Bills Draft Analysis-Part IV- LBs & DBs

Bills Report takes a look at the Buffalo Bills position by position and where they might look to fill holes in this Saturday's NFL draft. In our last installment we look at the linebacking corps and defensive backs, where the Bills have probably their best talent as a group on the team. (Billszone.com )

Linebackers

Starters

Takeo Spikes - WLB
London Fletcher- MLB
Jeff Posey - SLB

Backups

Angelo Crowell
Mario Hagan
Liam Ezekial
Josh Stamer

Camp Fodder

Greg Carothers
Wendell Hunter

This unit is one of the deepest on the team. However, expect major changes in 2007, with Fletcher, Spikes & Posey free agents. Crowell was a big surprise in relief of the injured Pro-Bowler Takeo Spikes. Spikes is expected to fully recover from the tendon tear. Posey may not fit into the new cover –2 scheme- as he lacks the speed to keep up with some of the coverage responsibilities.

Draft Analysis-

Do not be surprised if the Bills use a day 1 pick to prepare for 2007. Dick Jauron's defenses relies on big plays from the linebacker position- you may find him looking for playmakers like he had in Chicago in the early rounds. It is a top-heavy draft at the linebacker position.

Safeties

Starters

Troy Vincent - FS
Coy Wire - SS

Backups

Matt Bowen - SS
Rashad Baker - FS
Jim Leonhard

Camp Fodder

Rob Lee (NFLE)

The cap axe claimed veteran Lawyer Milloy. With the new cover-2 defense, the Bills will be looking for speedy safeties who can cover. That leaves Coy Wire's temporary status as a starter in Jeopardy. Filling that role will fall to recent FA signing Matt Bowen.

Draft Analysis-

If the Bills choose to go with the "Best Player Available" approach with the 8th selection- they may take a strong look at Michael Huff- there is a 50-50 chance he will be there when the Bills select. There are possibilities later in the draft- and the Bills will need to draft for depth. Darnell Bling, Donte Whitner, and Daniel Bullocks may drop to the Bills in the 2nd or 3rd rounds respectively.

Cornerbacks

Starters

Nate Clements
Terance McGee

Backups

Jabari Greer
Eric King
Thomas Kiwaukee

Camp Fodder

James Bethea

Nate Clements has refused to sign his franchise tag tender. Currently the Bills are in negotiations to get Clements signed long term. If this can't be accomplished, the Bills will need to groom the CB of the future. Terance McGee has flourishe dinto an accomplished cornerback on the other side of the field. Again, depth is a major concern. Depending who the Bills may draft at Safety, Troy Vincent could be moved back to CB in a pinch.

Draft Analysis-

Unlike the previous two drafts, there isn't a lot of game-breaking cornerbacks in the top 10-15 picks. However, there is plenty of depth – up to 20 defensive backs may be selected in the top 3 rounds. CB James Williams is a contender to be the #8 overall pick if the Bills think the Clements situation can't be resolved. However, I don't think the Bills will address the CB position until round 3 at the very earliest- more likely on day 2. But then again- what is a Bills draft if they don't pick a CB in Rd 1?

(Billszone.com )


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