It is Wednesday and I have zero idea what to blog about. Better yet, I’m at work and I don’t have much time to really dive into something that you can put your teeth into. Still..keep reading on to placate my ego as I’m wasting my time trying to entertain the dozens…and dozens of Buffalo Wins fans.
Now is the time for me to get into the NFL Draft. See, years ago, I used to be that guy who complained all the time about the hoopla and coverage leading up to the event. Pretty much I tend to think ESPN draft experts are trying to manipulate their audiences with the rising/falling rhetoric for viewers to go ape shit. I also think a lot of them are lied to by their team sources.
At my breaking point of complaining constantly, I was also watching too much ESPN which lead to me yelling, “WILL THE DRAFT JUST FRICKEN START ALREADY!” and wanting to light Mel Kiper on fire.
I decided that I really wasn’t going to start following the hoopla until like 10 days out. I think it makes it healthier for me and to not fall into the trap of being a wet blanket on Twitter about how much I hate all of you! Yes…you, you..and your mom (I kid).
I let Necci pretty much spearhead the draft stuff here. I don’t think we overkill it as he’s had only a few mock drafts and I’ll probably do Q&As about the Bills players who get drafted.
I start taking notice by watching the Bills little draft luncheon in hopes that one day it will turn into the Red Wedding where everyone gets stabbed because everything said during it is a bunch of lies! How could we forget last year, when Buddy Nix pretty much crapped on EJ Manuel, yet, they gushed all over Tavon Austin. We all know what happened…
Anyways, because I’m paying more attention, I feel the need to blog about it.
Now, I’m about to give you what their biggest needs are…Keep in mind this is more about “HOLY COW! That’s a giant hole that needs to be filled!” and not about upgrading a more important position.
Example: Would I rather have a better TE than a #2 safety? Yes. However, I could live (Faintly) with Scott Chandler being my #1 TE rather than Duke Williams as my safety. You feel me?
Anyways, here are my the 5 biggest holes for the Bills:
5) Defensive End- If you believe in the hype that the Bills are trying to trade for the top pick, the consensus seems to be that Jadeveon Clowney is the best player in the draft. A front line of Mario-Dareus-Kyle-Clowney would fricken rock and would probably be needed more under Jim Schwartz than Pettine. The incumbent DC didn’t blitz all that much in Detroit and Tennessee and getting pressure from your front four will be key. We all remember what happened when Dave Wannstedt didn’t blitz all that much.
However, outside of the bonerrific front 4, lies the problem with the contracts for #55 and #94. As Joe B. pointed out, Jerry Hughes is a free agent after next season and if he gets 10 sacks again, I’d think he’d get a Mark Anderson like contract between 5-6 million…At least.
Then there’s Sully’s favorite, Mario Williams, whose cap hit next year goes up to 19 million. Obviously the Bills and Mario can hopefully rework the deal because I doubt they would pay him that much. So, in essence, you could be without your starting two defensive ends for next year in a system that you really need stellar DEs to put pressure on the QB.
If the draft trade up talk is simply BS, I wouldnt mind the Bills trying to find someone in the 3rd round or maybe even in the 2nd. Damn..I wish we could just keep Mario/Hughes forever. Between the two of them, the duo had 87 QB hurries last year.
4) Wide Receiver- Everyone knows the Bills passing game struggled last year. Even if Stevie stayed healthy for the entire year, he would have barely gotten to 60 catches. The Bills leading receiver (Scott Chandler) had the 3rd fewest yards and catches in the NFL for a leading receiver on a team (Jets/Rams were ahead in that distinction).
Obviously, this need would have been at the top if it wasn’t for the trading of Mike Williams. I’m cool as a cucumber with Stevie-Mike-Woods-Goodwin as my top 4 WRs. You got speed, you got route running ability, and you got a sizable target in the red zone. You also have two guys in Woods/Goodwin who you’d hope will come into their own this year or next because of their age.
You are also hoping that EJ Manuel comes into his own, which obviously would have a lot to do with your WRs being any good.
