>\n\nWorst to First: 11. Buffalo Bills \n\n\n\n

Worst to First: 11. Buffalo Bills

Written by Ben Morgan on 04/21/2009

Since making 4 consecutive Superbowls waaaay back in the day it seems like there's not been too much happening in Buffalo. That includes home games these days as they're playing half of them in Toronto. On the plus side for Bills fans at least they can pick up cheap prescription drugs on the way home from "home" games these days. Of course the big news is that the Bills surprsingly brought in Terrell Owens who proves once again that NFL Teams will overlook anything if you can catch TDs. Buffalo are a possibility to move up to grab a top OT but I can actually see them looking to trade down from 12, picking up an extra second rounder and trying to come out of the first day with 4 potential starters on their hands. If they could swing the trade down they'd be in a decent position to walk away with a haul of Robert Ayers, William Beatty, Clint Sintim and Jared Cook. That would be a nice bunch of play makers but there's any number of ways it could fall. This is a team stacked with guys who seem to stop playing hard once the cash falls in their laps. That's never a good sign and the addition of a couple of genuine leaders would be great for the Defense if they can make it happen.  

2009 Free Agent Losses
2009 Free Agent additions
Jason Peters OT (Eagles, trade), Angelo Crowell LB (Buccaneers, UFA), Derrick Dockery OL (Redskins, cut), Jabari Greer CB (Saints, UFA), Duke Preston C (Packers,UFA), Robert Royal TE (Browns, cut),   Ryan Fitzpatrick QB (Bengals), Drayton Florence CB (Jaguars), Geoff Hangartner C (Panthers), Terrell Owens WR (Cowboys), Dominic Rhodes RB (Colts), Patrick Thomas LB (Chiefs)
2009 Unsigned Free Agents
2010 Potential Free Agents
Melvin Fowler C (UFA), Teddy Lehman LB (UFA), J.P. Losman QB (UFA), Corey Mace DE (UFA), Jason Whittle OT (UFA)
Terrell Owens WR, Josh Reed WR, Ryan Denney DE, Terence McGee CB, Ashton Youboty CB, 

Roster Breakdown
Quarterbacks Minimal Need

Buffalo's very keen on Trent Edwards and he's been a very accurate passer up til now. A big part of that is the fact he rarely throws risky passes, and that's reflected in the fact he's played a full role in 23 games but only has 18 career TDs. Scoring is Buffalo's problem. Now T.O. obviously is going to help a ton there but the Bills and Edwards have had redzone issues. It remains to be seen how long Buffalo will give Edwards to become a good NFL QB rather than just a game manager but for the time being they're not going to pressurise him by drafting a top QB. JP Losman is gone and in comes Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's absolutely a pure backup coming off a disappointing season in Cincy. There is scope for a developmental type QB on the roster though.  

Runningbacks No Need

Marshawn Lynch is one of the better RBs in the NFL. When not suspended... So the signing of Dominic Rhodes was a very important one. He's not been without his own legal issues but he is a talented back as well and should ensure that along with Fred Jackson Buffalo carries a strong rushing attack into the 2009 season. All 3 of them have proven to be very good receivers out of the backfield as well. The only problem may come in the long term if Lynch is unable to stay out of trouble. That should be a cross that bridge when they come to it situation though.

Wide Receivers
Minor Need

Having signed Terrell Owens, drafted James Hardy last year and with Lee Evans on one side you'd think this wouldn't be a Major Need slot. I'm leaving it as Minor though because T.O. is only signed on for one year and Josh Reed is out of contract after this year too. Hardy's coming off an ACL as well. This may only be a position of strength for this season. WRs typically take a couple of years to develop so might be time to get themselves another potential WR. The Bills like Steve Johnson and he's higher on the depth chart than Hardy at this point so it may not be such a huge need if he can come on like they think he can.

Tight Ends
Major Need

Derek Schouman + Derek Fine = Dereksperate situation. Apologies, but it's true. This may be the single biggest need for the Bills right now. For a kid who likes the short passes like Edwards a pass catching TE could be a godsend. Considering they now have Philly's 28th pick that might be a great slot to pick up Brandon Pettigrew. Or maybe a guy like Jared Cook in round 2. One thing's for sure they really have to do something about this position ASAP.

Offensive Line
Major Need

Jason Peters made the Pro Bowl again last year and losing him hurts for sure. The Bills OL gives up too many sacks and ironically most of them were Jason Peters' fault. Langston Walker's slated to shift over to the Left side, he's a big unit and may struggle against speed rushers. As such Andre Smith and Michael Oher are bound to be on Buffalo's mind with the 11th pick in the draft. On the Interior of the line they're returning Brad Badger, a good run blocker and they've swapped out Melvin Fowler for Carolina backup Geoff Hangartner. To me that should be an improvement in the middle of the line. Seth McKinney will provide some depth across the interior and may even push Kirk Chambers for a starting slot. With the age of Badger it might be time to look for a Guard prospect as well. 

