<
>
Get ESPN+

NFL GMs facing make-or-break drafts

Getty Images

With draft week almost upon us, it's a good reminder that the rosters of teams that have sustained success in the NFL of late are bonded by two threads: a reliable starting quarterback and a core of talent built through the draft. Be it Aaron Rodgers and his home-grown crew of pass catchers led by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb (and, truthfully, most of the Packers' roster), Tom Brady and his top targets -- Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman -- or Russell Wilson and Seattle's Legion of Boom secondary, teams that have climbed and remained at the top are often developed through the annual selection process of the top college players in the country.

Understanding the importance of the selection process, below is a look at five personnel decision makers who need a strong draft this year or could find themselves in hot water following the 2015 season.


Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley

Whaley and new head coach Rex Ryan have spoken in concert throughout the offseason, which has included extensive roster turnover through multiple trades that netted running back LeSean McCoy and quarterback Matt Cassel. The trick for Whaley and the organization in this draft is that the team is without a pick in the first round, as that selection was shipped to the Browns as part of the draft-night trade last year to move up and select wide receiver Sammy Watkins.