Scouts Inc.: AFC offseason needs

Breaking down the top three areas to address for every squad chasing the Steelers

Originally Published: February 22, 2011
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
SteelersMatthew Emmons/US PresswireThe Steelers overcame injuries and Ben Roethlisberger's suspension to win the AFC last season.

Amid the uncertainty of the NFL labor talks, the possibility of a lockout and no free agency, one thing is certain: There will be an NFL draft in April. With that come mock drafts (from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay) and team needs that must be met. Gary Horton examines the top three needs for every team in the NFL, starting with the AFC.


AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Top needs:
1. Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick showed flashes of excellent play, but on a good team he'd be a quality backup. People in the Bills organization feel that he is good enough to win with, but where's the velocity and consistent accuracy? Still, with so many holes to fill on this roster, the coaches may have to live with Fitzpatrick another year.

2. Left Tackle: Demetrius Bell was adequate in 2010, but the Bills have passed on a lot of premier offensive tackles in recent years, and it has hurt them in pass protection and run-blocking. Could Bell move to right tackle if the Bills could find a fit for the left side?

3. Defensive End: Kyle Williams is the only quality producer on the defensive line, which is especially poor in run defense. Former first-round pick Aaron Maybin looks like a bust as either a rush outside linebacker, if they stay with the 3-4 scheme, or a defensive end if they switch back to the 4-3. Veteran Spencer Johnson is aging, and the Bills could use an infusion of young talent at the position.

Other needs: OLB, DB, TE

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.