GM Doug Whaley stresses Bills' lack of glaring needs entering the NFL draft
Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley talked up his team's lack of glaring needs entering the 2014 NFL Draft at the team's annual pre-draft luncheon today.
"We can go any position," Whaley said. "We can take offensive line, we can take a running back, we can take receiver. You can always use another DB, safety, linebacker. So that makes our job a lot easier, because we can stack the board without having a pressing need. When you have a pressing need, guys tend to get pushed up the board. When you push guys up the board, that's when you have a greater chance of making mistakes."
The Bills had a pressing need for a wide receiver with size but earlier this month traded for 6-foot-5 wideout Mike Williams from Tampa. Whaley would not rule out drafting a big wideout, but said it's not a position of weakness.
The most obvious directions the Bills could go in the first round are offensive tackle or big receiving weapon, such as a tight end or receiver.
Whaley acknowledged that building around quarterback EJ Manuel has been and remains a priority for the team.
"It's a quarterback driven league, so we're going to give every avenue and every piece of the puzzle to surround EJ and make him as successful as possible," Whaley said. "What we did this offseason affords us the opportunity to go any way and every way in this draft, but our main focus is making sure EJ progresses."
Whaley again gave a strong vote of confidence to Manuel.
"The injury situation, you can't do anything about that," Whaley said. "It's part of football. But we believe when we needed him most, he always put us in a position to win. So we're excited about that, and you can build off of that. That it factor, that hey, when you needed it the most, he came through for us."
Where do the Bills need more depth?
"With the switch to the 4-3, we can use some more defensive end depth," Whaley said. "We signed some guys that are unproven. We just have to wait and see there. Linebacker, we're going to probably have to get some depth. but again, we have some guys like Ty Powell that we're waiting to see. So we have guys that I would say would give us depth but they're still a little bit unknown."