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Vic Carucci's Bills Mailbag: Cornerback tops needs list, receiver not far behind

You have Buffalo Bills questions that you've submitted to me via Twitter @viccarucci.

I have answers:

@SportingGlasses: Would you agree with this order of necessity?

1. CB
1. WR
2. S
2. LB
3. TE
3. RT

VC: You nailed it.

Cornerback is the Bills' most crying need, because the holes left by the departures of Stephon Gilmore and Nickell Robey-Coleman have not been adequately filled via free agency. This also is seen as an excellent draft class for cornerbacks. The receiver crop isn't too shabby, either.

However, I think it makes much more sense to address an area that can help improve a defense that has been terrible the past two seasons. There's little doubt Sean McDermott is going to have the largest say about what the Bills do with their first pick, and given his defensive pedigree, I suspect he will place his stamp on this draft accordingly.

A solid case can be made for the Bills to get some receiver help, although the payoff is unlikely to be great given that they will employ a run-first offense and still aren't sure exactly what they have at quarterback. Also, McDermott is on record as saying he believes the Bills' No. 2 receiver behind Sammy Watkins is on the roster.

Although McDermott seems satisfied with Kevon Seymour's potential to step into the starting cornerback role opposite Ronald Darby, it's way too early to form any hard opinions. For that matter, Darby needs to prove he's worthy of hanging onto his starting job and is a good fit for McDermott's scheme.

@mcclennon99: McDermott took 7 SB Bills to dinner to pick their minds on what made them such a great team. Were you surprised Marv Levy didn't attend?

VC: Until you brought it up, I hadn't given his absence from that gathering any thought. Now that you mention it, I do think it would have made perfect sense for Levy to have been there.

However, I don't see it as any sort of slight, intended or otherwise, on McDermott's part. I believe he holds Levy in high regard and if he hasn't already reached out to him, I have little doubt he would do so at some point in the near future.

From everything I've been able to gather, McDermott is big on embracing the Bills' alumni. There is likely to be more evidence of that going forward.

3 reasons the Bills should draft: Temple LB Haason Reddick

@Bills_Expert: Doug Whaley's 5th rounders are busts (Meeks, Richardson, Karlos Williams). Jonathan Williams too soon to tell?

VC: Yes. Depending on what happens with restricted free agent Mike Gillislee, who recently visited the New England Patriots, Williams could very well have a more significant role in an offense that intends to continue to get the bulk of its success on the ground.

I need to see a larger body of work before I'd be willing to call him a bust.

@Sugarsweetluv: Serious about drafting a QB or a serious smoke screen? #Bills.

VC: I'm leaning toward smoke.

I don't think the Bills sincerely want to use the 10th overall pick on a quarterback. This is not the draft to spend a top choice on a franchise QB, because by most accounts, that guy isn't there.

Another team that's more needy at quarterback and picking near the bottom of the first round just might have its eye on that choice as the ideal place to select one.

I also think the decision to stick with Tyrod Taylor reinforces the notion that the Bills don't intend to make their big move now for a long-term answer at the position. The fact they can easily walk away from Taylor's contract after this season isn't necessarily the same as not believing he's the answer.

The Bills want the ability to keep their options open, because 2018 is supposed to be a much stronger quarterback draft class. And if Taylor does well enough, the issue could become moot.

@jaydogg0002: Do u think we take a QB in the one of the first 3 rounds?

VC: Anything's possible, but I don't see the Bills selecting a quarterback before a cornerback, receiver, linebacker, or offensive tackle.

If the right QB is there in the third round, maybe they'll pull the trigger. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

@0NickyFlash0: Many options for #Bills draft - gift or curse? Allows flexibility and can take who falls to them + trade or represents roster full of holes?

VC: There are definitely plenty of holes that need filling. And that's based on what is known from last year's team.

More could easily develop as the offseason and preseason progress, and McDermott and his coaching staff get a better handle on the players they've inherited and how they'll perform in the new systems.

@MoneyAce1984: I think the @buffalobills should trade back to land more draft picks in the top 3 rounds. Do you think that will happen and with which teams?

VC: I think it's what the Bills, and especially McDermott, want to happen. Will it happen? That's anyone's guess.

@manecci: Vic, do you think O.J. Howard is legitimate candidate for the Bills to take at 10?

VC: Yes, based on his immense talent, but, no, based on the fact he is a tight end and that spot is far too high to address a position in which the Bills remain heavily invested with Charles Clay.

The popular narrative from national draft prognosticators is that Clay has underperformed. To a certain extent, that's true. But it hardly tells the whole story of his production falling short of the big money he is collecting. Taylor is equally, if not more, culpable for failing to work the middle of the field as effectively as he should.

Given that, and the fact the Bills are a lousy passing team in general, it hardly makes sense to throw a first-round pick at another tight end.

@twomes54: With the signings of Hyde and Poyer, would the Bills be hesitant to draft a S at 10? Like Adams or Hooker? Or would CB or WR be more likely?

VC: I think the Bills consider themselves pretty well set with Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer as their starting safeties.

As I mentioned, I see cornerback as the No. 1 need, but I wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility of the Bills picking up a safety somewhere along the line.

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