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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."



  • Kim Boomhower

    What we need is a quarterback. I am not on the E.J. bandwagon

  • Jake K.

    2nd time in as many days (I believe) Buff News has mentioned M.Williams height as 6'5". Not sure why, everywhere I see he's listed as 6'2"... same as Stevie.

    • JMS

      There are two receivers named Mike Williams. The USC guy that was a high 1st rounder and flamed out and is 6'5". Our guy is 6'2". It may be years before the News figures that out.

  • ptato22

    They need an OT. The jury is still out on QB - I'll give EJ a chance. The defense could use another safety/LB/DE, but really they're good enough to get them to the playoffs. The offense is obviously the week link. The receiving corp could possibly be improved also (but every team has needs), but they can only do so much. The Bills need a solid line that can afford Manuel the protection he needs and open holes for CJ and Freddie. No team gets to the playoffs without the ability to score. It's EJ's second year. If the line is solid, we'll know soon enough where we stand at QB.

  • inventor310

    Big bills fan from california... I really hope we can get Mike Evans he has big playmaker written all over him standing at 6'5 ran a 4.5(im guessing) his hands are crazy nice! If we can get him with the ninth pick then go after Austin Serfarian Jenkins in the second round he's 6'6 and to me the best tightend in the draft Ebron is dope aswell but ASF is a redzone nightmare then third and fourth round you take care of that o line and finish up the draft with some depth on the dline and linebacker. We can always get undrafted dbacks like we did last year with Nick robey and we can bring in some undrafted rb's aswell..

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.