After another heartbreaking playoff loss, the Bills should consider adding more to these three positions.
CC: The Baltimore Sun
BUFFALO N.Y, - It's time to refill for the Buffalo Bills once again. After suffering another playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, this time in a 42-36 thriller divisional round, the team needs to readdress its roster and fill in any needs.
NFL free agency begins on March 16 and the draft is April 28-30. This should give head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon beane time to consider what they need to go for before training camp in August.
1. Offensive line
The Bills allowed 17 sacks in 2021. Only one sack higher than 2020. However, the team ranked 23. in run blocking. The Bills shuffled its offensive line a lot this season, with only left tackle Dion Dawkins being a solid blocker. The front office should consider adding offensive linemen they know will do better in both run and pass blocking.
Free agent target: Ryan Jensen, C, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jensen was considered the league's best center in 2021 by ESPN senior writer Tim Keown. The 30-year-old has played in every game for the Bucs since signing a four year, $42 million contract with the team in 2018.
He started for the Bucs in the Super Bowl with quarterback Tom Brady under center, winning his first championship ring. He will be one of the Bucs big free agents this offseason and according to Justin Leger, whoever signs him will have one of the league's most durable and reliable centers.
Draft target: Emil Ekiyor, RG, Alabama
The Bills shuffled their right guard position a lot with Cody Ford and Daryl Williams, both of whom struggled. Ekiyor got a lot of attention at Alabama because of his ability to play solid at multiple positions, including left guard and center.
2. Cornerback no. two
The Bills lost one of their best defensive players in cornerback in Tre'Davious White. White tore his ACL against the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving. Losing White proved abysmal for the secondary's WR coverage.
NFL free agency begins on March 16 and the draft is April 28-30. This should give head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane time to consider what they need to go for before training camp in August. down again.
Free agent target: Bryce Callahan, CB, Denver Broncos
Despite health problems, Callahan has been an effective lockdown corner. He finished 2021 with 504 snaps played and a Pro Football Focus grade of 60 (78th of 122). The site says it's a challenge to find an on-field flaw in his play and if he can stay healthy there will be multiple suitors to sign him.
Draft target: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Gordon is coming off his best season at Washington, recording a total of 36 tackles and two interceptions. He played both outside and slot corner, earning an 89.6 coverage grade.
Scouts described him as a dynamic mover with quickness and capability. He demonstrates good zone coverage, athleticism and football IQ.
Pro Football Focus ranked him 50 on the big board. The Bills could be in the right spot to take him at 25th overall in the NFL Draft.
3: Edge Rusher
The Bills tried to adjust their pass rush by drafting Gregory Rousseau with the 30th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Even though he recorded 50 tackles, four sacks and an interception. He won AFC Defensive Player of the week in the week five game against the Chiefs.
However, he slowed down production as the season went on. Rousseau has time to improve, but the Bills need someone consistent to keep their pass rush up to par.
Free agent target: Calais Campbell, DE, Baltimore Ravens
The 35-year-old played 617 snaps in 14 games with the Ravens in 2021. He racked up a total of 49 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Campbell confirmed his return to the NFL on Sky Sports.
Campbell has shown to be effective in run defense and with his age, the price for him may be low.
Draft target: Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State
Johnson began his career as a JUCO player before transferring to Georgia in 2019. He then transferred to Florida State in 2021.
Johnson had a college career there, recording 70 total tackles and 11.5 sacks. This led to him winning the 2021 ACC defensive player of the year.
Scouts describe Johnson as an extremely smart processor, never passive and always keeps his hands busy against blockers. If the Bills put him on the opposite of Rousseau, the d-line will have two efficient edge rushers desperate to get to the quarterback.