Build the defense or address the offense? NFL analysts weigh-in on the Bills top priority

Josh Allen looks to make a play against Miami (left). Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds celebrate a big play during the 2019 season.
Josh Allen looks to make a play against Miami (left). Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds celebrate a big play during the 2019 season.

INDIANAPOLIS – One of the biggest questions heading into free agency and the NFL Draft is what should the Bills address first? Should the Bills prioritize adding to the offense by providing Josh Allen with more weapons? Or, does Buffalo need to focus on making their defense even stronger?

Many NFL analysts at the NFL Combine weighed in on what they think would be best for Buffalo.

1. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport says Bills should spend money on offense

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport thinks due to the cap space Buffalo has, fourth-most in the league with reportedly $83 million available, the Bills can work on enhancing both sides of the ball. Although, Rapoport says offense should be the priority.

"One of the great things about having Sean McDermott as the coach is you know the defense is going to be good," Rapoport explained. "You could almost say let's give more money to the offense, if that's how you want to allocate it. Let's get more money to the offense because thanks to coaching, thanks to the job Leslie Frazier has done, thanks to the talent you already have there — the defense will be good. To me, taking the money and giving Josh [Allen], whether it's more weapons, more help on the offensive line, or another running back. I think Devin's [Singletary] pretty good. Giving more to the offense is something that would make sense to me."

Scroll through to view photos of some of the top prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine that some draft analysts have projected the Bills to take in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

2. NFL Network's Kim Jones says with McDermott and Frazier, defense will always be strong – Bills need to focus on helping Josh Allen

NFL Network reporter Kim Jones understands that with a defensive head coach in Sean McDermott and an elite defensive coordinator in Leslie Frazier, Buffalo will always have a solid defensive presence. Jones said the Bills do need an edge rusher and a corner, but is confident general manager Brandon Beane will find a way to get that done. She thinks the first concern should be making the offense stronger, then move to the defense.

"My thinking would be help an offense that does have some room to grow," Jones said. "You can help it in a lot of different areas. Wide receiver in this draft is going to allow a lot of teams to get bigger and faster. Presumably at some point, better with a rookie receiver--they're that good in this draft and I suspect Buffalo will do that. They should do that, not only to help Josh [Allen], but to complement the two receivers that do the bulk of the work there. They're really good players. You want Cole Beasley, you want John Brown, you want Devin Singletary doing what he can do. A big fast receiver on the outside, think about what Josh Allen conceivably could do with a good connection, good chemistry with that player. That's the way I would go, knowing that the defense is in such great shape."

3. ESPN's Field Yates thinks adding playmakers could go a long way for Josh Allen in year three

ESPN's Field Yates believes the Bills draft for value. At No. 22, Yates thinks the value pick will be on the offensive side of the ball.

"I'm going to sound like Brandon Beane here for second, but we draft for value," Yates said. "We don't draft for need. This is true, I think you've seen that reflected. I thought the defensive tackle was a need last year for the Bills, I don't know if it was a primary need. But with Ed Oliver sitting right there you're like, perfect, I'm going take a guy that might be the most talented player in the class. I think they are going to be drafting for value. I think the primary emphasis should be improving the offense this year.

"You have a quarterback who's entering year three and made a lot of strides from year one to year two, has some work to do. I think he would be the first to say there's some areas he needs to improve upon. Yes, a lot of that is going to be Josh [Allen] himself and the work he puts in this offseason. Second, you add some playmakers and I'm assuming these quarterbacks look a little bit better, right? They make life easier for you. So, I would think that adding a couple more playmakers could go a long way for Josh."

4. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller says speed on offense can equate to explosive plays for Allen

Bleacher Report's senior NFL Draft writer Matt Miller expects adding length and speed on offense will open more windows for quarterback Josh Allen.

"Let's add speed throughout the offense," Miller said. "Devin Singletary is going to be a good running back in the NFL. But let's add speed at running back and speed at wide receiver, so that those throws that Josh Allen makes can become explosive plays."

5. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero sees value in helping both sides of the ball

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero thinks time will tell with free agency right around the corner, specifically when talking about free agents Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips. Pelissero says the Bills can benefit in trying to build up both sides of the ball in this draft.

"That's really up for Brandon Beane to decide and there's plenty of reasons for Bills fans to believe the Brandon will get that right," Pelissero said. "I start with looking at what they've got in terms of the edge players right now. Shaq Lawson, being a free agent. Lorenzo Alexander, retiring. You need to make sure you've got enough pass rushers. They addressed that bringing in Ed Oliver last year, but you can never have enough of those guys. Certainly, corner is another position that you would look to, though, in the draft like this that's something you maybe could address later on as you get into the second and third rounds. Offensively, the bigger bodied receivers is something that obviously they need. They've got smaller guys like john Brown who is a home run threat. But you can always use an upgrade there as well, this is a really deep receiver class."

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