Bills GM says team won't reach on defensive end in draft

The Buffalo Bills aren't going to be players in the Robert Griffin III sweepstakes -- general manager Buddy Nix said as much this week -- but that doesn't mean they're going to spend the offseason quietly on the sideline.

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"Our philosophy, or mine, or ours is that those big money guys that hit the market at 12:01 or midnight, the way it used to be, if you're not careful you'll overspend on those guys and not get what you pay for," Nix said during an interview with WGR 550 AM

"We've been one to think you can pick up good players later on in free agency, and I'm talking about guys like Nick Barnett, receivers that we've picked up. They're out there, and they'll be out there and that's kind of been our philosophy along with building through the draft.

"And when I say we're gonna be aggressive, what I mean is this time if there's a difference maker -- not necessarily a position -- but if there's a guy that can come in here and immediately improve our football team, we'll get in the hunt early this time."

One particular area of need lies on the defensive line. The Bills' leading pass rusher in 2011 was rookie defensive tackle Marcell Dareus with 5.5 sacks. That's a solid number for an interior lineman, but the Bills only totaled 29 sacks, which tied them for 27th in the league.

The Bills currently hold the 10th overall pick in April's draft, where pass-rushing prospects such as North Carolina's Quinton Coples and South Carolina's Melvin Ingram could be available. Nix said the Bills won't reach just to pick a defensive end in the first round.

"We cannot make it happen if it's not there, and that's the thing you've got to keep in mind," Nix said. "If we go in and say 'We've got to have a pass rusher,' and we reach down and get one at the 10th pick that we've got graded in the third round, then we're setting ourselves back three or four years."

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