By Tim Graham
The Buffalo Bills need to restock the shelves at wide receiver, a process Stevie Johnson talked with me about for a Press Coverage blog posted this morning.
The Bills could add the best receiver in this year's draft class with the eighth overall pick, but they'll have a chance to address their needs in free agency as early as next week.
NFL.com writer Marc Sessler examined the receivers in this year's class and the 11 teams that should be most active in trying to acquire them.
Sessler ranked receivers Nos. 1 through 9 in categories labeled "impact players" (Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker), "solid starters" (Danny Amendola, Brian Hartline), and "role players with questions" (Brandon Gibson, Donnie Avery, Julian Edelman).
Unless the Bills have their hearts set on using the eighth pick on a wide receiver, I would expect them to aim for someone in the above group. Johnson told me he has been talking up Buffalo to Bowe and Jennings directly.
A year ago, the Bills courted Robert Meachem as soon as free agency began but lost him to the San Diego Chargers. They never found a receiver of that caliber, choosing instead to draft T.J. Graham in the third round.
Graham was a disappointment, and the receiving corps as a whole has deteriorated since they took Meachem to dinner in Allentown. The Bills have announced they don't want Donald Jones and David Nelson back.
Jones and Nelson were ranked Nos. 12 and 13 overall on Sessler's list. They were under the "rotational/situational" heading, right after Domenik Hixon and a washed-up Randy Moss and ahead of Brandon Stokley, Josh Cribbs and Ted Ginn.
Sessler then lumped the rest of the receivers for teams that are desperate or need to fill out a roster. That's where you'll find Ruvell Martin's name along with the likes of Roscoe Parrish, Mike Sims-Walker, Greg Camarillo, Legedu Naanee and Derek Hagan.
tagged2013 free agency | David Nelson | Donald Jones | Greg Jennings | Mike Wallace | Stevie Johnson | T.J. Graham