1. Where the Bills rank on the AFC's hierarchy
Ahead of the NFL Draft, Around The NFL Editor Gregg Rosenthal broke down AFC teams according to where they fit in the conference's hierarchy. As one can imagine, the Chiefs were at the top of the list. Although, they didn't hold that place on their own because the Bills are right next to them. The two teams are considered "the bullies" of the AFC.
The bullies – Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills
The Chiefs and Bills are the only two teams I can't imagine missing the playoffs, barring disastrous injury problems. Buffalo elevating this high is a credit to the methodical decisions made by coach Sean McDermott and his hand-picked general manager, Brandon Beane, since their arrival in 2017. By the time McDermott's fundamental defense experienced a so-so year in 2020, the offense was fully formed enough to pick up the slack. I like the value in the Bills re-signing Matt Milano and tackle Daryl Williams. I love the offensive core of players, the coaching staff and most of the defensive core. The Bills could still use help in the defensive front seven via the draft, but their floor should be as a double-digit-win team.
The other categories were playoffs or bust, playoff contenders and uphill battle to the playoffs.
2. This analyst says these are the top two ideal picks for Buffalo in the Draft
The NFL Draft is only 16 days away and based on the mock drafts we have tracked, cornerback and edge rusher seem like a popular position for the Bills to draft at No. 30. NFL.com Draft Analyst Chad Reuter came up with the top two ideal picks for every NFL team ahead of the draft, and Reuter thinks corner and edge are ideal for the Bills.
Round 1: No. 30 overall -- Ronnie Perkins, edge, Oklahoma
Round 2: No. 61 overall -- Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
The Bills are a prime candidate for trading out of the first round because their roster is so solid that they can afford to take a few steps back and still get a player of value. Perkins is a strong 4-3 rush end in the mold of Bills veteran Jerry Hughes, whose contract happens to expire after the 2021 season. By picking Perkins, General Manager Brandon Beane gets depth on the line this year and a future starter. Molden is another value pick. He's not the biggest or fastest player, but the son of former NFL defensive back Alex Molden is a playmaker with the instincts and toughness to play in the slot or deep half.
3. Could it be a make or break year for this Bills player?
There are several players on Buffalo's roster who are set up to have an exciting 2021 season. NFL.com Columnist Adam Schein came up with a list of make or break players for this season and Ed Oliver landed on the list of nine at No. 6.
Oliver took on a bigger workload during his sophomore season due to defensive tackle Star Lotulelei opting out. With Lotulelei back on the team this season, Oliver will have more help on the interior defensive line.
No. 6 Buffalo Bills DT Ed Oliver
I'm not giving up on Oliver, but he took a step back in 2020 after a solid rookie season. And the Bills need the No. 9 overall pick from the 2019 draft to take a gigantic step forward in 2021.
As proven by last year's 13-3 regular season and ensuing trip to the AFC title game, the Bills are legit. They are ready for prime time. But they need Oliver to become the monster he's capable of being, the kind of game wrecker up front who can disrupt someone like Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs.