We're three days away from the official start of NFL free agency, and just a day away from the start of the "legal tampering period." Meanwhile, all eyes have been on the combine in Indianapolis the past few days and fans are excited to see what their favorite teams will do in the draft in April. So what is the biggest need for all 32 NFL teams? Football Outsiders analyzes the biggest hole on each team's roster as we enter the deal-making portion of the NFL calendar.
Some of the write-ups refer to Football Outsiders' DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) metric, which takes every play during the season and compares it to a baseline adjusted for situation and opponent. It is explained further here.
Regardless of whether Buffalo hangs onto Tyrod Taylor, its quarterback would surely appreciate someone to throw to in 2017. Sammy Watkins had only 28 receptions in a disappointing, injury-plagued 2016, but that's still more than the combined career total (17) of all the other wide receivers currently under contract.
The Bills might consider retaining free agent Robert Woods, but they'll need help at the position regardless. Since trading up to take Watkins in 2014, Buffalo has stayed away from adding at the position, spending two late-round picks on WRs and avoiding anything other than long-shot Percy Harvin-types in free agency. The ground-bound offense Buffalo has relied on seems shakier with new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's zone-blocking scheme, a drastic departure from the gap-based scheme that suited LeSean McCoy so well. This is especially true if the Bills split with Taylor.
So Buffalo will need more credibility from its passing options to offset its likely rushing regression. Even if Watkins stays healthy -- no lock with recurring foot issues forcing him to miss 11 games the past two seasons -- the Bills need multiple additions around him to help out whomever ends up under center. -- Aaron Schatz