The Buffalo Bills believe they are past the “rebuild stage” of their development. ¶ If that’s true, then fans could consider this the “bolster stage” in their quest to field an NFL winner. ¶ They have a lot of bolstering to do. ¶ Even though the Bills enter the 2014 NFL draft in a rare position of not having one glaring need, they have plenty of positions that could use strengthening.

The key question entering the draft for Bills General Manager Doug Whaley is: How can he turn a couple of average positions into positions of strength?

The Bills’ offense ranked 19th in yards and 22nd in points last season. It could use a big receiving weapon, an offensive tackle and another running back.

The Bills’ defense looks closer to playoff caliber than the offense. It ranked 10th in yards allowed and 20th in points allowed. Still, the defense could use another defensive end, and some help at linebacker and cornerback.

“We can stack the board without having a pressing need,” Whaley said. “When you have it set the way we do this year, we have a less chance of making a mistake, and we’re excited about that.”

Offensive improvement would appear to be the bigger priority over the first two days of the draft. AFC East champion New England ranked third in the NFL in scoring last season. If the Bills are ever going to gain ground on the Pats, they need more points.

“Our main focus is making sure EJ progresses,” Whaley acknowledged, referring to second-year quarterback EJ Manuel.

Whaley was talking about the season in general, not necessarily the draft, but the two are intertwined.

Here’s a review of the Bills’ positions of need and the players who may be available to them throughout the three days of the draft, which starts Thursday:

• Big weapon: Another receiving target with size would help Manuel. Any of the top three receiving weapons in the draft probably would help the Bills immediately. They are Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans and North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron.

Watkins, who stands 6-foot-1 but plays bigger, is coveted by Buffalo and just about every other team in the top 10 of the draft. Buffalo, holding the ninth pick overall, probably would have to trade into the top five to get him.