Bills' most and least stable positions heading into free agency and the draft

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In just 16 days, NFL Free Agency officially begins when the new league year opens. Then the NFL Draft will take place just 36 days after that.

Whether it’s via the draft or free agency, the Bills will be looking to add to their team and to upgrade at certain positions. But which positions do they have the biggest starting needs, and which are they the most stable?

Here’s a look at the both from a starters’ and depth perspective:

 

  • Most stable starting position: Safety

The Bills have one of the best safety tandems in the league in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, and both are on extremely fair or even team-friendly contracts. Granted, Poyer is entering the last year of his deal, but between the two of them, they have anchored one of the best secondaries in the NFL over the last three years and have been a huge part of the defensive success the team has had since their arrival together prior to 2017. Last year alone, they combined for 176 total tackles, three interceptions, and five forced fumbles. Each player has missed only one game over the last three seasons.

 

  • Position with the most depth: Tight end

That may look weird, especially considering the team was interested in signing Greg Olsen, but the Bills actually have a solid, good young crop of tight ends on the roster and it will be hard for several to make the team in 2020. At the combine, head coach Sean McDermott said, “it’s one of our deeper positions.” I don’t believe that was simply lip service. They don’t necessarily have the high-end talent yet and are hoping Dawson Knox can become that player, but they have six players currently on the roster who could all play in the NFL, and four of them are under the age of 27.

 

  • Biggest need at a starting spot: Wide receiver

Whether it’s a true No. 1 wideout, or simply the third receiver to pair with John Brown and Cole Beasley, the Bills need one more solid starter for the group. They’ve been searching for players to upgrade at the position for over a year now, but at least solidified some of that need with the signings of those two last year. Now, it’s time to elevate that spot even more, either with a high-end player currently on another roster through a trade or free agency, or drafting a young stud in the first round.

 
  • Biggest need for depth: Cornerback

The lack of depth at this position was highlighted during the team’s regular season finale and headed into their playoff game at Houston. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was used at the position just so another player wouldn’t get hurt because they were so thin there. Kevin Johnson will be a free agent, and I think the Bills should want him back. But even if he returns, they still only have one really solid, reliable starter on the outside in Tre’Davious White. There would still be questions about Johnson’s ability to play a full season as the regular starter, and Levi Wallace had a very inconsistent season. In the slot, Taron Johnson is a very nice player, but he’s missed nine games over the last two years due to injuries and there isn’t a reliable option behind him as a regular. Siran Neal, an up-and-coming player used as the big nickel corner, isn’t in the same mold and needed in different roles. Kevin Johnson could play inside in a pinch, but Taron Johnson is the only NFL-caliber true slot corner on the roster right now.

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