The Buffalo Bills entered the 2012 offseason with a top priority of fixing its anemic pass rush. Two defensive ends and $142 million later, consider that problem solved with Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.
Now that the Bills set the edges of their new 4-3 defense, the team can focus on other areas. Let's get up to date on Buffalo's remaining needs and how this fits into the NFL draft.
Need No. 1: Left tackle
Analysis: The Bills are still searching for a blue-chip prospect to protect quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's blind side. Left tackle was a revolving door in Buffalo last year, and that's a quick and easy way to lose games. This is a very important position that needs stability. I wouldn't be surprised if Buffalo takes a left tackle in the first round with the No. 10 overall pick. First-round possibilities include Iowa's Riley Reiff and Stanford's Jonathan Martin. Any top prospect at left tackle probably could start from Day 1 in Buffalo.
Need No. 2: Wide receiver
Analysis: The Bills re-signed leading receiver Steve Johnson before free agency. That gave Buffalo some relief in addressing this need right away. But the Bills pass a lot on offense and need another dynamic talent in the lineup. The Bills nearly signed Robert Meachem, who decided instead to go to the San Diego Chargers. That was the target Buffalo wanted. But there are probably a few receivers in the draft the Bills like.
Need No. 3: Outside linebacker
Analysis: The Bills took care of their defensive line, but their second level isn't that deep or talented. Nick Barnett is stable in the middle, but two outside spots remain a work in progress. Maybe Shawne Merriman has potential here. But he's coming off his second season-ending Achilles injury. No one knows at this point how well he can bounce back. The Bills also have a young linebacker in Danny Batten who has some potential. But can you start Batten for 16 games? An addition like Alabama's Courtney Upshaw could be solid. Upshaw is a good hitter who can also bring a pass rush off the edge. He could fall to the Bills at No. 10.