Draft Preview - Buffalo Bills

Doug Marrone

Buffalo has the No. 8 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Is that the spot the Bills go after a quarterback? What other positions need to be addressed for new head coach Doug Marrone?

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Buffalo Bills
2013 draft picks:
1st round (8), 2(41), 3(71), 4(105), 5(143), 6 (177)

There have been some changes for the Bills, starting with their head coach. Chan Gailey was fired and Buffalo General Manager Buddy Nix hired Syracuse's Doug Marrone.

The Bills recently signed quarterback Kevin Kolb who played the last few seasons with the Cardinals. He has battled injuries and inconsistency. Kolb is looking for a clean slate and fresh start with Marrone and Buffalo. At this point he looks like more of the short term answer rather than the long term solution. The Bills previous starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick, was cut by the team this winter.

Buffalo lost wide receivers Donald Jones and David Nelson in free agency. They took a big hit on the offensive front, losing guard Andy Levitre to Tennessee. The Bills also lost Chad Rinehart.

Defensively, Buffalo had two nice acquisitions in defensive tackle Alan Branch and outside linebacker Manny Lawson. No longer with the team are defensive end Kyle Moore, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, safety George Wilson and cornerback Terrence McGee.

Draft Needs
1) Quarterback
Nix has publicly stated that he wants to draft a franchise quarterback. Sure this happened before the Kolb signing but you have to believe that the Bills will nab a signal caller within the first three rounds. At this point it's anyone's guess who they favor the most. They could have a shot at Geno Smith with their first selection. Then again, he could be gone by the time the pick at No. 8. Maybe the Bills favor Matt Barkley, who will likely be still on the board in the first but could be gone by the time they make their second pick. Many believe that Nix will draft Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, who played for Marrone with their second or third round pick.

2) Wide Receiver
Marrone will look to add a playmaker or two on the perimeter and in the slot in his offense. He runs a heavy Sean Peyton system after being his coordinator in New Orleans. They could have their pick of the position if they go this route with their first round pick in Cordarrelle Patterson or Tavon Austin. Maybe the Bills trade out of the eight hole to net more picks. If they found a partner to swap first round picks they could still find a very good receiver in this round and perhaps pick up an additional second or third round pick.

3) Offensive Guard
This has become a need with the loss of Levitre. Standing pat at No. 8 would give them a great shot drafting Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper. If they choose to wait Kyle Long should be on the board in the second round and maybe Brian Winters in the third. The Bills will address this need.

4) Linebacker
Buffalo could use a pass rushing linebacker/defensive end and an inside linebacker. The Bills will be multiple on both sides of the ball. They could have a tough choice to make with that first selection between who they deem as best available in their need areas listed above. Jarvis Jones, Barkevious Mingo, and perhaps Ezekiel Ansah could all still be on the board depending on how things fall in front of them. This would be the best time to try and find a pass rusher.

Jon Bostic, Kiko Alonso, and Michael Mauti are a trio of middle linebackers to keep an eye on if the Bills were to add some depth to this position.

5) Tight End
The Bills would like to add another tight end to the mix. It's a good group, especially the first six or seven guys. Scott Chandler showed some flashes in Gailey's offense but they could use a little more pop for Marrone's offense.

Key Acquisitions
Kevin Kolb (QB)
Alan Branch (DT)
Manny Lawson (OLB)

No Longer With The Team
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB)
Donald Jones (WR)
David Nelson (WR)
Andy Levitre (OG)
Chad Rinehart (OG)
Chris Kelsay (DE)
Kyle Moore (DE)
Desmond Bryant (DT)
Mick Barnett (OLB)
Shawne Merriman (OLB)
George Wilson (S)
Terrence McGee (CB)

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