Now, If I’m being greedy -which I tend to get when it comes to the skill position because you can never have enough weapons- none of these guys are Batman. Now, they are easily Robins, Alfreds and Commissioner Gordons, but Batman only exists on 8-10 teams and I’d love for the Bills to try and draft Batman. Maybe Evans/Watkins falls to them or they trade to the 4th pick to acquire one of them…IF they view them as Batmans.
Outside of the greed factor, comes the fact that Stevie/Mike could be gone by next year at this time because of their cap hits. Now, if Mike comes in and does a 65-catch and 10TD season, the Bills would be fools to try and rework his deal at 5.5 million a year as that production is worth the money. As for Stevie, I don’t know man. If he pulls in 60 catches again at 7.5 million a year, I think he could be done here.
3) Tight end- BRING ME EBRON! (Courtesy of Michael Necci’s 75 tweets about the guy). Better yet, just give me a fricken TE that isn’t average. Seriously, if the Bills draft Ebron, he automatically shoots up to arguably the best TE in Bills history based on our TE position being a joke since my birth. Scott Chandler should be a #3 option in an offense where Batman and Robin exist.
He’s Alfred, as in he’s cleaning the Bat Cave and making sure Bruce Wayne’s Booty calls are getting home safely. However, for the last few years with the Bills, he’s been counted on to ride shotgun in the Batmobile because Batman was on Krypton or some shit. Aside from my silly Batman humor, Chandler is just average to me. For all TEs, he ranked 13th in catches in 2013, 25th in 2012, and 22nd in 2011. A-V-E-R-A-G-E.
2) Offensive tackle- The mockers love the Bills going after a OT in the first round. As I wrote before, I can see reasons as to why they won’t go that route. Some of that reasoning has to do with me clearly not knowing what the fuck makes pass protection work. However, on the surface, Erik Pears may arguably be the weakest starter on offense for the Bills, so, why not upgrade him? Pears only allowed four sacks last season, but PFF ranked him as the 56th best tackle in the NFL in 2013.
Yeah..That’s not really good and if the theory that what makes pass protection work is based on the guys upfront and not the QB or system, then we’d need an upgrade.
1) Safety- This is a position that no one seems to be talking about at all as a need. Shit, I’ve seen more discussion about the Bills picking a QB in the 5th round or beyond than getting a safety. Right now, the Bills have Aaron Williams as a starting safety (Here’s where it gets tricky) and either Duke Williams, Corey Graham moving to safety and someone else. Yeah..I could Google who the hell that someone else is, but it stinks.
Maybe the idea of losing Byrd and then replacing him with a 1st round pick seems like your groundhog day, but if your wife divorces you, you gotta replace her with someone better, right? Frankly, I’d sleep better in knowing that our next safety is “supposed” to be good because of where he’s picked rather than hoping a former mid-round selection will do an adequate job.
Look, the secondary did a great job last season in getting INTs (2nd in the NFL) and stopping opposing teams from throwing the ball all over them (4th best in the NFL). However, I’m somewhat worried about how the secondary will play this year when the Bills probably won’t be blitzing as much. It was beneficial for the secondary to have the front 7 blitz as much as they did which caused the QB to hurry up his throws.
The secondary was a tire fire in 2012 and everything changed for the better last year when they DBs were pretty much the same on paper.
If it wasn’t new personnel in the secondary then what was it?
Because the blitz until you die philosophy worked and made the secondary better. Now the blitzing may be gone and with that you’ll have to rely on the secondary to hold up in coverage an extra second or two.
Maybe I’m too worried that Aaron Williams will fall back into 2nd year Aaron Williams under the new system, or converting Corey Graham to safety is converting one too many guys in the secondary, or having some guy named Tank as your starter worries me since all Tanks in football suck (Google it). What if McKelvin playing zone instead of 1-on-1 press coverage makes him go back to our 4th string CB again? I still don’t know what we have with Stephon Gilmore who got burned quite a few times last year.
I know what I got with Erik Pears as my starting OT and Scott Chandler as my starting TE, but I have zero idea what I have at the other safety spot. An Unknown without draft pageantry equals weakness to me. On top of that, losing your anchor in the secondary doesn’t help either. In fact, it weakens the unit, hence the reason it’s a BIG need.