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Posted: Wednesday, 09 April 2014 1:18PM

Bills Draft Outlook: Wide Receiver



(WGR 550) -- As the clock struck midnight on Wednesday, the National Football League officially moved within one month of one of the most highly anticipated weekends of the year. The 2014 NFL Draft is closing in, and the rumors are only increasing by the day.

Leading up to the annual prospect selection meeting, WGR will be going through each positional grouping for the Buffalo Bills and trying to make sense of what they might do on draft weekend.

The first position on the list? Wide Receiver.

What they have
Starters: Mike Williams, Robert Woods, Stevie Johnson
Reserves: Marquise Goodwin, T.J. Graham, Marcus Easley, Chris Hogan, Kevin Elliott, Cordell Roberson, Ramses Barden, Chris Summers, Brandon Kaufman

What they need
- The Bills need to look beyond 2014 at the wide receiver position. Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin will both be a part of this roster moving forward, but there’s no telling how Mike Williams will greet his newest opportunity in the NFL. 

Essentially playing on a one-year “prove it” year with the Bills at a cap number of $1.8 million, the mercurial wideout will be closely monitored throughout the season. Both Williams and Stevie Johnson have increasing numbers in 2015 that will put the Bills on the hook for $15.65 million against the cap for just those two, meaning it’s within the realm of possibilities that one or both would have to restructure their contracts, or, one could be sent packing after this coming season. 

Williams will have a chance to prove he’s a bonafide number-one receiver, but just in case, the Bills should dip their toes in the deep wide receiver class for the 2014 NFL Draft.  There are plenty of options for bigger targets available in this year’s group.

Despite T.J. Graham being on thin ice, the Bills are good on depth at receiver. Marcus Easley will stick around as a core special teams contributor, while the team likes the potential of younger players such as Kevin Elliott and Cordell Roberson. If he doesn’t have a good camp and shows he can't help on special teams, Graham, the former third-round pick, could be shown the door.

How will they do it?
- With the acquisition of Williams, it decreases the odds that the Bills will use the ninth overall pick on a wide receiver by a fairly large margin. If Sammy Watkins is on the board, however, it’s fair to expect they would reconsider that notion and hand the card into the podium with his name on it. If the Bills do select a wideout in the 2014 NFL Draft, it will likely be somewhere between Rounds 2 and 5. With the depth lining up the way it is for this coming season, the Bills won’t feel the overwhelming necessity to take one unless a player they really like falls into their laps at one of their selections.

Players connected to the Bills (will be constantly updated):
Cody Latimer, Indiana (Pre-Draft Visit)
Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU (Pre-Draft Visit)

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

All photos courtesy of AP
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