2012 AFC offseason grades

Evaluating each team on how much it has improved via FA and the draft

Originally Published: July 9, 2012
By Matt Williamson | ESPN.com
Mario WilliamsAP Photo/David DupreyThe Buffalo Bills' defensive line should be much improved with the addition of Mario Williams.

With NFL training camps beginning later this month, it's a perfect time to take a look at what every team did this offseason. Did teams fill their needs in free agency? Did they re-sign key free agents? Did they plug any remaining holes in the draft?

To put it simply: Is every team better or worse than it was at the end of the 2011 season?

Starting today with the AFC (NFC coming Tuesday), I'll grade every team's offseason based on how well it acquired new talent and retained key parts in free agency plus how well it drafted.


Buffalo Bills

Key FA additions: DE Mario Williams, DE Mark Anderson, QB Vince Young, TE Scott Chandler

Key FA losses: T Demetress Bell, CB Drayton Florence, WR Roscoe Parrish

Analysis: The Bills made great strides to put pieces in place who fit well in Dave Wannstedt's 4-3 defense. With the additions of Williams, Anderson, Gilmore and a few of the midround choices, I think Buffalo achieved its goal of building one of the better defenses in the NFL. Scoring points on this group should be hard to do in 2012, and that combined with great special-teams play should keep the Bills in just about every game.

After the selection of Gilmore in the first round of the draft, the Bills turned to their most pressing offensive needs: offensive tackle and speed at receiver. The Glenn pick had great value and helped a need position. He is best suited at right tackle or guard, where he could be a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman, but he could have Max Starks-like value on the left side. In time, Glenn may move positions, but for now, it looks as if the left tackle job is his to lose. Graham's speed is certainly welcome, but it's unlikely that he'll make much of an impact in 2012, especially with wide receiver Marcus Easley returning from injury. The Bills could use a wide receiver to step up outside of Steve Johnson, and I expect that to be Easley.

The addition of Young as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick also gets high marks from me. Chan Gailey might just rejuvenate Young's career in what is as close to a spread offense (high percentage of three-or-more wide receiver sets) as you will find in the NFL. Things are on the upswing in Buffalo.

Grade: A-


Kansas City Chiefs


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