Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Ideas for Bills at LB
By Tom Carpenter
Per Football Outisders, the Buffalo Bills ranked 22nd in yards allowed, 26th in points allowed and 27th in defensive efficiency last season. So, clearly, they need to address some of their issues on defense. However, after paying a king's ransom to land Mario Williams last season, they aren't in position to be big players on the free-agent market this season.
Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz expects the Bills to keep free agent Jairus Byrd and continue to develop their 2012 draft picks in the secondary, which leads to his conclusion that their biggest need as at linebacker, where they could secure help via free agency and/or the draft:
Aaron SchatzTop offseason needs: AFC East
"There are two very likely moves here. The first is to bring in someone who knows Pettine's defense from the New York Jets. Many people think that just as Bart Scott went from the Baltimore Ravens to the Jets with Rex Ryan, so too will he go from the Jets to the Bills with Pettine. The other likely move is to use one of the Bills' top draft picks on a linebacker who can help a strong long-term defensive nucleus. The top of the draft is packed with great 3-4 outside linebacker prospects like Ezekiel Ansah and Barkevious Mingo; inside guys to challenge Bradham and Sheppard are more likely to come in the second or third round."
Mel Kiper Jr.Mock Draft 2.0
"Georgia LB Alec Ogletree: Sticking with a linebacker here, but going with the higher ceiling. The Bills really need help at interior linebacker, where Kelvin Sheppard is merely adequate. Ogletree was at one time a safety, and you see those kinds of instincts when he plays, because he simply flies to the ball. He's a great pursuit player and a guy who will shoot gaps and make stops in the backfield, but that's also because he has really good instincts. A big key with Ogletree is versatility. There's no reason he can't work on the edge, or inside. He has the ceiling of a player who can do it all."