by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
Now that the Bills and other teams have made some moves in free agency the draft can become a little clearer. Let’s take a look at all of the Bills options and how they would fit into the Bills roster since their free agent pick-ups.
I still see this as a real possibility for the Bills. The quarterback picture is becoming slightly clear. Seems like Kyler Murray is going to go before the Bills pick for sure most likely one to the Cardinals. Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State and Drew Lock of Missouri could both be on the board when the Bills pick at nine. This would set-up a nice possible trade down. The Bengals at 11 are the first choice. Miami at 13 is another. Getting extra picks just to move down a few spots is still very attractive to me.
The Bills have added several players around Josh Allen in free agency. This gives them flexibility in the draft. Here are some options if they wanted to continue to bolster the offense.
DK Metcalf- Ole Miss. One could argue that the Bills still need a true number one receiver. The addition of John Brown and Cole Beasley to go along with Zay Jones and Robert Foster was nice. I agree with this but I just don’t see Metcalf as a Bills type of player. It came out last week that 72 percent of his yards were on two routes. If the Bills keep the ninth pick I don’t see them taking a WR.
The Bills have added several lineman. Mitch Morse, Ty Nsekhe, Spencer Long, Jon Feliciano, LaAdrian Waddle have all been added in free agency. Right Tackle is still an option for the Bills. Problem is I don’t see Jawaan Taylor of Florida being there at nine. He’s the best in the draft. Jonah Williams of Alabama I see more of a guard. Andre Dillard of Washington State I like but nine is too high for him. He would be someone I see if the Bills traded down to take.
Both Iowa TE’s TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant will be on the board at nine when the Bills select. The Bills have added two TE’s in free agency. Tyler Kroft is more of a pass catching TE and Jake Fisher, a former tackle, is more of a run blocking TE. They have Jason Croom on the roster but they still will add another TE in the draft. Question is will it be in round one. This is another case where if they trade down a few spots I can see them taking Hockenson or Fant. Staying at nine I don’t see it.
Devin White of LSU is one of my favorite players in this draft. If he ever fell to nine I could see the Bills adding him and having three of the best young linebackers in football with him, Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano. Problem is I don’t see White ever dropping that far.
Bills fans tend to hate when they take a cornerback this high in the draft. The Bills did add Kevin Johnson and EJ Gaines to go along with Levi Wallace as the potential starter across from Tre’Davious White. I love Taron Johnson at nickel corner. I feel he was a steal last year for the Bills before he was injured. The Bills brought back EJ Gaines on a one-year deal. The oft-injured corner played really well for the Bills in his first go around when healthy. Staying healthy is the key for Gaines. Greedy Williams of LSU is the top corner in the draft and he should be on the board at nine. Williams is great in coverage but not great vs the run. Not the Bills type of guy. I see the Bills still adding a corner but nine is too high for me.
This leaves us with defensive line. This is where I see the Bills going in round one. The Bills haven’t added anyone in free agency on the line. They have brought in Ziggy Ansah. They still remain interested in him but he hasn’t decided on where he wants to play as of yet. Defensive end is a strong possibility. Jerry Hughes had a great year last year and has one year left on his contract. Hughes will then be 32. I don’t see them giving him big money. Shaq Lawson has one year left on his contract too. He improved last year but he’s not worth big money. I could see the Bills letting him walk as well. I liked what little I saw from Trent Murphy but health seems to be the biggest issue with him. Nick Bosa and Josh Allen are the top two edge rushers in this draft and they will be gone. This draft is loaded on the edge. Rashan Gary of Michigan, Brian Burns of Florida State, Clelin Ferrell of Clemson and Montez Sweat of Mississippi State are the next four I see going. Gary’s the best and most versatile and as a result I see him leaving just before the Bills pick. I like Burns if the Bills went edge.
Defensive Tackle is another area along the line I see the Bills going. The retirement of Kyle Williams has left a void on the defensive line. The Bills did re-sign Jordan Phillips to go along with Harrison Phillips and Star Lotulelel. I like all three of these guys but a fourth is needed. The Bills could also use a stud pass rusher from the inside. It seems to me that in this day and age having the guy that can disrupt from the inside is extremely valuable. He can get the quarterback off his spot and change the passing game from the inside. Ed Oliver of Houston would be that guy for the Bills. I believe he could be that Fletcher Cox or Aaron Donald type of player the Bills could use as a force in the middle of the Bills line.
The Bills have what they want in the first round. That is they have many options. Trading down maybe very attractive if the QB’s fall and they can find a partner. If they stay at nine I see them going on the defensive line to either an edge rusher or a tackle. At this point my pick at nine would be Ed Oliver of Houston as the perfect one gap replacement tackle for Kyle Williams.