Buffalo Bills Mock Watch 2.0
With the Super Bowl now a thing of the past, the NFL Draft is coming more and more into picture.
The Buffalo Bills will selected twice in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, with those picks coming in back-to-back fashion at 21st and 22nd overall, respectively.
Double the fun in the first round for Bills fans.
With that, let’s take our second look around national mock drafts:
No. 21: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
McShay: The big question for the Bills is what they’re doing at QB. Will they package this pick and No. 22 to move up for one? Buffalo missed on LB Reggie Ragland (second rounder, 2016, traded to KC), but I think they go back to the well here. Evans is much more athletic than Ragland and really came on strong during the 2017 season for Alabama. He has great range in coverage and can play the run.
No. 22 (via Kansas City Chiefs): DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
McShay: Payne’s sack numbers are underwhelming, but he’s a disruptive interior player. Just turn on the national championship game film; he seemed like he was in the backfield most plays. I believe he can be an every-down defensive lineman in the NFL and get pressure on QBs frequently. He’s also a playmaking run defender.
No. 21: C Billy Price, Ohio State
Miller: The sad and sudden retirement of Eric Wood leaves a massive hole in the middle of an already questionable offensive line in Buffalo. With pick No. 21 overall, the Bills can make one move to quickly solve that problem—draft Billy Price.
A versatile lineman at Ohio State, Price played both center and guard but became a nationally known stud in the last two years manning the middle of the line. He’s a mauler in the run game and has the quickness to get outside the tackle box whether he’s pulling to the edge or rushing up the field to take on linebackers. Price has all the tools NFL teams want in a starting center and requires little polish to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
No. 22 (via Kansas City Chiefs): LB Rashann Evans, Alabama
Miller: OK, where’s the quarterback? The Bills are in a bad spot given the need for a quarterback and the team’s draft picks coming late in Round 1. They could reach for Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson here, but it’s more likely we either see a huge trade up to select a premier passer or the front office goes for broke in free agency should Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater become available.
Assuming for now that the quarterback spot is filled in free agency, the Bills can use pick No. 22 to get the athletic middle linebacker Sean McDermott needs to run his scheme. Don’t confuse Evans with Reggie Ragland, a player the Bills traded away this season because he wasn’t a fit. Evans has the agility and quickness to run alleys and get outside the hashes to make plays. And while he’s not exactly Luke Kuechly, he is good enough to fill the hole at MIKE linebacker and be a three-down player for Buffalo.
No. 21: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Reuter: After Jackson learns the ropes from Tyrod Taylor, he’ll use his strong arm and amazing speed to turn defenses upside-down.
No. 22 (via Kansas City Chiefs): C Billy Price, Ohio State
Reuter: Eric Wood’s career-ending injury makes finding a sturdy replacement like Price a must.
No. 21: C Billy Price, Ohio State
Zierlein: Price is a tremendously powerful drive blocker who can fill the void left by the injury to Eric Wood.
No. 22 (via Kansas City Chiefs): LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Zierlein: Evans has some injury concerns, but he’s physical and fast. He can play inside or outside linebacker while also offering pass-rush help.
No. 21: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Standig: Just a hunch, but it doesn’t seem like the Bills are sold on Tyrod Taylor. With the extra first-round pick, perhaps the Bills look at one of the Sooner state quarterback prospects.
Mayfield’s Heisman Trophy winning-season rocketed the mobile threat draft boards, but not all are in love with quarterbacks whose game may be best suited for gimmicky college offenses.
No. 22 (via Kansas City Chiefs): DT Vita Vea, Washington
Trading away Marcel Dareus created a need at defensive tackle for the Bills, who could also target a cornerback or linebacker in the early rounds.
No. 21: QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Trapasso: The Bills don’t get overaggressive with the quarterbacks in this class, stay put, and get the signal-caller who checks their boxes in Rudolph, an experienced pocket passer with nice downfield touch.
No. 22 (via Kansas City Chiefs): DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
Trapasso: Buffalo’s defensive line is in dire need of reconstruction. Even if Kyle Williams plays one more season, the Bills must add talented one-gap players up front. Hurst is the premier penetrating defensive tackle in this class.
No. 21: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Walter: The Bills traded for Kelvin Benjamin during the season and spent a second-round pick on Zay Jones last spring, but with Jordan Matthews failing, they’ll be in the market for another receiver.
Some will question why Buffalo isn’t selecting a quarterback at this juncture. I believe this is something the team will address prior to the 2018 NFL Draft. I could see the Bills throwing multiple draft picks at Philadelphia for Nick Foles.
No. 22 (via Kansas City Chiefs): CB Donte Jackson, LSU
Walter: The Bills traded Ronald Darby to the Eagles this offseason after losing Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots. They’ll need to obtain another cornerback if E.J. Gaines, an impending free agent, heads for the open market.