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What are the Buffalo Bills’ draft needs heading into the NFL Draft?

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After a productive offseason, the Bills could still use an edge rusher, tight end, and help on the d-line

With a bevy of signings, the Buffalo Bills find themselves in the enviable position of being able to draft the coveted “best player available” when the team is on the clock during the 2019 NFL Draft, which starts at 8 p.m. Thursday in Nashville, Tenn.

Buffalo is scheduled to pick ninth in the first round, and has nine additional picks: one in the second round, one in the third round, two in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Where do the Bills need help heading into the draft?

The Buffalo Bills certainly were active during free agency and the NFL’s offseason, adding 18 players to a team coming off a 6-10 record during the 2018 season.

The Bills shored up their weak offensive line, adding six linemen, led by center Mitch Morse, who signed a lucrative deal to become the league’s highest paid center. The line could feature as many as four new starters in 2019.

Weapons were added for second-year quarterback Josh Allen, including a pair of talented wide receivers in home-run-threat John Brown and slot receiver Cole Beasley. Tight end Tyler Kroft was brought in to compete for repetitions with Jason Croom, while the ageless Frank Gore and the talented pass catcher T.J. Yeldon were signed to improve the running backs.

Defensively, former first-rounder Kevin Johnson and former Bill E.J. Gaines were signed to improve the secondary, and Eli Harold was signed as a situational pass rusher who could also see time at strong side linebacker.

The special teams unit, which was atrocious in 2018, was bolstered by the signing of All-Pro and Pro Bowl return standout Andre Roberts.

Where do the Bills need help heading into the draft?

  • Buffalo could use help along the defensive line, especially with Jerry Hughes entering the final year of his contract. Defensive tackle/edge rusher is arguably the most pressing need for the Bills, with Kyle Williams retiring at the end of the 2018 season and with the Bills’ pass rush tying for 26th in sacks last year. Williams’s presence will be missed on this team, and the Bills could turn to the draft to replace Williams’s productivity. The Bills also could use depth at defensive end, with the future of Shaq Lawson and his fifth-year option still up in the air. Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver, Brian Burns, Christian Wilkins, Montez Sweat, and Rahsan Gary could all be in play at No. 9. The Bills reportedly used six of their pre-draft visits on edge rushers.
  • Despite the signings of Beasley and Brown, Buffalo could also use a true No. 1 wide receiver to complement Beasley, Brown, Zay Jones, and Robert Foster.
  • Despite the additions of Ty Nsekhe and LaAdrian Waddle, Buffalo could look to improve its tackles through the draft, whether by using the No. 9 pick on a Jonah Williams, Jawaan Taylor, or Andre Dillard, or later in the draft. But again, because of the aggressive signings in free agency, this is not a pressing need position (unless you believe Dion Dawkins won’t make a step forward with his play in 2019).
  • Croom and Kroft are two nice options, but the Bills still have a glaring need for a play-making tight end, and T.J. Hockenson would be a nice fit with the No. 9 pick. If the team chooses to wait on this position, there are other solid options like Noah Fant, Dawson Knox, Jace Sternberger, and Kahale Warring.
  • With the signing of T.J. Yeldon, I don’t expect the Bills to seriously address the running-back position. Gore, McCoy, Yeldon, and Marcus Murphy are four nice options in the backfield, and unless Shady gets traded, I just don’t see Buffalo being active in the running-back market in the draft.
  • Buffalo also needs to add some depth at linebacker and could add another cornerback later in the draft.

After months of waiting, the fun begins tonight at 8 p.m.!