Alabama in the Pros

The Bills Need to Add Perimeter Playmakers for A.J. McCarron to Shine

© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

When a tight end and running back rank one and two, respectively, in receiving yards on your team, it should raise a huge red flag. When you somehow still make the playoffs for the first time in decades, that flag certainly reduces in size, but it should still remain a critical key to the offseason.

With the big signing of A.J. McCarron in free agency, the Bills could still be on the clock to draft a quarterback with one of their two first round picks. Collegiate biases aside, it may not be wise to spend those critical picks on a position they may have filled – even if just temporarily. Instead, they should look to improve their defensive line as many mocks suggest they will, and then turn their attention towards their pitiful receiving corps.

With a playmaker like that of running back, LeSean McCoy, lined up behind (or beside) him, McCarron will have at least one guy that can make plays. However, there is not a single guy lined up at receiver that poses a true over-the-top threat.

Kelvin Benjamin, when healthy, is a solid possession receiver. His bulk and strength gives the Bills’ offense a go-up-and-get-it type guy in the redzone and on critical third or fourth downs. Yet, he, too, lacks elite speed and route-running which every team certainly needs.

Should the Bills turn to the draft to shore up this deficiency, another Alabama guy could very well be available to them at 12. Calvin Ridley is expected to become one of the top receivers in this class, and gives a team an immediate deep-threat on the outside. While he didn’t particularly shine at the NFL Combine, his athleticism is ever-apparent on game tape.

Another guy that could be on the board is SMU’s Courtland Sutton. At 6’3″, his cone and shuttle drills were a marvelous look into his supreme athleticism. However, he also poses less-than-intimidating speed and has been compared to to Benjamin many times.

One guy that Buffalo could see fall to them with their 22nd pick is Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk. A true game-changer with his speed and ability to change directions, Kirk and the Bills could become a truly perfect marriage. They could address the defense with their early pick, then ignite their offense with the next. Additionally, they could then focus on picking up another quarterback in the following rounds as there is certainly going to be a few that will fall from the first round – including potentially Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.

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