Josh Winslow/BSB

In a Rex Ryan defense, versatility may be the deciding factor as to who the Bills select at 19.

Lack of depth at weakside linebacker and a need for a game-changing pass rusher narrows down Buffalo's options with the 19th pick.

Rex Ryan spoke to the media today following the teams first voluntary workout of the 2016 season. Though Ryan's appearance tonight at the Donald Trump rally at the First Niagara Center was the topic of discussion for most of his press conference, he did mention a few football related items that gave us a sneak peak into where the Bills might go with the 19th pick.

https://twitter.com/mikerodak/status/722110373994897409

Initially, I thought after the free agent acquisitions of Zach Brown and Lorenzo Alexander the Bills were setting themselves up to take a defensive lineman with the 19th pick. However, after today's comments from Rex Ryan (which you can see in ESPN's Mike Rodak's tweet above) it appears they'll place an emphasis on weakside linebacker. The fact that Brown is currently "the starter and backup" at the weakside linebacker position with no clear depth behind him, you get the sense the Bills will need to add a significant player at the position.

We saw Manny Lawson get reps at the end of last season on the weakside and at times he played pretty well. That said, his natural position in Rex Ryan's defense has been and will remain on the strong side. As much as it's clear the Bills will need to add someone on the weakside, they also need to add another pass rusher on the other side of Jerry Hughes. If they could potentially pick a player at 19 to fill both of those roles, they could focus on adding a playmaker on offense at 49.

Two guys with the versatility to play both the weakside and contribute as a pass rusher include Leonard Floyd and Darron Lee, both of which are projected mid-to-late first round picks. Floyd, the 6'4" 231 pound Georgia product, could be the ideal fit for the Bills if he's still around at 19 with his long reach and deceptive speed around the corner. Lee, the 6'2" 235 pound Ohio State product, is a little more suited to play weakside right away and brings the kind of speed and coverage skills the Bills will need with the addition of Martellus Bennett in New England to go along side of Rob Gronkowski

With Corbin Bryant signing his qualifying offer this morning, finding depth at linebacker has become a pressing need for the Bills. With quarterbacks potentially being taken with the first two picks, you could see quality defensive players drop right into Buffalo's lap at pick 19.

Follow me on Twitter @NateGearyWGR for more Bills updates.


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