Bill Barnwell of ESPN gave his offseason grades to all of the teams in the AFC East. The writer was very high on the Buffalo Bills' offseason. In his article, Barnwell named multiple things that went right and multiple things that went wrong for each team. Here's a sampling of one thing that Barnwell felt went right and wrong for the Bills:
What went right
They upgraded their front seven. In addition to Lawson, the Bills used a second-round pick on Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland, who gives Buffalo the sort of run-thumping player on the interior that Ryan had in all of his prior stops but lacked last season. Preston Brown was miscast in the role David Harris played for Ryan in New York, but Ragland is a similar sort of player to Harris. Given that the Bills were 30th in DVOA against the run last year, the additions of Lawson and Ragland were badly needed.
What went wrong
They traded two picks to get Ragland. Concerned his team wouldn't get its inside linebacker, general manager Doug Whaley sent two fourth-round picks (one in 2017) to the Bears to move up eight spots in the second round and grab Ragland. You can understand why the Bills wanted Ragland, who some sources had projected as a first-round pick, but the Bills paid an exorbitant price.
That's a lot of draft capital to give away -- according to the Chase Stuart draft chart, the Bills essentially used the 13th overall pick on Ragland, given the amount they sent to Chicago. By that same chart, they paid $1.68 on the dollar for the trade. The issue isn't wanting Ragland; it's the cost of giving away the opportunity to acquire more cheap talent at below-market prices.
Overall, Barnwell gave the Bills a 'B' grade. This grade tied Buffalo with the New England Patriots for the highest grade in the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins were given a 'D+' while the New York Jets came in last with a 'D' grade.
You can read all of Barnwell's article here: Bill Barnwell's offseason report cards for the AFC Eastnull