Defensive Tackle
Minimal Need

I'm leaving this at Minimal Need despite the relatively poor performance of the guys there. Marcus Stroud seems to be on the downside of his career and isn't the player right now that the Bills paid for. Kyle Williams is a solid NT in the 4-3 and under them are first round bust John McCargo, who may not even make it through training camp, and Spencer Johnson who's decent in a rotation. Adding in a later round pick who may be able to start down the line would be nice. Williams is decent but would probably look a whole lot better rotating in and out. I mean B.J. Raji would be great and would probably rejuvenate Stroud as well helping make Buffalo a real contender on Defense but I just don't see them pulling the trigger on Raji. More likely a mid to late round prospect, perhaps a small school guy like Chris Baker.

Defensive End
Major Need

Aaron Schobel is coming off an injury and hasn't really dominated since signing a big contract. Chad Kelsay is coming off an injury and hasn't done much either since signing a big contract. This is starting to become a common thread in Buffalo! You can probably throw Stroud under that heading as well. Schobel when he's on his game can be a dominant force though. Kelsay? Not so much. They're rumoured to be shopping Kelsay for drat picks but I'm not really expecting too many offers for him. Underneath those 2 is Ryan Denney, an early pick who's never really materialised as the force they hoped he would be. This could be what they spend the 12th pick on. Someone who can get to the QB because 24 sacks in a season just doesn't cut it. Targets at 12 would include Everette Brown and Aaron Maybin and definitely don't rule out Robert Ayers as a reach at 12. Buffalo has shown in recent years if they're zeroed in on a player they'll take him wih their pick regardless of where they could actually get him. They've also had Connor Barwin in to visit, he'd be a good pick for their second rounder but they may be looking at him to play TE.

Linebackers Major Need

Poz and Kawika Mitchell make for a pretty strong pairing. Mitchell makes some nice plays and Poz is solid but really needs to start coming up with a bit more now. Keith Ellison should be a backup though so a pick on an outside LB would be a nice choice for them. This defense needs some strong leadership so it's a shame Aaron Curry will be gone but the USC pairing of Cushing and Matthews? Well one of them may fall as far as 28. Unlikely but possible.   

Cornerback Minor Need

They're definitely set for this season. Despite not getting much help from the boys up front Terence McGee and Leodis McKelvin are a top quality pairing who make a lot of plays. Underneath they've just added Drayton Florence who was horrible starting in Jacksonville but should be a slot guy here which is better suited to his game. Ashton Youboty is some decent depth too. Even so McGee is a free agent next year and CBs can be notoriously difficult to re-sign once they hit free agency. That's to say you pay a lot of money for even an average NFL CB. I presume they're looking at extending him this offseason but if not then I can't rule out a pick here.

Safety   Minor Need

In Ko Simpson and Donte Whitner they have 2 guys highly touted out of college but neither of them makes eough plays. Improving the pass rush is going to help them out but you have to wonder if this is an area they could stand to improve. Selecting a CB/S prospect who could play safety as a rook and possibly move to CB to cover the potential loss of McGee in 2010 would be useful. The Bills reckon Whitner may be better suited to FS though so perhaps a mid rounder on a SS prospect to reduce Simpson to good depth? 

Specialists No Need

Brian Moorman is a middle of the road punter but the Bills excellent coverage teams make him look a lot better, they can definitely work with him. Rian Lindell didn't have one of his best years last year but at least he was missing the longer range kicks. They're both tied up long term and I don't see any reason for that change.

Return Game
No Need

With Leodis McKelvin, Terence McGee they'll be fine even if the Steelers do trade for Roscoe Parrish. 

Dream Day One

1.12 Michael Oher OT Ole Miss
1.28 Brandon Pettigrew TE OK State
2.42 Connor Barwin DE Cincinatti

Player Visits
Jared Cook TE South Carolina
Nic Harris S Oklahoma
Fili Moala DT USC
Connor Barwin DE Cincinnatti

Corvey Irvin DT Georgia
Robert Ayers DE Tennessee
Chip Vaughn S Wake Forest
Brandon Pettigrew TE Oklahoma St

Jason Phillips LB Texas Christian
Lawrence Sidbury Jr. LB Richmond
Clint Sintim LB Virginia

Last Edited: 04/21/2009

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