Buffalo Bills: Hit them with the Sauce

Buffalo Bills
Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI

Let’s talk about the reginging AFC East champs, the New Eng….I mean the Buffalo Bills. That’s right, the Buffalo Bills. Still seems kind of strange, but it finally happened. Kudos to Buffalo, they absolutely deserve it. The target is on their back now. Can the Bills run it back? Will a bad draft set them back? Will it even matter in the long run? Let’s break it all down.

The Draft

I’m going to do something I usually don’t do with this kind of article. I want to talk about the draft class as a whole first. The Bills approached this all wrong. The biggest need the team had was players that can help them improve in the run game right now. They didn’t do that. Buffalo had a golden opportunity multiple times to draft U. of Buffalo running back Jarrett Patterson or any other back they liked. They didn’t do that. And by the way, Patterson went undrafted and signed with Washington. A running back wasn’t even drafted by the Bills. The offensive line is aging, and OL’s weren’t even drafted until rounds three, five, and seven. Here are the ages of the starters below:

LT Dion Dawkins- 27

LG Jon Feliciano – 29

C Mitch Morse – 29

RG Cody Ford – 24

RT – Daryl Williams – 28

Do you see a problem here? I’m sorry, but chances are third round pick Spencer Brown from Northern Iowa, and fifth round pick Tommy Doyle from Miami Ohio (both are tackles) aren’t going to make a difference this year. Same thing with seventh round guard Jack Anderson from Texas Tech. Tackles or offensive linemen in general usually don’t get in as rookies unless they are first or second rounders, or if there are injuries. The one exception to that recently was Michael Onwenu with the Patriots who was a sixth round pick. Brown is right behind Williams on the depth chart, but there are no guarantees he gets in this year.

The Rest of The Offense

The good news is Josh Allen is locked up for a while, and rightfully so. It was already touched on, but the backs they have are not the answer. Devin Singletary and Zach Moss….really? I know Moss was hurt, but there was no real consistency from either of them. You want consistency? Look no further then Stefon Diggs. The man catches everything. The Bills added some speed in Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley is back in the slot. In round six, Marquez Stevenson was drafted from Houston. Maybe a replacement for Beasley? We’ll see what happens.

Finally, the tight ends. Dawson Knox took the bulk of the load and Jacob Hollister was brought in to help him out. Not bad, but not great. Tight end is another position that could’ve been addressed in the draft. Knox and Hollister should be good enough to get the job done, but you can’t help but think that maybe a heavier tight end with good blocking and catching ability really would have been helpful.

The Defense and The Additions

A football team is just like a wing dinner. You have your basket of buffalo wings, but what you really need is some blue cheese dressing to go with it. Maybe you’re more of a ranch fan, that works too. I like both.

Anyway, the point is a good football team needs a great defense to balance out the offense. Buffalo has that and added to it. First, they added to the defensive line in rounds one and two. That came in the form defensive ends Gregory Rousseau from Miami in round one, and Carlos “Boogie” Basham from Wake Forrest in round two. They will have to fight Mario Addison and Jerry Hughes for those starting spots. Vernon Butler and Ed Oliver have the starting DT jobs in the 4-3 on lock. Next up, the linebackers. Matt Milano on the weak side, Tremaine Edmunds in the middle, and A.J Klein on the strong side. Milano has become a great player, and should be the catalyst of that group.

Finally, the secondary. Safety Damar Hamlin was taken in round six from Pittsburgh, and so was corner Rachad Wildgoose from Wisconsin. They have an uphill battle to get in the rotation that currently has Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, and Levi Wallace as the starters. There is no winging it here folks. The defense should be in good shape. Now, we have to see if the offense will continue to hold up their end of the deal.

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