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After ending their 17-year playoff drought last season, the Buffalo Bills are on the outside looking in once again. General Manager Brandon Beane and company will have an important offseason ahead of them, as they look to improve the roster with roughly $90M in cap space and 10 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Since the conclusion of the regular season, the Bills have already begun preparing for next season by signing LB Lorenzo Alexander and OL Jeremiah Sirles to one-year extensions. With QB Josh Allen crediting the acquisitions of veteran backups Matt Barkley and Derek Anderson to his development in his rookie season, Buffalo signed both to extensions to solidify the quarterback’s room for next season.
Among the coaching staff, the Buffalo Bills released offensive line coach Juan Castillo, wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie, and special teams coordinator Danny Crossman. The front office replaced them with the hiring of offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and special teams coordinator Heath Farwell, leaving wide receivers coach position vacant for now.
Looking ahead to free agency and the NFL Draft, the Bills look to move into year 3 of “The Process” under the Beane-McDermott regime with more than a few glaring holes among the offense and defensive sides of the ball.
With the 9th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan
The difficult part about this pick is the likelihood that the Buffalo Bills remain at #9, especially factoring in GM Brandon Beane’s past of wheeling and dealing to move up or down in the first round. Defense isn’t the first need that many fans will want addressed in the opening round, but considering the draft looks loaded with defensive talent at the top half, I have the Bills finding a replacement for Kyle Williams.
With the 41st overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Hakeem Butler, Wide Receiver, Iowa State
Within the second round, the Buffalo Bills should look to improve the lackluster receiving corps outside of rookie breakout WR Robert Foster. Hakeem Butler is a big body receiver who is difficult to bring down after the catch, contains a large catch radius that excels along the sidelines, but doesn’t possess great speed. With the Bills adding speed last season, they need someone who Allen can throw to on short and intermediate throws. Hakeem Butler will help Buffalo’s offense move the chains on short yardage situations.
With the 71st overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Dalton Risner, Offensive Tackle, Kansas State
The offensive line for Buffalo struggled for much of the 2018 campaign, and Dalton Risner is someone who can bring some value to Coach McDermott. Risner can move anywhere along the offensive line, but started 3 years at right tackle for Kansas State. With an NFL-ready hand technique and viewed as a highly-graded pass protector, Risner will help Allen stay upright in the pocket.
Featured Image: Max Faulkner, Fort Worth Star-Telegram