|This is how, if the season were to start today, I believe the roster would be laid out. Thankfully, we still have a draft and five more months of free agency before the season starts – here’s a look at a few holes that need to be filled around the roster.
Quarterback : Even if it’s not a starter, Gailey has expressed great interest in bringing in another young signal caller via the draft to enter camp with and to compete with the three candidates already on the roster. There are a lot of ways we could go with this position in this year’s draft, I think our top options available would be Texas’ Colt McCoy, Florida’s Tim Tebow, Cincinnati’s Tony Pike, Fordham’s John Skelton, and Northwestern’s Mike Kafka.
Runningback : Gailey wants a ‘water bug’ type of speed back to do a little bit of everything out of the backfield. It’s a good thing to have a quick playmaker like that on the field for you, especially in a wide-open formation. I’d keep an eye out for Ole Miss slash man Dexter McCluster on day two. Even with Jackson and Lynch on the roster, there is still a need – Jackson is 29 and Lynch’s status with the team is uncertain.
Wide Receiver : It’s been an issue since Eric Moulds donned the Buffalo blue, we need two quality starting pass catchers on this team. Evans can be a threat, but someone else needs to come in place as a number two (or one, if need be) to even things out and help our new look offense, as well as the quarterback running it. Potential starters to compliment Evans on the roster now are youngsters James Hardy and Steve Johnson, but as we have seen with the Chad Jackson signing earlier this week, they will be forced to compete for a spot atop the depth chart, as it should be. I’d look for the team to target someone with good upside in the draft and to pick up at least another free agent. Hot choices would be Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas, Syracuse’s Mike Williams, and former Raven and Patriot Kelly Washington.
Offensive Tackle : At the time of Demetrius Bell’s season-ending injury in 2009, he was the second most penalized player in the league. He still isn’t fully healed and isn’t expected to be until a few weeks into training camp, so it is safe to assume he won’t have much of a shot as day-one starter at left tackle. There are a few free-agent options available but the best choices would come in the draft here. Also, recent signee and starting right tackle Cornell Green will be 34 when the season begins, so it would be a good idea to bring someone in to develop there, though 2009 waiver-wire pickup Jamon Meredith looked promising in limited play during his rookie season. Possible draftees here include Iowa’s Bryan Bulaga, Oklahoma’s Trent Williams, Massachusetts’ Vladimir Ducasse, and West Virginia’s Selvish Capers. Recently released Dallas Cowboys LT Flozell Adams may get a look as well as Gailey drafted him in the second round back in 1998.
Interior Offensive Line : Depth is needed at all three positions and, though he was playing with a strained groin for much of 2009, center Geoff Hangartner graded out as the worst starter at his position in the entire league. Right guard Eric Wood’s availability for the start of the regular season is in question due to the gruesome injury suffered in his rookie campaign so someone that could come right in and start, at least for a few games, wouldn’t be a bad acquisition. Many players to consider here – just keep an eye on Indiana OL Roger Saffold. One of our new offensive line coaches, Bobby Johnson, was his O-Line coach with the Hoosiers, so he would be well versed in the pistol/spread offense that we seem set to run and is versatile enough to play a few different areas on the line.
Nose Tackle : In a non-traditional 3-4 defense, you can get away with a smaller NT like Kyle Williams, but Williams is a better fit at end here or in a trade elsewhere than he is holding up the nose in our new defensive scheme. If we want our linebackers to work freely, we’ll have to put a big, space eating monster in front of them to take up a few blockers and push the scales in our favor. Favorites here are Tennessee’s Dan Williams, North Carolina’s Cam Thomas, and Central Florida’s Torrell Troup.
Outside Linebacker : Even if projected starter Aaron Schobel decides against retirement, depth is a concern on the edge. Aaron Maybin and Chris Ellis could have successful runs as pass rushers and Kelsay could be solid against the run, but more competition never hurts. I like Texas Christian’s Jerry Hughes and Washington’s Donald Butler if we take a look on the second day, Micah Johnson of Kentucky and Rod Muckelroy of Texas if we address this on day three.