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
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
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.