2019 Draft Needs: Buffalo Bills

The biggest need, the hidden need and what else the Bills should be looking for in the 2019 draft.
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Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling are breaking down draft needs for all 32 teams. You can also see every team in a single post here.

Biggest Need: Wide Receiver
The additions of John Brown and Cole Beasley, plus the expected continued emergence of burner Robert Foster, puts Buffalo’s receiving corps in a much better position than it was in last April. Still, there’s no top guy to build around, which explains why the Bills went after Antonio Brown. A big target with a wide catch radius (i.e. what they hoped to get but never did in Kelvin Benjamin two years ago) would best fit Josh Allen, who has abundant arm strength but spotty accuracy.

Hidden Need: Edge Rusher
Lorenzo Alexander continues to show more burst off the edge than you’d guess, but he’s still not a pure bender, plus 2019 will likely be his last season. Overpriced 2018 free agent acquisition Trent Murphy is just a poor man’s Alexander and may not be here in 2020, considering his cap hit will be $8.95M and his dead money hit just $1.75M. 2016 first-rounder Shaq Lawson is a suitable run defender outside, but with minimal pliability and an only so-so first step; his best long-term hope as a pass rusher is as a technically sound 3-technique. Buffalo needs a force opposite Jerry Hughes (who, by the way, turns 31 in August and is in the final year of is deal).

Also Looking For: Tight End
Ex-Bengal Tyler Kroft, whom the Bills signed in free agency for just over $9 million guaranteed, is serviceable, and 2017 undrafted signee Jason Croom has enough athleticism to warrant a closer look. But the Bills have surprisingly decent depth and few glaring needs across their roster. Investing in more multiplicity at tight end (a position offensive coordinator Brian Daboll coached from 2014-16 in New England) would be prudent.

Who They Can Get
Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf is not only a fit in terms of need, but also in terms of the culture Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have built in Buffalo. The choice becomes interesting if, say, Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat slips to them. If Sweat is off the board and they decide Metcalf is a reach at 9 (or they don't like the medicals), they'll potentially have a choice between the high-risk/high-reward Rashan Gary of Michigan (who probably reduces inside as a pass-rusher anyway, at which point Houston's Ed Oliver probably makes more sense) or undersized edge-burner Brian Burns of Florida State. Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson would also not only upgrade the running game, but upgrade those two-tight end looks.

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