is one of the worst right tackles in football. He has consistently been a weak spot on the Bills’ offensive line and an upgrade over him would benefit the offense as a whole.
3. Wide Receivers
Zay Jones, who will be a third-year second-round pick and Robert Foster, a second-year undrafted free agent are the top pass-catchers for the Bills in 2019 at this point. Foster has shown upside not only as a deep threat but as a complete receiver and Jones has a lot of up and down days. Both can be quality guys in the NFL, but they both lack the cliché, “number-one-receiver” traits. Neither of them have the ability to dominate a game like DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown or Michael Thomas can. The Bills need to work on finding a guy with similar demeanor for the sake of helping Josh Allen turn a corner.
4. Running Backs
LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory are both on the wrong side of 30. Marcus Murphy and Keith Ford aren't going to be long-term starters for anyone in the NFL. The Bills have to get younger at the position to help in the run game. Free agency is a good option to sign a veteran guy like Tevin Coleman, who can do it all, or they can look to the NFL Draft. This year the draft doesn't have running backs with first-round talent but who cares. NFL teams seem to find long term starters in the second and third-rounds of the draft and this class is loaded with guys expected to go in that area.
5. Tight Ends
Charles Clay, Logan Thomas and Jason Croom combined for only 55 catches and 520 yards for the season. Yikes. The Bills don't have that security blanket that a lot of teams have, and with Josh Allen rolling into his second season, it’s a need to find a big, reliable target for him.
Josh Allen is obviously the starter, Matt Barkley is a serviceable backup and Derek Anderson is on the roster just to help Allen in the film room. After Allen came back from his injury in the middle of the season, we got a taste of what the future could hold for him and the Bills. Having a consistent group of guys like Barkley and Anderson is an important factor on how Allen will grow from year to year. For the first time in a long time, it looks like the Bills have found their long-term solution at the most important position on the field.
Do you agree with Dylan’s ranking? Put yours in the comments section.