Posted by Adam Kaplan on Sunday, February 6, 2011
If you're in a division with the New York Jets, New England Patriots, and yes, even the Miami Dolphins, you should pretty much just call it a day. Sure, maybe, just maybe you can squeeze a wild card birth in every decade or so (or go to the Superbowl four straight years in a row and lose all four times) but you're pretty much the Baltimore Orioles or Vanderbilt of the AFC East.
I apologize for being repetitive but these bottom teams are at the bottom for a reason- piss poor defensive play and a few cogs missing in the offense. Like the Denver Broncos, the Bills have some core, young pieces already there but haven't quite put it together yet.
The skill positions on the offense are there but they need an offensive line to hold the pieces together. And trading away Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters doesn't help you any either. The strength of the Bills offense is their running game which is led by Fred Jackson. Every time Jackson gets the opportunity to start/ is the main back, he does awesome things. Now Jackson isn't a legitimate number one back like Adrian Peterson is, but C.J. Spiller is a fantastic complement to Jackson if the Bills can figure out a better way to get Spiller integrated into the offense. While Jackson has shown he can carry the rock 20+ times a game and be great, I can foresee a the Bills backs be the type of guys DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are- or better yet like an improved Pierre Thomas/ Reggie Bush deal.
Stevie Johnson has stepped up his game to be a legitimate number one wide out, but he was very streaky in 2010 and the Bills need another receiver to compliment Johnson- a possession guy or tight end or something!
Johnson had great chemistry with Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick. I don't think Fitzpatrick will ever be in the "elite" category, or as Mike Lombardi would say- a blue chipper- but I think a Matt Cassel/Joe Flacco ceiling is in his future. And with that running game that he has, that's not an insult to Fitzpatrick. But with that being said, Fitzpatrick is not a franchise quarterback. But hey, the Giants won a Superbowl with Eli Manning and the Ravens won a Superbowl with Trent Dilfer. I think Fitzpatrick is the quintessential "game manager".
You know, come to think about it, this Bills offense has the potential to be the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs. A great running back tandem, an effective but not overpowering quarterback, and a great wide out. While this type of offense can be effective and can win playoffs games, a team should never be content with this style of play and should work to get better. At the same time, when your defense was as bad as the Bills defense was in 2010, it's acceptable to be content for a few years while you build up your defense.
I have a personal mentality that the first two areas a team should focus on are the offensive and defensive lines. And maybe because I grew up around Chicago football, I personally believe that in order to build up your team to win championships you have to build up your defense. The Bills have some great parts on defense with a healthy Paul Posluszny... OK they really only have Posluszny, so I would go defense with their number three overall pick.
According to Scout's Inc, there are five guys graded the highest with "97" and I have the Broncos and Panthers taking two of them. There is Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, and OLB Von Miller from Texas A&M left. I think the Bills could have a fun looking offense with Johnson and A.J. Green but that defense looked awful and offense looked pretty darn good most of the time. So if I have to choose between a shut down corner and an elite outside linebacker, I choose the cornerback ten out of ten times.
Therefore, with the third pick in the draft, the Buffalo Bills select Patrick Peterson.
-Everything except running back. I haven't seen a lot of Gabbert live or in highlights or really anywhere so I can not say for certain he will be a franchise quarterback, but if the Bills don't select Gabbert, they should stay away from QB's for the rest of the draft.