We’ve got another pick in the books, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s review the past five selections:
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
8. Chicago Bears - Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
9. San Francisco 49ers - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
10. Oakland Raiders - Vita Vea, DT, Washington
11. Miami Dolphins - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
We now have another team that’s made a move up well in advance of the draft in the Buffalo Bills. This pick originally belonged to the Cincinnati Bengals, but the Bills gave up one of their two first-round selections this year, #22 overall, along with offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, to move up to this spot. What, exactly, are the Bills trying to do here? Let’s take a look at them and try to figure it out.
2017 record: 9-7 (2nd place, AFC East)
OL Russell Bodine (free agent signing), WR Kaelin Clay (free agent signing), S Rafael Bush (free agent signing), CB Phillip Gaines (free agent signing), DT Star Lotulelei (free agent signing), QB A.J. McCarron (free agent signing), DE Trent Murphy (free agent signing), OL Marshall Newhouse (free agent signing), LB Julian Stanford (free agent signing)
LB Preston Brown (signed with Cincinnati), CB E.J. Gaines (signed with Cleveland), OT Cordy Glenn (traded to Cincinnati), OT Seantrel Henderson (signed with Houston), WR Jordan Matthews (signed with New England), QB Tyrod Taylor (traded to Cleveland), WR Deonte Thompson (signed with Dallas), “QB” Joe Webb (signed with Houston), CB Shareece Wright (signed with Oakland)
Defensive tackle - The team still has longtime stalwart Kyle Williams in the middle, but they need to give him a partner on the interior. Buffalo was pretty bad against the run in 2017, so whoever they try to pair with Williams is going to need to be stout in that portion of their game.
Inside linebacker - Preston Brown was the leading tackler for the Bills last season, but he’s left town for Cincinnati. That’s a pretty significant hole to fill for the Buffalo defense, and they might have to spend an early pick to fill it.
Quarterback - Tyrod Taylor helped to lead the Bills to their first postseason berth in 17 years, and was rewarded with a trade to Cleveland. To replace him, the Bills signed former Bengal A.J. McCarron, and his current backup is Nathan Peterman. Peterman was absolutely brutal in limited time last season, and McCarron is still relatively unproven. The Bills traded up weeks before the draft. . .did they do it in an effort to get a quarterback?
Wide receiver - Buffalo traded for Kelvin Benjamin last season, and while he’s a good option at wide receiver, the Bills don’t have much behind him. Jordan Matthews has departed for division rival New England, and after the bizarre situation that Zay Jones was involved in a couple of weeks ago, he certainly can’t be counted on. Whoever the quarterback ends up being for Buffalo, he’s going to need someone to throw to.
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming - Allen has all of the physical attributes you want in an elite quarterback, but there are definitely some red flags. He played at a smaller school, and didn’t exactly light it up in his chances against higher competition. Some of that might have been the talent he was surrounded by, but his accuracy numbers from college definitely leave something to be desired. He might be the most “boom or bust” quarterback in this year’s class.
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama - Oh, hey, another Crimson Tide player set to go off the board early. At this point, Payne is definitely a better run defender than a pass rusher, though he certainly has all of the physical tools to become an all-around force on the defensive line. He could do significantly worse than to learn from Kyle Williams for a season or two.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville - People probably aren’t going to like the inclusion of Jackson at this spot, but with three quarterbacks now off the board, Jackson is going to start entering the conversation. He’s obviously got a ton of talent and physical ability, and has as much upside as any of the other quarterbacks of this class.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama - We’ve had Ridley on the board here for a while, but he could potentially make a lot of sense for the Bills. He’s got speed to burn and could be a very solid option out of the slot. Buffalo’s wide receiver situation is a bit of a mess right now behind Kelvin Benjamin, and Ridley would be a good first step towards cleaning things up a bit.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State - I’ve got Vander Esch as the second-highest inside linebacker type on the board, though your mileage may vary on that. So, he goes here as an option for the Bills. He’s not just a two-down middle linebacker, as he’s quite good in coverage and has the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline. He can definitely be a Day 1 starter for this defense and stay on the field for all three downs.
That’s a look at Buffalo, folks. Tomorrow, we come back to the NFC with the Washington Redskins at pick #13.
With the twelfth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Buffalo Bills (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State